Kent's Blog

Apr 01, 2018 – Day Two

Started the day with a phone call from my band leader. My roommate and I had 30 minutes to report for our rescheduled receipt of our ID’s/keys/banking card. We made it. Sadly, an ID photo was involved.

Much napping for me today along with Internet calling. My good friend showed me that Whatsapp is working just fine from his call. I had used Facebook Messenger for other calls, but Whatsapp is better in quality and security.

Rehearsal at 4pm was for a four-man vocal group from London. Electing to nap rather than to warm up, I walked into a piano and synth setup, cold (strings were needed). Came alive quickly. As anticipated, most of the nine charts were Broadway or jazz standards – these included Beyond the Sea, All I Ask Of You, Mambo Italiano, Sway, Bring Him Home, The Lady Is a Tramp, an Adele song, and Don’t Let the Sun Go Down On Me. What I didn’t anticipate was that the charts were piano-heavy and sometimes just me as the de facto accompanist.

First show at 8:45pm, first tune, I step on my cord switching instruments and unplug my in-ear monitor. Made it through. Second chart, I don’t see the string patch in time and take most of it from the piano. A few charts later and my solo piano intro, I decide to start with an optional cross-handed melody – I again caught my cord, wriggled free, but my right hand had moved in the process. Ugh. Bitonality from Hell. Quick fix. Overall show grade, I gave myself an 8 – I prevailed. (I always grade my performances, habit.)

I was angry at myself – and a bit embarrassed. Took a few minutes to myself before the 10:30pm show. Decided to take chances and lead with my playing. The result was a very high 9, missing only an emerging melody lick at the coda of the Elton John tune – I’d started to virtually high-five myself without finishing the show. Perhaps understandable, but certainly avoidable. Picked up some band cred after that show. Pleased with that one.

Will be running on short sleep tomorrow following a late laundry night (two empty machines, necessary prior to monthly cabin inspection in two days). New crew members have 9am training. Hoping to then take the smaller ship transport into Nah Trang, Vietnam, until 3pm, returning in time for our 5pm rehearsal with a comedian.

Should be interesting….

8 Comments

  1. Scott Paulson

    Awesome Kent. Very inspiring!!

    Reply
    1. Kent Baker (Post author)

      Thanks, Scott. Trying to keep all of the plates spinning…. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Davene Brown

    Love reading your blogs Kent…what an adventure AND future perks…enjoy!

    Reply
    1. Kent Baker (Post author)

      Thanks, Davene. Except for being away from my wife and kids, it is about a perfect job.

      Reply
  3. Yolanda

    I’m in!

    Reply
    1. Kent Baker (Post author)

      I hope so!

      Reply
  4. Lynne

    Thanks for sharing…you are busy but what a wonderful experience

    Reply
    1. Kent Baker (Post author)

      Thanks, Lynne. It seems surreal. While my daily orchestra rehearsal and self-preparation are both intense and in short bursts, I am enjoying the experience. My reading and practice chops are carrying the day. Looking at the coast of Vietnam today from one of the upper decks during my tour of the ship was, again, surreal (better than the port, so I’m told). I miss Yolanda and the kids. However, should I do a third contract, I would have over six months of service in – they could then stay with me on board for a month. We’ll have a decision to make.

      Reply

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