Crew Interview – Talking Ship with Cruise Entertainer, “Edge”
From the Shipmate Archives. Originally published October 8, 2013.
Interview with “Edge” – Comedy Juggler & Physical Comedian
We often receive emails from cruise ship staff letting us know that they use and enjoy the app. Every time this happens, we’re excited to pry into the crew-member-lifestyle and learn more about their fascinating life at sea. In an effort to shed some light on this unknown world, we’ll interview ship staff of varying capacities, from Captain to bartender to cruise director. Today, we’re fortunate enough to have “Edge” – he’s been a professional Comedy Juggler and Comedian for over 15 years with many cruise lines. If you see him while aboard, make sure to give him a hard time!
Ship: Over the years…just about all of them, name a primary cruise line and I’ve been on several of their ships. My show doesn’t fit on the smaller lines or ships (wind star, seven seas, etc) but after 15 years I have spent time with all the big players.
Position: Comedy juggler, physical comedian, guest entertainer, fly-on entertainer, star entertainer, headliner, take your pick. It seems each line has a different title for us.
Career path before becoming an entertainer on the ship: Birthday parties- Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Clown College then Touring unit- Las Vegas- Cruise ships.
Favorite port: That's hard to say. Pick an itinerary, around the world, and I’ll pick a port on it as a favorite among them. I’ve been to just about every port a cruise ship can call on several times over. There are new ones popping up all the time. Asia, Australia even Africa (when its safe) are growing markets. I have not made it there yet, So I guess I’ll say my favorite is one that I’ve yet to explore!
What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen while working out there on the seas?
I emphatically plead the 5th. But I will say, my show is very interactive. I bring from 4-8 guests on stage every performance and they never cease to amaze me with their antics.
Are you treated like a celebrity amongst passengers and the staff? How many times have you been asked for your autograph?
I de-greet the audience after every show so I sign a ton of autographs. And once you perform…”celebrity” may be a strong word, but I don’t pay for many drinks if I choose to go out after a show.
What really goes on in the “crew only” section? Do you guys go nuts when us passengers go to bed?
Crew antics largely depend on what the next day holds for that particular crew member, most of these guys and girls work extremely hard and long hours, hungover is not an option. So if they are looking at a long sea day in the morning they are probably asleep early, BUT if the guests are gone off to a port for the day things are probably a little more lively, And the cruise lines usually do a great job putting activities and parties together for the crew on the appropriate nights.
I have a theory that the entire cruise staff parties with all of the booze that was confiscated from my bags – true or false?
False-ish The cruise lines are selling cruises at all-time low prices. You can go on a 7-day cruise for less than 500 bucks. They depend on the bar revenue to keep these things floating. With that end in mind they can’t have you guys smuggling on your own hooch!! So they try to catch it on the way in and are more than willing to give it back when you're on your way out. BUT if you leave without it…well, all bets are off!
Do you know the captain and does he ever let you drive?
Captains can vary drastically, some are very approachable and friendly, some….not so much. I have absolutely no desire for the immense responsibility of being anywhere near that bridge. I am a clown for crying out loud!!!!
On the last cruise I went on, everyone kept requesting “Come Sail Away” by the Styx – as an entertainer, does this request make you want to choke someone?
I try hard to stem any desire to choke the guests, but I don’t take music requests. I'll ask the DJ and get back to ya.
What is one message you’d like to deliver to all passengers from all cruise staff members?
OK this is a slippery slope, especially considering my name is attached to this thing, so I will not put to fine a point on it. That said; everything you need to know to now about “cruising nice” you learned in 1st grade. Wait your turn, say please, thank you, and excuse me, don’t cut the line, wash your hands, treat people with respect, put clothes on when you are in ANY eating establishment! We are all in this together! I’m not sure how to explain the phenomenon but people get on a cruise and the very values I’m sure they try to instill in their children are left at the gangway. Every week I’m appalled by grown adults behavior, and it usually starts with the sentence “I paid for this SO_____________” fill in the blank. When you buy a cruise here is what you buy people: a clean place to sleep and bathe, food, fuel, and entertainment. You did not buy the right to treat people like crap or make ridiculous demands, Usually in hopes of getting something for nothing, free anything! If you go to a LATE NIGHT RATED R comedy show, sit in the front row, then go directly to guest relations and complain that you were picked on by the dirty comedian. And for that you deserve a free CRUISE! (I’m not making this up) You should be taken directly to the gangway, goodbye. Don’t come back. I could write a book about the insanity of unrealistic guests, week in and week out. Next cruise you take go eavesdrop at the complaint desk, bring a puke bag.