Thursday, 29 October 2009

Did You Know?

As I’ve said before, I’m a wardrobe supervisor on a cruise ship. Now, both of these things individually are fairly unique and people generally don’t know much about them. So imagine them both mashed together. I thought I’d take the time to explain a little about the two things that I love most about my job…

1. Working on a Cruise Ship

First of all, this sounds very glamorous. In a way, I guess it is. I get to live in the middle of the ocean, travelling around while doing my job and seeing places which I would never have thought to go. In almost three years of being on a cruise ship I have been to Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Canada, Europe, through the Panama Canal three times, Central America and the Caribbean. I’ve drunk coffee in Columbia, sat in the rainforest in Costa Rica, snorkelled in Bermuda and Aruba and seen the snow on the Canadian border. I had an hour in Barcelona so ran up Las Ramblas and back. All very exciting, no? Then we get to the everyday stuff…

You know how much money you spend on a 7 day vacation? I spend that every week. Sure, working on a cruise ship means you can save money as you live on the ship rent free and they provide meals. However, imagine living in a little metal box for at least 6 months with no window to the outside world… sometimes with at least one other person…. Yeah, you’d want to go outside a lot too! And then you spend money! On my current contract I have my own room (yay!) but it’s tiny. It is a wide as a single bed at it’s widest point, now fill the rest of the room with a shower unit, toilet and sink in one corner and a desk in the other – welcome to my coffin! Don’t get me wrong, I love my room, because it’s MY coffin, but still! Usually I share a room with one other person. That person could be a dancer, a youth councillor who looks after the kids, a member of the cruise staff who entertain the passengers and ply bingo, or a broadcast technician who sorts out the movies you can watch. Sometimes you get good roommates… and sometimes not! And usually there is nothing you can do about it! Last contract I had 6 different room mates in three months, just because that’s how quickly they came and went! But despite all this I LOVE working on cruise ships! You meet so many people from around the world. I can go anywhere and have a sofa to sleep on now!!

2. Working in Wardrobe

This needs less explaining. I work in theatre. On the ship I work with the resident production company cast and usually do three different shows a cruise, performed twice each. I launder the costumes, mend them, rebuild them when necessary, I dress the performers during shows and generally look after them. All on my own. I am a one woman show all to myself! I am my own boss and work my own hours – I just have to be at rehearsals and shows. The rest is up to me. This makes me very organised and motivated. If I wasn’t I wouldn’t be good at my job, and I wouldn’t have been doing it for three years with the same company! And I love it! The best thing about it? The challenge! You cannot go out and buy a new costume if it breaks. If you don’t have the right zip, you need to find a solution because there ain’t no haberdashery shop in the middle of the ocean! I also get to work on lots of different shows so my skill set grows every contract. So far I’ve done musicals, latin, dance, cirque-style, Indian, showgirl, Asian, and Country to name a few!

In short I LOVE LOVE LOVE my job. Working on ships is an acquired taste - you either love it or hate it, but I heart it!

So I’m going to share it here with you!!

Feel free to ask me any questions! But most of all enjoy!


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