I once heard a Stevie Wonder quote that went something like this “The best thing that you can give to any musician is your time.” Now I am sure I paraphrased this horribly but the meaning rings true. Spending your time with a musician, singer, actor, dancer, or any performing artist is the simplest, but most important thing you can give them. On ships this is no different.
One of the best parts of performing on cruise ships, is also one of its biggest challenges – performing for new guests each week. While this is a great opportunity to meet, and entertain new people, it also means starting from scratch at the beginning of each cruise. On land you may be able to build a following of people who enjoy seeing you play, and can easily see you at a local bar or venue. On ships however, it isn’t just the local bar down the street that people are able to drive to the next week.
Though it is few and far between, and much harder to coordinate, we do have some repeat guests come back to hear us time and time again. Whether it be Theo, and his alias crew, Elizabeth and Charlie, a lovely couple who spent two cruises in a row with us, and then later booked a cruise on our next ship. Even a group of ten or so from New York, too many to list names, but you know who you are. This kind of following is humbling, and nothing short of amazing to witness.
On board some of the people that become your closest friends are the other musician, singers, and performers, and are oftentimes spending their free time, supporting the other acts on board during their sets. This support, and the support from other crew members alike, who choose to spend their nonworking hours listening to your act is truly an honor.
Whether on ships or land, watching a band or a play, you’re time commitment to these performers is the best thing you can give.