It’s Showtime

Manivela

Manivela

I’ve now completed my first cruise on the Adventure of the Seas. We’ve been working in the theater every day since we got onboard. During the cruise, we opened two of our three shows.

Invitation to Dance

Invitation to Dance

The ballroom show opened on day 6 of the cruise. Despite some technical malfunctions, the shows went well! A lot of fellow crewmembers came to support us, and the feedback was really positive. We’ll be performing it again the day after tomorrow!

Mambo #5

Mambo #5

Our rock themed show opened last night, the final night of the cruise. One of the dancers was confined to his cabin due to illness, so we had to re-block the show in the morning. Some of our spacing changed, and people were taken out of some numbers to balance the stage. After 5 straight days of rehearsing the original blocking, we had to work extra hard to make those changes. By the end of the second show, I was mentally and physically drained. Even so, I was pleased with our performances!

Candyman

Candyman

Tonight we have our first tech run of the third production show. We are scheduled to open it halfway through this cruise. We had a costume fitting a few days ago, and now that I’ve seen the costumes, I’m even more excited to get this show on the stage!

Singing in the Rain

Singing in the Rain

So far, I’m enjoying this ship! The crew is so nice, and what I’ve seen of the ports is lovely. I’m looking forward to having more time to explore in port this cruise.

Baby, take a bow!

Baby, take a bow!

Born to Fly

The last week of rehearsals was intense.  We were running all 3 shows, and also cleaning our Vegas show to get ready for our office run.  An “office run” is when we perform one production show in front of the staff, other casts in the studios, and local family and friends at the end of the rehearsal period.  It allows the staff to ensure that we are ready for the ship and are maintaining the integrity of the shows.  Since we were the only cast in rehearsals for a few days, we also had staff members pop in to watch us run the other two shows.

The cast

The cast

By the time we were performing on Friday, I was worn out!  Learning three shows was physically demanding, but was also mentally exhausting.  There are so many details in the choreography, and some of the techniques are still sort of unfamiliar, so my brain was never really resting.  Despite my exhaustion, the office run went really well!  The whole cast felt happy with our performance, and we got some nice feedback form the audience.  I had some family member in attendance, and really enjoyed talking with them after the show.

Office Run

Office Run

The following day, we were back at the studio!  We spent Saturday cleaning our ballroom show, and Sunday worked on the Welcome number, Farewell show, and our Rock themed production show.  It was a busy day, but I feel much more confident with all the material now!

We match!  Cast jackets!

We match! Cast jackets!

Sunday and Monday new casts were arriving.  4 of my friends from my last ship are now here!  It was so great catching up with them.  I’m excited to hear about their upcoming contracts, but selfishly wish they could come with me!  I’m still getting used to the constant goodbyes that are part of this lifestyle.

Friends

Friends

I spent Monday running errands and packing.  This evening, we will be flying to London!  We land in the morning, and have the rest of the day to go into the city and explore.  It’s been years since I’ve been to London, so I’m really excited.  The following morning, we will drive out to join the ship, and then the real madness begins!

My people :-)

My people 🙂

I feel like this rehearsal period has flown by!  I’m loving my cast, and worked with some great choreographers.  It has been such a positive experience thus far, and I can’t wait to see what the next few months will bring!

Smile!  Po is here!

Bye, bye Po!

The Final Countdown

Big news!  There is just over one week left until we leave for the ship!

Last week was packed with excitement.  We finished learning our third and final show, and did our first run through.  I have to be honest, this show is hard!  It is the most technically demanding show I’ve done with the company, and also requires a lot of stamina.  When I get more comfortable with the choreography, I think I will enjoy it a lot, but at the moment, I feel somewhat overwhelmed!  I appreciate the challenge, though.

Something to smile about!  Puss in Boots stopped by rehearsal!

Something to smile about! Puss in Boots stopped by rehearsal!

4 other casts left to join their ships last week.  A few days before they left, each cast performed one of their shows at the studio.  It was great to see what the other casts have been doing!  The studios will be lonely this week without them.  Other casts arrive at the end of the week, right before we leave!

Gloria is leaving us, too!

Gloria is leaving us, too!

Last weekend, the my cast got together for a barbecue by the pool.  It was so nice to spend time with my new “family” outside of the studio.  I feel lucky to be with such a great group of people!

Cast barbecue

Cast barbecue

Two cast members had birthday last week, so we had a couple nights of celebrations.  I’m already trying to come up with theme ideas for my birthday.  It’s less than 3 months away!  Theme suggestions are welcome!

With the birthday girl

With the birthday girl

I’ve spent my Sunday sitting around and relaxing.  I’ll need a lot of energy this week!  We’ll be running all 3 shows and cleaning them up.  Friday, we perform the Vegas show at the studio.  I can’t believe the rehearsal period is already coming to a close!

 

Up and Down and All Around

Always posing

Always posing

The past couple weeks have been busy!  We’ve already finished learning our second show, a Vegas themed production.  It’s a very diverse show.  In the opening and finale, I’m a showgirl, complete with a rhinestone bikini and feathers, but in the middle of the show, I do a fierce number to “Dark Lady”, a fun number to a Bette Midler song, and at one point, even dance with boxing gloves!  It’s a little challenging to switch into so many styles, but is very fun to do.

Rainy day in the studio

Rainy day in the studio

We’ve now moved onto our third production show.  So far, I’ve learned the opening number, full of more turns than I’ve ever done on stage, and half of “Queen of the Night”.  This show also has a lot of variety, and is known for being technically difficult and requiring a lot of stamina.  I’m enjoying the rehearsals, but am looking forward to a day off on Sunday to rest!

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth

In other news, I got to meet (or pose with) Kristin Chenoweth!  She visited the studios for an event for a new ship in the fleet, and I was able to snag a photo and get her autograph.  I’ve been a big fan of hers since I saw “Wicked” in New York.  In person, she was lovely.  She was so kind to all of the cast members, and looked gorgeous.

So exciting!

So exciting!

I’ve been enjoying getting to know the other girls in my cast.  Each night, we end up chatting for hours.  They’re all so down to earth!  We went out for a “girls’ night” last week and made mojitos at the apartment on Saturday.  This weekend, we’re planning to do a cast barbecue, and maybe even go out for Sunday brunch!

Homemade Mojitos

Homemade Mojitos

I’ve been having a difficult time adjusting to the busy schedule while also maintaining a long distance relationship.  My beau, who I met on my last ship, was just sent to a ship in the Caribbean.  His hours are very different than mine, so we’ve not been able to talk as much as usual.  As a result, I’ve been somewhat emotional.  My amazing sister sent me a box of “happy food” to try to cheer me up.  Supposedly goji berries and hemp seeds help to boost your mood, so I’ve added them to my diet!  I don’t know if they actually help, but I smile every morning thinking of my sister while I add goji berries to the top of my cereal.

Happy food!

Happy food!

Overall, things are going really well.  I’m looking forward to finishing the last show, and getting ready for the ship.  We sign on in less than 3 weeks!  More stories coming soon.