Lisa on cruise ships
Cruise ship entertainer Lisa Pearson and her husband Adam Press make up the classic/crossover singing duo La Musica. Represented by cruise ship lynchpin agent Jonathan Blackburn, the couple are one of the busiest and most imitated acts of their kind on the cruise ship scene. Lisa writes for us here in UK Cabaret.
The process of securing work on cruise ships performing in cabaret sounds simple in principal. If you are already performing 45 minute sets in clubs or wherever, this should translate into a cruise ship show…easy!
I am a firm believer that some people are just born to entertain and that the best man or woman will always get the best jobs in show business. As with any other sphere of work there is also an element of hard work, determination, financial investment and luck. You can’t beat being lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.
The market for vocalists is by far the most competitive, with so many people going for the same jobs. In any process material is the key. Not only should material chosen suit the individual artiste, but their material must also suit the target audience, which can vary greatly from ship to ship.
I suppose the first stage of the process of moving into a life as a cruise ship cabaret artiste has to be the gathering of accurate information from a well informed source. If you decide that life as a cruise ship headlining act is for you, then you need to consider there is a financial aspect in having the money to invest in your act, while not being paid immediately for your work. Also you need to consider the emotional side of being away from home for long periods of time and many hours of travelling alone. If you still want to go ahead after all these considerations, you will then need a suitable agent. Finding the right agent can be the tricky part of the process and things to bear in mind have to include being aware of all the financial small print in any arrangement. You need to think whether you want to see the full amount you are earning or if you are happy with a set fee. The financial side can be a minefield. Once the bookings are in the diary, can you manage without getting paid for up to 45 days after your contract finishes?
When the work is secured, preparation is the key. There can be times when others artistes are performing similar material the night before you are due to perform, so you may need to be flexible. There may be times when the seas are so rough it is difficult to stand upright on stage, let along sing. There could be times when you have flown through the night and be expected to perform the same day.
Being a cruise ship headline act can be an amazingly fulfilling job especially when things run smoothly. But if you an entertainer who wants cash pick-ups and being back home in your own bed after work you should really stay in the clubs!