As a musician, there are tons of different paths you can take, places you can perform, and ways you can do what you love. Here, Las Vegas and online teacher Nick B. shares his story of his experience auditioning to be a cruise ship musician…
Everyone wants to tour the world, play their guitar, and just rock out in front of a fun-loving crowd, especially if they’re getting paid to do it! A few months ago, I found an ad which offered just that! It basically read, “We’ll fly you to Europe for free, and put you on a cruise ship in the tropics for six months to a year, where you’ll do nothing but play your guitar all day, eat, and drink for free, and have no bills.” I was sold!
I knew there had to be a catch. Certainly just my resume wouldn’t be enough. And it wasn’t. I had to perform an audition via Skype within 24 hours of receiving the audition material. Feeling confident, I had them send over the material and set up an audition time for early the next afternoon. That’s fine. I was determined.
They sent over a few MP3s of popular rock and jazz tunes, and their charts. I got to work. I knew that if I wanted to get this gig I had to absolutely nail the audition; they are looking for the best players they can find across the whole planet, and I only got one shot. I listened closely to the songs, reading along with the charts, and after I felt confident in what was expected to be recreated from the chart, I began to play along, making notes on charts as I went. I practiced until I was blue in the face, took a break, grabbed some food, and got ready for my Skype call.
The call started with friendly introductions, a short interview, and a brief description of what we would actually do during the “audition” part of the call. He said, “Go ahead,” and I was off and running. I played through all the tunes and felt good about them, because of the way I prepared myself. After a short pause, he told me that they could offer me the job right then, on the spot. This got me on their roster. They didn’t have a contract for me right away, but they assured me that they would be calling soon with an offer. And that they did. Within a week I had been offered three different contracts! There was a lot to consider and a lot of information to take in! I told them that I needed to talk the details over with my wife, and they understood and gave me a day to get back to them. After weighing all my options, I decided to decline their generous offers. It turned out to just not be the right fit for my life at that time. However, the experience of the audition was a lot of fun and learning about cruise ship musician jobs was very interesting!
Although I put in a lot of work and even landed the gig, I had to think long and hard about what I actually wanted for myself. It turns out that what I really want is to be here in Las Vegas to rock out with my band! And, I want to be here to teach you how to play guitar and bass! You know what you want, now go for it!
Nick B. teaches music theory, songwriting and guitar lessons in Las Vegas, NV, as well as online. He has transcribed over 12 books for Hal Leonard Publishing. His specialties include rock, pop, blues, technique, music theory, and ear training. Nick joined the TakeLessons team in April 2014. Learn more about Nick here!
Photo by Jeff Dunn