Re: Cruiseships?

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Posted by gerard on February 08, 2000 at 23:13:04:

In Reply to: Re: Cruiseships? posted by ed on February 08, 2000 at 17:24:47:

: : : : : : : I am a college student, and I want to get a job playing gigs this summer. Themeparks, cruiseships, ski lodges.... I don't care. I'll go anywhere to do it to. I could get through an audition just fine, but I have no idea where to start to look for these oppurtunities. Could someone tell me where to look?

: : :
: : : : : If you like playing music-stay away from the cruise ships. It can be very destructive to your playing.

: : :
: : : : : I can't emphasise this enough. If you decide to do the gig make sure that you are super prepared in reading and different musical styles so that you can distinguish critisms of value from those from burnt out, negative assholes.

: : : : : : Best of luck. The boat gigs may tend to be looking for a longer commitment(ie 6 months or so)but some are shorter term. The two boat gigs I have had I have been contacted by someone at the shipping line; you might try getting the number for the entertainment directors for each cruise line. Theme parks tend to announce auditions when they need to fill spots. You may be better off contacting whatever clubdate agencies are in your area (you know weddings, bar miztvahs, etc,)to see if they are looking for bass players. It's generally radio tunes, but they tend to pay well.

: : : Ooooh, somebody had a bad time. It all depends on the band and of course yer attitude. Like I said, it's like a club date band. Yer gonna do a little standards for the cocktail hours, maybe some swing if the crowd is old enough and a whole lot of radio music. So if you come on board with the just outta music school I'm gonna set the world on fire cause I'm so bad attitude, you are probably going to be very disappointed (and maybe overboard if yer not careful). And you are going to run into cats who have made playing on boats their way of life and are not going to deal well with some runt who thinks the world should revolve around them. But you can also meet some excellent musicians (especially on the boats that have big bands)and if it's just a gig that yer happy to have then you should be OK. Whiney boy is right on one count, 'tho. You definitly want to have yer reading chops up and be able to cover everything you would on a club date (see above). Most of the boats bring on other entertainers that you will be asked to back up (on one rehearsal usually)and provide incidental music for other acts from time to time. So reading is good. But I would say I enjoyed both my boat gigs (8 months on one, two weeks on the other).

: : Ah Ed, you know me all too well, although I've never been to a music school. (Rather enjoyed playing the cocktail sets as well)
: So, Gerard, what boats were you on? What was the band? Who was crawling up yer butt? Both gigs I did were with people I had at least played with before, the 8 month gig was a LONG time ago, and I wasn't really hearing a lot. It was a really great drummer and guitarist (who ended up bugged and left after 3 months)and a kinda mediocre piano player. The second one was with a tenor player who I had worked with in the city (GREAT player) a guy who was more of an accompaniest (could read his ass off tho') and the former drummer for the Cab Calloway Orchestra (who I had done some small group stuff with in the city). The other act on the boat was a pianist/singer (kinda a Johnny Hartman version of a Bobby Short act)who also played harp fer cryin' out loud. Nice singer, he wanted us to back him up for his act, which was a gas. great hang. There were several shows put together by the cruise director and his staff (the TammAndy show) and a magician that we had to play incidental music for. They also featured the quartetet for a "Jazz Night" which was a first for them.The first gig was on Epirotiki Lines, the second was for Seabourne Cruises. Seabourne was definitely hipper. The band that we replaced on the boat was Hungarian, the band that was coming on after us was Fillipino. Everybody on staff seemed to be pretty happy a NY band was on board. A good friend of mine did a 6 week cruise to Brazil and back with a great band (including Matt Ray on piano) and he was really happy with his experience as well.

Ed, I did some gigs for Carnival Cruise to Mexico, Hawaii and Canada. Ironically most of the musicians in the orchestra were young musicians just out of music schools like North Texas State. There were some good players but the attittude was horrible to an absurd degree. Another cruise (which I was called and asked to do) ,the band leader was such a tyrant that everybody in the band was frightened to play out. The drummer before I got on the ship had quit because the band leader had kicked over his hi-hat in a rage and they almost came to blows! Thankfully I was only hired to play 3 wks. To give everyone the benefit of the doubt I felt I could have been better prepared but there is no excuse for the kind of behavior I have described. I could certainly cover the gig.
Anyway I could go on forever. Glad to get it off my chest. Also glad you had a good experience! Good Luck for the future Gerard

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