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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Tricky business » » Help! Need advice urgently re cruise! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Kool Kat
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New user
New Zealand
25 Posts

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Guys (and gals) - I really need your advice urgently on this. We've been approached with someone interested in booking us on a cruise ship for a month, to do a 30 minute kids show - stage show - per day.

Food and lodging are provided.

Well - that's 15 hours worth of material - we ain't got that much! What do you guys do in this case? (Anyone who has done cruises, I mean.) I mean, it's the same kids every day, right? I don't think their memories are gonna be that short that you could repeat material. Do you cruise performers just have a huge repertoire, or what?

Also, how do you get free time away from the kids when you're not performing? I'm assuming they'd all be hanging around wanting to know how you did this trick and that trick, wanting me to get my vent dummy out, etc.

Now, how on earth do you work out how much to charge for this type of gig? You're away from home a whole month, and it's a corporate client. We've never even gone looking for this type of work - this came from someone seeing our website!

Gulp - Help!

Cheers,
Kath Worsfold Smile
************************
Bill & Kath Worsfold
Kiwi Entertainers
http://www.billkath.co.nz
************************
Kool Kat
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New user
New Zealand
25 Posts

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Well, since my last post I have been doing some research on this forum, as well as other places such as "Entweb", and articles on the net about cruise ships.

It seems you may only need 60 - 90 minutes of material - whew!

However, some info I saw regarding fees was quite alarming - here's one quote from Entweb:

"Childrens Entertainer with Magic skills able to act as Ents Manager also. Wages £285.00 Gross. Food and accomodation included."

They must be joking - who would work for that? Away from home - having to be "on" all the time? I think that's poor pay. Also, apparently you have to tip several people (stewards, etc.) big-time every day (we don't even have tipping in NZ - it's a big shock to the system!)

When we tour here in NZ, we make between NZ$3000 to NZ$4500 per week - mind you, that's gross, before expenses. And we're working hard during that time, with several shows per day, plus travelling in between.

So how much would be fair to expect on a cruise ship (probably have to pay the agent who has approached us out of our fee, too)?

Cheers,
Kath Worsfold Smile
************************
Bill & Kath Worsfold
Kiwi Entertainers
http://www.billkath.co.nz
************************
Thoughtreader
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Inner circle
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
1565 Posts

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Cruise Ships are NOT for everyone. While the pay is usually pretty good (not great but good) and range anywhere from between $1000 - $5000 USD, and when you consider that all your food and lodging is included and you only pay for your misc. needs and alcohol, it is pretty good. However, you are also isolated from the real world for a month to three months at a time. You get the run of the ship, can work out in the gym, particiapte in ships activities, go on the tours BUT you represent the ship when you are working on the ship. You MUST always dress nicely and neatly. When asked questions by the passengers, you must answer them and be helpful. In fact it is expected that you be seen on and around with the passengers most of the time. The only refuge you have is in your tiny little cabin and then again you are required to spend more time out than in there.

You only need about 90 minutes of material because there is a cahnge of passengers between 4 - 7 days BUT while that may be the case, you get a lot of different faces but the same people time in and time out. That means that by the time you get asked the same dumb ass question for the umpteenth million time, and you just want to knaw your teeth, you must answer it nicely, warmly and openly regardless. Remember, you are being "marked" for your performance both on stage and off. Ships passengers are asked to comment on performers and ships personalities and if you are not up to snuff, they will dismiss you and you will never work in the industry again. (It's a small network and they all talk between themselves).

Having said all that, there are many that love being at sea and have worked successfully for many years. In fact, two of the most favorite ship performers (as far as magic goes) is Fred and Kellie Becker who have written the definitive guide about Crusie Ships. Fred is a very giving, and generous person who even provides contact information (who and where to send info), and everything you need to know about working on cruise ships, and I do mean everything. He even gives you a list of what questions you need to ask before you book with them, travel tips, etc., I highly suggest that if you want to work Cruises or have considered it, to get this book and study it.

PSIncerely Yours,
Paul Alberstat
http://www.stores.ebay.ca/abstagecraft
Canada's Leading Mentalist
http://www.mindguy.com
AB StageCraft
http://www.mindguy.com/store
taoist
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331 Posts

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I did a magic Café search for a cruise ship guide and the only info that I found was the Beckers'.
This thread is old so I'm wondering if there is a more recent "bible" for cruise ship performers-- the ins and outs of the business.
Jerskin
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Inner circle
2495 Posts

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Paul Romhany's book.
GrEg oTtO

MUNDUS VULT DECIPI
bobn3
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Special user
Wichita, KS
718 Posts

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Fred and Kelly Becker's book is great. I have this and it came with a DVD and CDs, plus a book on making a demo video. It has been out of print for a while, but is still just as relevant now.

Bob Phillips
misterillusion
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Roseville, California
720 Posts

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My wife and I have been on three cruises and we are thinking about doing another in the near future. We have been on a Hawaii cruise, and Alaska Cruise, and a Mediterranean Cruise. On the Alaska Cruise I remembered that on the Hawaii cruise they had a "Talent Show" made up of passenger volunteers. So, on the Alaska cruise I signed up for the Talent Show as a magician. There were six performers signed up. The others were singers or stand-up comedians. I was the finale of the performance. I did B'Wave with giant cards and levitated a $100 bill using an ITR. When I ask for a $100 bill, regardless of the demographic of the audience, I usually get the comment: "you got the wrong crowd here buddy." I got that same reply today when I performed for a Rotary luncheon here in town. Well, on the cruise, TWO people came up to the stage and each handed me a $100 bill. I put both bills in my pocket and said that was the conclusion of my performance. That got a laugh. Well, I returned one bill and proceeded to do my levitation. The sound man was great. He provided me with a head-set and played mysterious music while I did my levitation. I received decent applause, but I did not win the contest. One of the stand-up comedians won who had a very "filthy" (in my opinion) playlist of jokes. The judges were representatives from the cruise director's office.

The reason I am telling you this is that, after that evening, many fellow passengers came up to me and commented on my performance. Keep in mind that there were about 3000 passengers on this ship. Several who came up to me said that they thought I should have won the contest instead of the comedian. Prior to my short 6 minute spot, I was a "no-body" as far as other passengers were concerned. After my "show" I was a literal celebrity. I am telling you this so that you will know that you will always be "on" when you are a magician on a cruise ship. Some may like that idea and some not. I personally had no problem with it at all.

By the way, Michael Rappa published a book on cruise show business some time ago. I am not sure if it is still in print.

Charlie Fass
May every day be magic!

http://www.misterillusion.com
inhumaninferno
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Elite user
452 Posts

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Paul Romhany has the most recent, that I know of, cruise ship "tell all" book. He certainly has the experience to share.
taoist
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Veteran user
331 Posts

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Thanks for replies.
I thought there might be contact info included which is why I thought most current is best.
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