Stage Manager’s Log
Thursday, May 18, 2006
Road Town, Tortola – B.V.I.
First day onboard a ship as staff. It has been one heck of a day. This morning I woke up in a hotel in Road Town, Tortola, whose name I can’t remember. It wasn’t the best of places, but it was only one night. The air conditioning was so nice compared to the outside air, hot and muggy. After a quick pancake breakfast I was met by the taxi service and driven quite literally around the corner to the cruise dock. I am glad I had the ride though, just lugging my stuff down the pier to the gangway was a bummer.
Went through Security on the ship and met with the HRO (Human Resources Officer) to check in. I got my room assignment and met my “buddy” Trix, the current SM who is leaving when we get to Fort Lauderdale, FL. My room is about the size of a small single dorm room, and I have my own bathroom. Well, my bathroom gives quite the definition to water closet. It is kind of like the bathroom in the hotel that I stayed at in Tzfat, last time I was there. You can stand in the shower and pee and wash your hands all at the same time. I mean wash your hands in the sink. It isn’t bad though.
Went to the tailor to get my uniform. No surprise that for the most part it is black. Three black polo shirts and in theory three black long sleeve shirts, though they only had one in my size so they are hoping to pick some more up in FL. They also picked me up two more pairs of black pants and are going to tailor them to my length. So yeah, my professors weren’t kidding, I will be wearing black for a long time.
Today I got a whirlwind tour of the ship and of my responsibilities. I got the first half of the shipboard safety training as well. It sounds like the rest will come during the handover in FL. I have been working closely with Trix in the theatre to learn how things work there. Tonight’s performer was Johnny Rocket, a singer. We had a tech in the afternoon and then two shows at night, one for the early dinner seating, and one for the late dinner seating. I ran the second show after observing for the first.
One of the things that I learned today is that you have to bring your own equipment. Apparently the theatre is missing it’s CD player because it broke, so Trix has been using his DiscMan. There ship does not have it’s own monitor headphones either… So in FL I guess I will be hitting up the RadioShack to pick up some of these things on my own. I still have to find out the procedures for going ashore while we are in port, but it seems that as long as I have no responsibilities in the theatre or elsewhere on board I am free to partake of those places we are at.
We had a midnight rehearsal of tomorrow’s production show, “Broadway in Concert” (BIC) tonight. I got to meet the production show cast, three men and four women. It will take me a day or two to learn everyone’s names. The production shows are probably the most complicated and theoretically simple shows to do. The lights and music run on SMPTE timecode and there are only six cast members to mix. It will be interesting, an adventure. The nice thing is that the cast is the same for all the productions shows (while I am on board anyway) so I will get to know them very well. They seem like a nice bunch.
I forgot to mention the paperwork that I have to do for each cruise. I suppose I should tell Lee that Stage Management class has come in handy. I guess this particular ship is different from the rest of the fleet in the operation of the theatre because there is only one tech person who runs lights and sound and functions as the SM. I have an ASM, and a bunch of the crew helps with changeovers. The tailors run the follow spots. Oh, and of course I have to keep track of all these crew people’s hours so that they get paid accordingly. I seem to have a lot of responsibility.
This ship rocks a lot more than I remember the last cruise ship I was on did. I suppose that is due to the fact that it is not as big. I don’t mind, in fact it will probably help me sleep. Though after a day like today I can’t imagine that I will find it hard to sleep. This is of course besides the fact that I will probably never leave the theatre tomorrow due to the shear number of events that are there. I have to be in by 0900 hrs and we have events all day with short breaks for meals. I am going to try to use mealtime to meet other crewmembers and passengers on the ship. We do eat with them, so it seems like the things to do.
I need to remember to bring my water bottle up to breakfast and fill it. I need to remember to drink a lot and not get dehydrated. I also need to remember to go back to the infirmary on Saturday and show them my forearm for the test that they did today. I also got a flu shot today. I have never had one before, it is just a precaution I guess. I need to get myself an internet card. From what it sounds I can use either the staff computers or find wireless hotspots on the ship and the card will let me get online. I am not sure how much time you get on a card, I will find out tomorrow. I also need to find out about laundry. Trix seems to know most of the secrets, and the general atmosphere is pretty laid back. This job is certainly going to be stressful at times, but it seems like it will be fun. I just need to fall into the routine.