Acting on a cruise ship - to do or not to do?

  • Julia Effertz

    Actor

    Hi all,

    just a quick question from a relative newbie (apologies if this has been answered elsewhere):

    I have an audition for a cruise ship job - as an actor, not a singer, and was wondering what the general feeling within the community is about these types of jobs.

    I'd personally like to be "touring" in such a way, and it sounds like an interesting job to do, but am a bit worried putting cruise ship on my CV might prompt judgment from people in TV/Film, i.e. that there might be a prejudice on the part of casting directors in film and theatre that cruise ship acting isn't reputable, if you know what I mean.

    What are your experiences with this?

    Any advice greatly appreciated!

    Cheers!

    Julia

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 3803
    • 13
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Hmm.

    Personally I would say to do it, but not with the purpose of furthering your career.

    I wouldnt add it as a credit for the work because although you may be a fab actress, and the production might be amazing, you will get people making judgements for it.

    Heck, I could be wrong and just paranoid, but thats my view of it.

    If you want the opportunity to travel, do some networking (you never know) and just give it a try, then go ahead!

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 1
  • Erin Geraghty

    Actor

    Do it!

    No,it probably won't further your career, but, so long as you don't make a habit of it, won't be detrimental either.

    Have fun!

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 2
  • Melissa Hartzel

    Actor

    Do it! I once had the opportunity of a cruise ship contract and I turned it down but I have always regretted missing out on the experience. I've got kids now so it isn't something I could now do. I missed the boat so to speak!

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 3
  • Nigel Peever

    Actor

    Do it! unless you are 100% positive that you will get a better offer waiting by the phone. All I get if I'm waiting by the phone are grant offers for loft insulation. Who knows Trevor Nunn might be planning a cruise holiday this year.

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 4
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    I have no experience in this area of the profession, though I know a number of actors who have, and they all seem to enjoy it, and make decent money from it (as well as get to see interesting parts of the world by doing it!), so there may be many a good reason to take the job on.

    What I will say, in response to your fear that screen casters will dismiss you because of such work on the CV - I think the only thing screen casters ever judge an actor on is their screen credits, by and large (perhaps your headshot to some extent, in order to ascertain your look). In other words, if you are genuinely interested in pursuing a screen career, you need to be looking into developing a showreel to showcase yourself, and getting as much experience as you can of working on screen projects.

    But that's not to dissuade you from going on the cruise ship. It's simply to say, they are different areas of the industry. Your best option might very well be to work on the ship this year, earn good money doing it, and then use some of that money to tide you over when you come back home, and look to start getting a showreel together (which might mean having to deal, initially, with some student or low budget setups, who are always chronically strapped for cash with which to pay you!).

    In contrast, from a stage perspective, I think citing your cruise ship experience will probably be quite welcome at the lower end of the industry, on the fringe etc. - it will show that you have ensemble experience, are a team player, a versatile performer, and can cope with audience expectations - all of which are very, very important stage skills. Yes, perhaps it isn't the sort of thing to be over promoting when you are applying for a job at the RSC, but I'm sure you can cross that bridge when you come to it.

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 5
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    I don't think the theatre angle should be an issue at all. I have a friend who has had lead roles in major productions of The King and I, Miss Saigon and is now doing the new Les Mis tour. She's done lots of cruise work (the money was extremely good!), albeit all musical theatre but has also had film offers, too. She doesn't have kids, mind! :)

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 6
  • Lee Ravitz

    Actor

    Oh, I agree, Vanessa - from a musical theatre perspective, having done cruise ship work would be great as a reference point, and very encouraging to casters.

    In terms of application for strict classical theatre, I'm not so sure, but perhaps more because cruise work might be seen as a variant of musical theatre experience, rather than for any inherent lack of demand in the work! But classical theatre can tend to look down its nose at a musical theatre grounding, it has to be said (whatever the rights or wrongs of that may be). And I note that Julia describes herself as, first and foremost, an actor, rather than singer/performer. So, I'd have thought she was interested in ways of making this work for her, *despite* the fact that she doesn't primarily specialise in musical theatre (or so her enquiry seemed to imply to me) and would like to take on screen work, as well.

    • 30th Mar 2011
    • 7
  • User Deleted

    This profile has been archived

    Yes, I haven't come across cruises that do straight acting, more the musical theatre style of entertainment. So I (probably incorrectly) assumed that by "acting" Julia meant musical theatre as opposed to plain and simple singing. Your points are all great, Lee.

    As you say to get screen work you need to do some screen work (!), but it does sound like a great chance to travel, get paid (!!) and learn new skills. :)

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 8
  • Rebecca Probyn

    Actor

    "Personally I would say to do it, but not with the purpose of furthering your career.

    I wouldnt add it as a credit for the work because although you may be a fab actress, and the production might be amazing, you will get people making judgements for it. "

    I agree Emma

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 9
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    We're jobbing actors are we not?! I'd def do it if the money is good and you can make a good profit etc. The experience will be good whatever......assuming the contract is straight, all the small print and details of the job are all tickedyboo in your mind.

    For the CV...just list it as a production Co and leave out the cruise ship mention if you feel that is bad? Put it down as a tour?.........I can't see the issue though? Just because it is a cruise ship, does that automatically make it a dodgy job or credit on your CV? It shows you have been auditioned and cast, entrusted with a role....above all that you have been working. Flipping heck I've seen some entirely nefarious productions at Kings head, Old Red Lion....and for that matter...Strand theatre and even the Globe!!

    Do it, enjoy it, and be proud to be working is what I say!

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 10
  • Julia Effertz

    Actor

    Thank you guys, your comments are so helpful and have clarified a few things.

    First of all: for those interested, the job is advertised as "actors who can sing", with Seachefs/TUI, a big operator in the Germanophone market (though they do travel worldwide.

    I am German myself and also check out castings via various German-speaking sites, which is where I found this casting.

    So the audition will be in Berlin, in German, and they've sent me a contemporary monologue to prepare + to bring my own monologue and a song.

    So for those out there with language skills, maybe this is an interesting option to pursue.

    I am not an MT specialist, but have a good solo singing voice and dance skills, so should be fine!

    Acting work is extremely thin on the ground right now, and even more so for a foreign artist in the UK, so right now I just want a chance to work and if I got it, I'd definitely go on the cruise!

    Julia

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 11
  • Mark Kempner

    Actor

    Ich wünsche Ihnen viel sucsess. Genießen Sie jeden Moment it....work ist Arbeit huh? Wünschen Sie jeden sucsess.

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 12
  • Julia Effertz

    Actor

    Danke lieber Mark! Dir auch!

    And thank you everyone for your helpful comments!

    Jxxx

    • 31st Mar 2011
    • 13