Sunday, February 28, 2016

Alice in Shipland: One Week Down

Some things that have happened so far:

-In the middle of the week the producer took the cast out to a fancy French Bistro on board with SC footing the bill. I ordered four desserts.
-We have to wear Britney mics for our shows.
-I made friends with a guy from Albania during lifeboat drill.
-I accidentally fell asleep in a deck chair for twenty minutes on the first day at sea, and my right leg only got sunburned.
-In Mexico my roommate and I went to Cozumel Kmart for “essentials.” I bought a Hello Kitty pillow for my bed.
-I sleep on the top bunk, which is like a soft coffin. The ceiling is right in my face, but the room is pitch black at night, and the boat rocks me to sleep. Pictures of my friends surround me. And now I cuddle Hello Kitty’s fat face.
-The social dynamic within the cast is so specific to this experience. I don’t know some basic facts about most of my crew, but if something personal sprouts in the conversation everyone pretty much goes there because, well, we’re going to be together on this floating rock, so there’s no use hiding.
-Anxieties I haven’t felt since high school have reared their heads. I worry no one likes me.  Or I like everyone too much. In the wide world, none of that matters, but in ship world where there are SIX OF US, it can be scary. I have more empathy for people from small towns and the emotional turmoil that must entail.
-Crew bar is very cheap and very friendly. Everyone goes and hangs out there late into the night. One night the bar was moved from under the ship to above the pool deck. The wind was whipping so hard my hair grew a dreadlock, but I was outside in February, in shorts, laughing with new people, zooming over the ocean at 1 AM. Not too bad.
-Things felt a little weird until our first show. I don’t do well sitting in situations where my purpose has not been revealed yet. The sketch show—while a typical canon of safe and family friendly jokey joke scenes—felt huge. Hundreds of people were hooting at us. Surreal.
-I am nobody until show night, and then I am a mini-celebrity. Especially if a couple or more of us are walking through the pool deck, passengers smile and wave.
-In real life I listen to Spotify for all my music needs, which means I’m usually pumping whatever tunes have recently caught my ear. Now I am alone with my iPod that hasn’t been updated since college. I run the track above the food court and remember all of the albums that meant so much to me at a very different time.
-I love my roommate MB. I missed female sounding boards when I left Arizona, and I feel like the world plopped this queer tiny room with two people situation into my lap as a response. We slap on pjs and girl talk into the dark tiled void.
-I like the rest of the cast too--including the producer and director who were on board for the first week. Some highlights include doing magic tricks and playing late night celebrity in a conference room, sitting in the swanky Star Bar after our first show, rehearsing a murder mystery in a restaurant alcove.
-Once a week I visit port in New Orleans, which is where I write this now. I have felt fidgety a few times, maybe fussy, but back on land perspective flows easily, and I am so looking forward to the rest of this adventure.

1 comment:

Liz McLane said...

Okay, I'm caught up on this Ship part of the blog. You can expect comments from me from now on. Whether I have anything worthwhile to say or not.

Also, thinking about the buffets you have access to is making me hungry.