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Cruise ship auditions how do they work?


Tulip
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My daughter has had the opportunity via the school to audition for Jean Ann Ryan cruise ships yesterday. She decided to go for audition experience as her ambition is for a ballet company. She said that the queues for the audition were very very long, definately an experience. She was called back after her dance audition and then asked if she sang solo or ensemble, she sang solo. At the end her photo was taken the end.

My question is how do you know if they want you? Someone said that if your photo is taken then you are on their books, but you have to be 21 for Jean Anne Ryan? If she is on their books is she a dancer or a singer?

Oh well first audition experience done and I suppose she will find out by e mail, but I'm not sure of that either?

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My knowledge is not a lot greater than yours and I am sure someone will be along who can give you a better answer.  Jean Ann Ryan is a production company based in Florida that recruits for cruise ships.  I thought you heard on the day if you were successful at audition - or at the least very quickly afterwards.  As you say, normally if successful at audition you go 'on their books' - in reality this means you could be contacted again with an offer fairly promptly or months down the line.  DD has known people go off to Florida within a couple of months of auditioning and others who have waited 6 months for the definite job offer to come through.  I stress that this is not personal experience as my DD is at the same stage as yours.  You do not have to be 21 for Jean Anne Ryan.

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When my son auditioned he did three days as they cut down from hundreds to principals. They told him he would hear in a month or so. I took it that meant a no as I was sure they would say on the day.... But just before a month way up he got an email to say he had been successful. Contract followed afterwards. Hope this helps

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I know the four students from Central put on their application forms not available until after August due to their degree. Good audition experience though and an eye opener by the sound of things.

Sounds to me that she did very well !!

Do they have singing lessons at Central ?

I know 2 girls who have worked on cruise ships and competition is very fierce - they have had a wonderful time travelling the world and being paid  :)

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Cruise ship auditions are fun as they cover a wide range of techniques as you have to be able to do most of them to be part of the shows on board.  Generally a ship has at least one Male and Female featured vocalist, then a few male and female singer/dancers and then dancers, some of which may be a part of an adage team.  Jean Ann has been going for years and, as you say, has an agency who provides for quite a few ships.  When I auditioned for ships many moons ago, I was told on the day that I had been chosen but then did have to wait for a contract to come up.  Contracts can be anything from a few months to a year depending on the company, usually spending a month or two somewhere beforehand to learn the shows.  What I can say was that I had the most amazing time of my life on ships and went to places I never imagined without racking up debt!!  These days there are also excellent choreographers doing the shows and you can find, as a dancer, that you work harder in the shows on ships than you do in the West end, controversial I know but at the end of the day there is only a finite number of you on there to entertain a lot of people.  Good luck to everyone embarking on auditions, it's a nervous but exciting time.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the research I've done pay on cruise ships is a bit of a minefield as it depends on what cruise line it is - for tax and NI purposes, if paid in dollars, pounds or euros and if the dancer only dances or if they sing in group numbers, if they are dance captains, managers or are expected to do other duties like zumba classes for example. It means there are huge ranges in pay.

 

Edited to add - DD not yet at this stage - just researching her options for post graduation

Edited by 2dancersmum
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We went on a cruise & asked (while carefully questioning which schools they studied at)

 

They said 10yrs + ago you could earn enough in 5 yrs to buy a house; now you can earn your deposit in 5yrs

 

Whethr that is about thier wages or house prices I'm not sure ;)

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My daughter has had the opportunity via the school to audition for Jean Ann Ryan cruise ships yesterday. She decided to go for audition experience as her ambition is for a ballet company. She said that the queues for the audition were very very long, definately an experience. She was called back after her dance audition and then asked if she sang solo or ensemble, she sang solo. At the end her photo was taken the end.

My question is how do you know if they want you? Someone said that if your photo is taken then you are on their books, but you have to be 21 for Jean Anne Ryan? If she is on their books is she a dancer or a singer?

Oh well first audition experience done and I suppose she will find out by e mail, but I'm not sure of that either?

Hi Tulip, when my daughter auditioned for JAR back in 2009, she knew on the day that she'd been successful and was then told they would be in contact when a contract became available. A week after the audition they phoned and 3 days later she was heading to Fort Lauderdale for rehearsals! It was a very hectic time. My daughter did 3 contracts with JAR but on different ships to those currently contracted to them. Daughter was under 21 at the time as the minimum age was 18 however this can change depending on the cruise line they are auditioning for. I think for Crystal you have to be 21. As there was no time to sort out medicals (JAR required quite an intensive one) and a visa, this was arranged by JAR in the USA. My daughter had to go to the US embassy in the Bahamas for her visa along with another dancer who'd been hired at short notice. Generally if a photo is taken, then you are on the books but it's not always the case that you get a contract. Sometimes you are offered one straight away and then other times it can take several months up to a year. Occasionally you never get an offer. A friend of my daughter waited a year before an offer came through. It is worth keeping in regular contact if you are successful and available for a contract though.  JAR tend to work with high end cruise lines and socialising with guests was a requirement although this may not still be the case as my daughter's last contract with them was back in 2011. I would suggest your daughter has some formal wear and cocktail dresses just in case she is offered and accepts a contract at short notice. Whenever in public areas around the ship, the entertainers have to abide by the dress code. Jean Ann also holds a party for each cast at her condo at the end of rehearsals and everyone dresses up. As with regards to pay, there is no definitive answer unfortunately. Often you don't find out the salary until a contract comes through. If you are working on a ship registered in the US, there are no deductions. If working on one registered in the UK (or UK overseas territory) then you pay NI but need to request a NT tax code from the time you join the ship, which means you pay no tax at source but have to complete a tax return each year. For UK ships, if you are away from British waters for more than 6 months at a time (this is a rolling period and not linked to the tax year) you qualify for a seafairers deductible which means you aren't liable for any tax. For rehearsals in the UK, you pay normal deductions but are likely to be refunded any tax paid during this time. Generally speaking, the ships my daughter has worked on, (she's currently half way through her 6th contract) pay has been good. You are paid more for being dance captain and or company manager. Sometimes on a small ship these roles are combined. However you have to factor in the cost of currency conversions. At the moment the dollar is good for tourists but not so good if you're being paid in it and have to convert to sterling or Euros. It's ok when you are on the ship as the currency is usually dollars for onboard spending and the drinks in the crew bars are VERY cheap. Hope this helps, but please feel free to ask me any other questions and I'll do my best to answer.

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When I worked on ships, many moons ago, I started just as a dancer and was paid $1600 a month.  I used to send $800 of this home and still had plenty of money to enjoy the ports I was visiting, do some excursions and buy far too much rubbish to fit in my suitcase at the end of a 6 month contract :P  This pay did increase when I moved up to being dance captain, I also changed company and ended up being line captain and deputy cruise director so my pay was again more.  The pay was tax free, but you do have to pay national insurance.  When you are on ships your food and accomodation is obviously provided (although sometimes the food in the mess could be less than desirable) but you have to pay for your drinks and we also used to tip the stewards who used to clean our room (everybody has one).  We had a crew bar that sold heavily subsidised drinks and also a shop where again everything was heavily subsidised so you can find that your money goes a long way.  Again, this was a long time ago now (I was on ships from 1994 - 2001), so this may have changed but it can hopefully give you an idea. 

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