STRENGTH IN LEADERSHIP
While all Regent Seven Seas Cruises® productions are meticulously rehearsed with a professional installation team in Tampa, FL, once each cast is on board, there comes a time for the install team to go home, leaving a few key cast members in positions of responsibility. Aboard Seven Seas Explorer®, three leaders came together and created a stellar group.
Our theatrical entertainers started rehearsals in early June 2021 at the Creative Studios by NCLH in Tampa, FL. Despite pre-employment Zoom meetings, there were still many unknowns.
This specific Explorer team was led by Entertainment Company Manager Chase Brock, an American with degrees in chemistry and Chinese, Vocal Captain Anne Van der Zee, a Dutch Vocalist featured on Holland’s The Voice! and Dance Captain Robert Selvin, an American dancer with ballet training who performed on the Las Vegas strip. Seven Seas Explorer welcomed guests back on board in early October; cruises started well, and guests were delighted by the shows.
Chase Brock with a commanding presence in the Explorer’s hit production “Paradis”.
Not long after the installation of this new theatrical cast, in a series of unforeseen circumstances, the cast found themselves without three key team members. The Wardrobe Supervisor, responsible for maintaining the beautiful costumes, and two dancers disembarked the vessel. The famous phrase “the show must go on” immediately came into play.
“I was a Company Manager on a ship a few years before coming to Regent Seven Seas Cruises” says Chase, “so I knew a little about the challenges of getting replacement cast members.”
Robert Selvin leads the company in “My Revolution”
With this, Chase and his co-leaders became solution-driven rather than waiting on a wardrobe professional and dancers to arrive. Problem-solving became vital for the team, and Regent Seven Seas Cruises’ commitment to excellence couldn’t waver.
First came couture; Chase got the company together and divided up wardrobe duties. None of them have specific wardrobe training, but with the help of the onboard tailor and FaceTime sessions with the wardrobe lead in Tampa, the company was able to keep the shows looking as spectacular as guests know them to be.
Next came the “steps.” Adapting the dances and staging or reblocking, as it’s known in theatrical terms, fell in Robert’s lap. His responsibility was to make sure the audiences would not notice that a dancer was in fact missing. He quickly reblocked every show formation and divided features among the remaining cast members.
“It can be scary to jump into someone else’s spot in the middle of a contract, particularly if it’s a new skill. Still, we worked to tailor the dances to the specific skill set of the remaining cast while maintaining the show’s vision. With permission from Tampa, some of the lighting was re-focused to make the stage look a little more intimate, and with good scheduling, we kept all the shows running.” says Robert.
“Keeping the curtain up is always our goal, and that’s what they did. Great leadership pulled this group together and through,” describes Director, Artistic Theatrical Entertainment Kai Carrier.
“To start, I think we just got a good team,” says Chase. “Nearly every individual here is leadership material, which is very helpful in maintaining morale. Very quickly, people started jumping in to cover for each other. That kind of team attitude goes far and is contagious. You could say we lead by example, being the first to jump in, or we lead with honesty, trying to “keep it real” as much as possible, acknowledging the challenge, that it won’t be easy, and admitting that tasks have to be done. Who knows? Sometimes people just needed their space, and we were collectively able to recognize that.”
Anne Van der Zee, responsible for maintaining the music and vocal integrity within the cast, reflects, “A lesson I’ve learned during this contract is to be open-minded, flexible, and always try to see things from different perspectives. I’m working as part of a team, and it’s important to look out for this entire team, as there’s no way to do these shows without teamwork!”
“A lesson I’ve learned during this contract is to be open-minded, flexible, and always try to see things from different perspectives. I’m working as part of a team, and it’s important to look out for this entire team, as there’s no way to do these shows without teamwork!”
-Anne Van der Zee
She’s the “leader of the whole rat-pack, and she won’t wait for the return of the mac.” Anne Van der Zee has no problem keeping he guys engaged in “A Cool Cat in Town”