I graduated from college with a degree in Theatre Arts with every intention of becoming a famous actress (I’ll pause briefly here while you roll your eyes or laugh quietly to yourself….). Of course, after graduating, I ran into this teeny, tiny issue of, you guessed it, MONEY! Now, there’s a saying my father really loves that goes: “Beggars can’t be choosers,” but I was so anxious and eager to get out into the world after spending four years preparing for it that, despite my financial shortcomings, I became the choosiest chooser in chooseville!
I refused to move home with parents having enjoyed four years of freedom from scrutiny and control (“hashtag daddyissues“), but I couldn’t even afford the deposit on a place in the city. I settled for an apartment with my sister not far from my Alma Mater. I then refused to take a boring office job or more restaurant work because I wanted to keep my schedule open for audition opportunities. I settled for a sales job at a local hotel (I got to make my own hours and the job gave me lots of opportunities to leave the property on sales calls so I wasn’t stuck at a desk all day). The job was kind of fun and allowed me to trek into the city a few times a week for auditions, but after six months I had only snagged one role (and the drive into the city every day for rehearsals eventually cost me my car). Buying a new car meant getting a second job as a caterer which left zero time for more acting. After a long cold winter working two jobs, I began craving adventure and travel. It was almost all I could think about. Needless to say, when the opportunity to work as an activities leader on cruise ships presented itself, I jumped at the chance!
It wasn’t an easy transition. At first, I was so scared to leave that I kept waiting to accept a contract offer. I waited until the lease was up on my apartment and then I waited until my childhood dog passed away (I knew he was close and didn’t want to be away when he died) and then I waited until my sister left for grad school. I waited and waited until I ran out of excuses. By the time I left for my first ship, seven months had passed since I’d been hired! Despite my apprehensions, though, I finally left for my first 6-month contract and it turned out to be the greatest adventure of my life! Since then, I’ve worked on two more ships and traveled the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and Northern Europe. Now, after three years, I am searching for other means of travel and work, but thanks to cruising I know it is possible to have it all. Plus, thanks to the connections I’ve made through the Cruise Industry, I now have lots of wonderful prospects!
So people used to tell me I was being too picky, trying to pursue work and entertainment and travel all at the same time, but I refused to settle and in the end I was able to find an opportunity that combined all three! It just goes to show that life is full of amazing opportunities, you just have to open your imagination and your heart and be brave enough to go after everything you want! Carpe Diem!