Afterglow: Day 6

KillerHeelsWell, today was just wonderful!  I’m in full-on afterglow, the performer’s high.  “I’m in love, I’m in love, and I don’t care who knows it!” I want to shout!  (Thank you, Will Farrell.)  Except that I’m in love with my job.

I suppose I should have known it would be a good day, because I got to start it off with ZUMBA!!!  I am a passionate fan of Zumba, even though I’ve only taken a handful of classes in my life.  But it is my absolute FAVORITE way to work out.  Work up a major sweat, burn a ton of calories, learn fun new dance moves, and oh by the way, listen to awesome Latin music??  Yes, please.

I was a little disappointed to learn that the Zumba instructor will actually be moving to the Dawn Princess on Sunday and that we will be Zumba-less for a month, but rest assured that come next month, I will never miss a Zumba class if I can help it!  Zumba + yoga is seriously my dream exercise regimen.

After a quick bite of breakfast, I headed to rehearsal.  We got notes from yesterday’s run of “Once Upon a Dream” (in which I would have called my performance a hot mess, hehe – so many new elements that I went blank more than once), then prepared for our first and last dress rehearsal before tonight’s show.

What a difference wigs and costumes make!  Both good and bad – while it really immersed me in the world we created (and in my favorite character), it also meant there were still more new components, like feathered headwear that could fall off at any given moment, an incredibly fast quick change that requires FOUR dressers, and an onstage costume change we’d only ever mimed. Happily, however, there were no major problems, and I left rehearsal feeling much calmer about that night’s performances than a couple days ago.

In fact, I was so calm that I took a nap.  I don’t know what it is with me and naps this week, but I have to confess I kind of like it.  I never took naps in New York.  The last time I took occasional naps was in college.  Come to think of it, this lifestyle reminds me quite a bit of college – the dormroom-style cabin, the long-distance relationship with my husband, the lack of cell phone reception (they didn’t get cell service until right before I graduated), and all the performing.  The only thing missing is a teacher requiring essays…but then, I suppose blogging is just a casual essay.  Ironic how the part I most hated is the part I’m now doing voluntarily.

After I woke back up, I got ready for dinner, only to be reminded that it was formal night, meaning one had to be in formal wear to walk through/dine in any of the passenger areas.  Well, I not only didn’t have the inclination to get all dressed up for a quick bite to eat, I didn’t have the time!  So I hopped over to one of the crew mess halls instead.  And there, I discovered what may be my best friend.

You see, one of the perks of this contract is that I’m allowed to dine in any of the passenger dining rooms.  The only problem is that Princess serves really amazing food.  Like the creamiest cheesecake you’ll ever eat, or a delectable Thai green curry sauce over fresh halibut, or fresh apricot Danishes and flaky croissant donuts and fluffy beignets….  You see where I’m going with this.  I am absolutely terrified that, Zumba notwithstanding, I am going to burst out of my costumes in a few weeks.

Enter crew food!  It’s good, but it’s much more utilitarian.  Think pot roast, two kinds of rice, and a salad bar.  I have no problem eating healthily in there, ’cause I’m not drooling over everything in sight!  And I can keep an easy distance from the dessert line.  So I may have to start rotating in a few nights in crew mess, just to keep the calorie count reasonable each week.

Afterwards, fortified with a somewhat cleaner dinner in my tummy, I headed over to the theatre for our two-show night of “Once Upon a Dream.”  And quite simply, I had a blast.  No major mishaps other than a projector malfunction that paused the beginning of the second show, lots of wonderful moments onstage with my awesome cast, and two really enthusiastic and appreciative audiences.

I tell you, having an audience that responds to what you’re doing makes it so worthwhile.  You can feel that connection, and it’s like this rebound effect of energy between the two sides of the curtain.  Next time you’re attending a show, remember that you’re as much a part of the night’s performance as the actors/singers/dancers onstage!  Allow yourself to feel anything and everything that comes to you.  Both you and the performers will appreciate it.

After putting my costumes away, I headed back to my room to put on my formalwear to grab some dessert with some of the cast members.  (Guess I didn’t learn my calorie lesson just yet!)  To our surprise, though, the Piazza was filled with people, all jamming to this fantastic R&B band called “Passion” that was playing everything from Guns’n’Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine” to Rihanna’s “Don’t Stop the Music.”  Apparently there was a big balloon drop celebration going on, and we just happened to show up in the middle of it.

Well, I could not help myself.  Inspired by two great shows and a morning of Zumba moves, I broke down and busted moves all over that dance floor, my killer heels notwithstanding.  (The backs are covered with crystals and spikes and look like a Bond-movie style weapon – hence the “killer” designation.  Plus they also murder my feet after a while.  What we do for cute shoes….)  I think I finally have some respectable dance moves!  It only took me a couple decades.  After I started to cool down (de agony of de feet!), I was asked by some passengers if they could take their picture with me!  It’s always fun to connect with audience members who enjoyed the show.

So there you have it.  Our second production show is up and running, and our first cruise is nearly over.  Now we start rehearsing the last big production show and a whole bunch of little mini shows.  Of course, this third production show has plenty of big technical elements (like pyrotechnics!!!), so we’ve got our work cut out for us.  But I think we’re into the home stretch of Handover now.

Bring it on.

Though I am an employee of Princess Cruises, all opinions are mine only and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.

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