My dear Adventure Cast 2016/2017,
The time is here. After almost 10 months together, we are going our separate ways. Different flights, different countries, new chapters in our lives. I want to take a minute to thank all of you for the most sitcom contract I have experienced. We were faced with moments of incredible adversity, but also moments of sheer joy.
If we were the cast of “Friends”, I think our contract would have had some episodes like this:
The One With the Fire Alarm
Nothing like being placed on a late rehearsal schedule only to be woken up by an unforeseen fire alarm. In true Anna fashion, I jumped out of bed, put on a shirt, and grabbed my key…nothing else. No bra, no shoes, retainers still in, and a deer in the headlights expression. It was hilarious meeting up with the rest of the cast outside as we attempted to figure out what in tarnation was going on!
2 hours and a vanilla latte later (thanks Julie for getting that for me. “No shoes, no shirt, no service” policy in Starbucks, by the way), the alarm testing finally stopped. Truly one for the books.
“I thought I was gonna die!”
The One With Install
Install is the rehearsal process when the production cast first arrives onboard. Costume fittings, technical runs, and blocking all occur during this time. What made our install interesting is we were also mid-dry dock, where the ship undergoes improvements. With the entire ship covered in plastic wrap and the constant sound of welding, learning how to get around the ship proved to be an obstacle course.
The One With the Holidays
Being away from home is never easy, but around the holidays homesickness can reach an all time high. As this was my second time away from home, I had a better grip on how I was going to combat any feelings of sadness. Cue the Christmas tree, lights, and all the movies you could think of! Celebrating the holidays turned out to be a wonderfully bright time. From Secret Santa to singing for the Adventure of the Seas New Year’s Eve Party, I felt the holiday spirit within me that whole month of December.
The One With Julie’s Illness
One of our dancers, Julie, had to go home due to some unforeseen medical issues. What we thought was just anemia and a need for some blood turned into something much more than that. Julie is currently battling leukemia, and it was quite possibly the hardest hit we took as a cast. Rushed off the ship in a matter of about 30 minutes, I didn’t even get a chance to say goodbye or “see you soon”, since I thought she was definitely going to be back on the ship. Having to see Julie go put a lot into perspective; we need to make the most of RIGHT NOW because we don’t know what may happen next.
If you would like to support her in her fight, here is her gofundme page: https://www.gofundme.com/help-julie-leblanc-fight
We love you, Julie!
The One With The Extension
Our original contract was due to end on the 3rd of June. A few months ago, we found out that would not be the case; we were going to extended for 3 weeks. Knowing we were extended filled the room with mixed feelings. It was a great opportunity to make more money, but a couple of us had weddings we realized we would have to miss, and others were simply itching to get home. But these three weeks have been great. We had a few more chances to perform onstage together, and surprisingly, find out more about each other. It is amazing what you don’t know about someone even after so much time together.
The One With All the Goodbyes
I am now sitting at home in Michigan trying to wrap my head around the fact that I didn't have to wake up this morning to head to notes and a tech run in the theater. I don’t have to walk the entirety of the ship and up 5 flights of stairs to eat all my meals. I don’t have the ability to just call someone and ask them if they want to watch a TV show with me. That’s all done. Woof.
Cue the tears.
I am not just saying goodbye to a large group of friends, but family. You have challenged me and bettered me in so many ways, and I do not have enough words to express how grateful I am for all of you. Thank you. Thank you for the laughter and the tears, the hugs and infinite love I have felt the entirety of this contract.
Keep in touch, live your best life. Safe travels everyone.
All my love,