Some of my favorite memories from Semester at Sea weren’t necessarily the time spent in countries, but rather the fun had aboard ship: Sea Olympics, intramurals, Halloween, Neptune Day…and the talent show. Oh wait, I neglected to tell you that we entered the talent show? But of course we did. The Field and Admin Offices from the Fall 2011 voyage had a particular affinity for being in the spotlight, so we took advantage of having all eyes on the ship on us. Luckily, our work study students were keen on participating, too—safety in numbers, you know, especially when faced with potentially making a fool out of yourself in front of more than 700 people.
Originally, we were going to do the Christmas routine from Mean Girls, but then figured getting candy cane costumes would just be too difficult. I mean, obviously, finding Lady Gaga clothing in the middle of the Pacific was so much easier…heh.
Still—and don’t ask how (though it helped that work study student Mikey actually brought dozens of Beanie Babies on board!)—we managed to come up with some rather creative ensembles, using tulle, aluminum foil, and other odds and ends we borrowed from our shipmates.
And because we didn’t want anyone to know what we were doing ahead of time, we had secret choreography sessions and wouldn’t even give the talent show coordinator our routine number, nor would we practice it at the dress rehearsal. “Discreet” was the key word; we wanted everyone to be wowed (which I’m pretty sure they were).
That’s partially because we had a secret weapon…a rapping MeMaw! Paula’s grandmother joined the ship in Japan all the way from Newport Beach and brought her own Gaga wig and sparkles to contribute to the ensemble. Not only that, but she learned the rap to Poker Face down to the count, which instantly made her the most popular MeMaw on the M/V Explorer.
We started the routine with one lone Gaga, Trina, out on stage, and had the emcee Dave announce the number as “The Trina White Experience.” That was so the audience would feel super awkward and uncomfortable when everyone thought Trina was going to do a dance by herself. Then, one by one, we added more Gagas to the stage.
We got to do the routine a second time, too, at Pride Night a few days later, where they let us be the closing act. And now I can’t hear Poker Face when it randomly plays on my iPod without busting out my best sprinkler while running. That’s the nice thing about memories; they come on when you least expect them.
And because I had the following video footage on hand before SVV ran out of memory card space, here are two of the other talent show routines. A modern dance visual feast from my pals Gina, Adam and Rikki:
(Semester at Sea students are incredibly and unfairly multifaceted. Check out the fantastic video Gina put together from our voyage on dancing around the world.)
And a Bieberiffic lip sync from the hysterical Aria:
Doesn’t this just make you want to join the shipboard community more than ever?