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  • Aboard the world's largest cruise ship,

  • 6,600 passengers pay a premium

  • to be entertained every single day.

  • That's why Royal Caribbean hires serious athletes

  • to do eight shows a week.

  • They get paid to perform in productions

  • around the world

  • in front of millions of cruise-goers.

  • But the job isn't always easy.

  • Performers work 11 months straight

  • without a single vacation day,

  • and they do it all on a moving stage

  • in the middle of the ocean.

  • Ariana Mazzagatti: That is

  • the biggest thing to get used to,

  • is the rock of the ship.

  • When you're going to do a jump

  • and you expect the floor to be here,

  • but the floor is here or the floor is here.

  • Narrator: We went behind the scenes

  • with the principal character of the aqua show

  • to see what it's really like to be a performer

  • on a cruise ship.

  • Aboard Royal Caribbean's Symphony of the Seas,

  • there are ice shows, Broadway-style plays,

  • and an aqua performance.

  • Mazzagatti: Hi, I'm Ariana Mazzagatti.

  • I go by Mazz here in the Royal Caribbean world.

  • I am the aerialist for the show "HiRO"

  • on the Symphony of the Seas,

  • and I am also the aqua captain.

  • Narrator: Mazz is in charge of 20 other performers

  • in the cruise line's original show "HiRO."

  • It tells the story of three warring clans,

  • and Mazz's character

  • brings peace between them.

  • To bring her powerful character to life,

  • Mazz is strapped into a 3D flying apparatus

  • that allows her to flip and "run" above the crowd

  • with only wires holding her up.

  • Mazz is American

  • in a cast of performers from all over the world.

  • And they're all accomplished athletes:

  • professional slackliners, Olympic-level divers,

  • and world-renowned martial artists.

  • Like many of her fellow castmates,

  • Mazz never planned on being

  • a cruise-ship performer.

  • On a whim, she tried out

  • for Royal Caribbean her junior year of college

  • and beat out thousands of others for a spot.

  • Mazzagatti: It's as difficult to get into a ship show

  • as it is to get into a Broadway or a West End

  • or a Cirque du Soleil show.

  • Narrator: And in 2015,

  • Mazz got the call from Royal Caribbean.

  • She dropped out of college and has been performing

  • on cruise ships ever since.

  • After getting a role in "HiRO,"

  • the show's performers head

  • to Royal Caribbean's training facility in Florida.

  • This is where they spend two months learning

  • and perfecting the routine.

  • Then they're off to sea.

  • Their stage?

  • The tricked-out AquaTheater

  • aboard the world's largest cruise ship.

  • It's made up of the deepest pool at sea,

  • with a transforming bottom, 30-foot diving towers,

  • a trampoline, and tightropes suspended above the crowd.

  • The new digs take some getting used to.

  • Mazzagatti: You're brought from those plain,

  • gray studios with mirrors into this,

  • and you're relearning everything,

  • because it all changes.

  • The water, the weight of the costumes,

  • the quick changes backstage,

  • the makeup changes, the hair changes.

  • It adds so many new elements

  • that you could not even dream of during rehearsals.

  • Narrator: Finally, they're performing live

  • at the 600-person theater.

  • Mazzagatti: It takes about maybe two or three weeks

  • to get into the zone and to feel 1,000%,

  • you're not so stressed anymore.

  • Narrator: So far, this cast is about a third of the way

  • through its 11-month contract.

  • The performers don't get a single vacation day

  • during their run.

  • Trips home are only allowed in the case of an emergency.

  • They typically perform eight shows a week.

  • Before any performance,

  • Mazz usually hits the gym for about an hour.

  • Then she comes to the theater

  • to run a safety test on the 3D flyer.

  • The flyer is made up of a harness

  • and four sets of wires connected to the ship.

  • The technology is pretty complex

  • and can move her on four axes.

  • But the tech is proprietary to Royal Caribbean,

  • so we couldn't get too close.

  • After Mazz is all set on the wire,

  • she stretches, then heads downstairs

  • to the secret 4.5 deck of the ship

  • to put on her makeup and get into costume.

  • Mazz and her castmates do all their own makeup.

  • Once the show starts,

  • Mazz stays hidden through the opening.

  • Then she quietly climbs on a platform

  • at the back of the audience

  • while a crew member straps her into the harness.

  • Mazzagatti: The harness is very tight

  • so that I do not fall out.

  • So the pain is necessary.

  • I can't necessarily say you get used to it,

  • because every day it might in a different spot,

  • so you're just bruising a new spot.

  • Narrator: The flying mechanism

  • already has her routine programmed into it.

  • So once a crew member hits a button

  • in the production box,

  • she soars above the crowd.

  • While suspended, Mazz uses her body

  • to control her flips and spins.

  • Mazzagatti: If I get too turned to the front

  • or if my arm is out of place or if my chin is forward,

  • it'll send me rocking back and forth like this,

  • and I'll never be able to control it back

  • because it just sends you,

  • and once you get a pull in the wire,

  • it'll just keep going.

  • Narrator: Throughout her contract,

  • Mazz and her castmates

  • will do this same routine 200 times,

  • using the same muscles every day.

  • That's why they're required to keep in shape.

  • But that's not the only challenge.

  • Remember, they're performing at sea.

  • If it's windy, she's blown around.

  • Mazzagatti: If it's rocking,

  • sometimes the wires

  • will pull harder on one side.

  • So I have to work around and be able

  • to preemptively move my body in a way

  • that if I know a rock is coming,

  • I have to put more on one side than the other

  • so that I can even out myself with the rock.

  • Narrator: All these things affect

  • other aqua performers, too.

  • A bob in the ship could affect the balance

  • of a tightrope walker.

  • If it's rocky, where a diver hits the water

  • could be totally different from where they intended to

  • when they left the platform.

  • If conditions are too bad, say, high winds

  • or a rainstorm with lightning,

  • they'll postpone the performance.

  • Mazzagatti: Every day is an absolute adventure.

  • Whether that be a difficult adventure,

  • you're tired. We work a lot.

  • We have safety duties that I don't think

  • a lot of people necessarily even realize.

  • We have so many more duties

  • than just coming out and performing.

  • Narrator: Now, Royal Caribbean wouldn't share

  • how much performers are paid.

  • But the cruise line did say they get health insurance

  • while they're employed on the ship

  • and free housing on board.

  • Performers live in the crew quarters on the lower decks.

  • Mazzagatti: We have roommates,

  • so two live to a cabin.

  • There are a few who have their own cabin.

  • And then, as aqua captain, I get my own cabin.

  • Narrator: We weren't allowed to

  • see the crew quarters,

  • but we were told that they have their own mess hall,

  • grocery store, and even a dance club.

  • Performers can use the passenger gym,

  • eat at the reservation-only restaurants,

  • and swim in the pools,

  • all things no other crew members are allowed to do.

  • Plus, they get to travel.

  • This contract with Symphony of the Seas

  • sails in the Caribbean, docking in St. Martin,

  • Puerto Rico, St. Thomas, and the Bahamas.

  • But Mazz has been to tons of other places

  • on her other five contracts,

  • including Brazil, Asia, and the Mediterranean.

  • Mazzagatti: I will do this until my body

  • physically cannot move.

  • We are paid to dance, or sing, or dive,

  • or ice skate, or synchronized swim,

  • and we are paid to travel at the same time,

  • and that's the best part about it.

Aboard the world's largest cruise ship,

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What It Takes To Be A Cruise Ship Performer

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/01/17
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