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  • Mark De La O

Cruise Ship Drumming Update Yo!


With my personal website up and running, my professionally-shot photographs gleaming on the home page, and my resume and repertoire organized and updated, I applied and auditioned for an agency that hires musicians for cruise ships.


And it was a disaster. An unmitagated, grandiose disaster in the most bizzare way. The audition itself consisted of a live, over-the-phone demonstration of my sight-reading and knowledge of world grooves, which I filmed on a Go Pro to send to them after it was over. As the previous night consisted of much less sleeping than it did tossing and turning while my fingertips tingled with adrenaline, my lack of experience in sightreading was even more apparent to my adjucator than it may have been otherwise. This wasn’t so detrimental to the program, as the sightreading demo was only one part of the audition. I was then instructed to perform a short, open drum solo. So I did, and actually impressed myself more than I did the man on the phone. My mood immediately improved, and when the adjucator asked me to demonstrate a samba, then a songo, then a bolero, and so on, things went decently well. The audition concluded, and I was instructed to upload the footage to google drive and send it to them.


Around this time last year, I purchased a very expensive and very powerful new Macbook, which has served me very well, but doesn’t have a memory card reader, nor a USB port, nor a CD drive, nor anything that would cause the computer to be any less thin than my patience with newfangled technology. So, I bought a memory card-to-USB2 converter, daisy chained it to a USB2-USB3 converter, plugged that b*tch into my Mac, and took a stab at uploading the footage.


I say took a stab, because the memory card didn’t register on the computer at first. I unplugged it to try again, and was greeted with the famous “disk not ejected properly” message. With one eyebrow raised, I reinserted. This time, the card registered and popped up on the desktop. Eyebrows now furrowed, I attempted to drag the audition footage onto my desktop. Instantly, the “disk not ejected properly” message reappeared and the memory card icon disappeared, along with the footage. Forever.


The footage was completely wiped clean from my card. Gonezo. No está. Gone like a pack of condoms in a rest home (you’re welcome for that image, but it’s true… and you go, old-timers). In panic, I took it to a data recovery place, who promptly returned it to me with words of solace and hopelessness. After I called the agency to tell them what happened, I never heard back.


So that was unfortunate. But now what?


Well, on to the next agency, and for damn sure with a new memory card reader.


The whole fiasco was a phenomenal learning experience, and one of the things I learned is that accounting for details like testing a faulty card reader are part of being a professional. If I am to be trusted with a relatively high-paying gig like what a cruise line offers, I need to be on the lookout for risk factors like this while doing everything I can to add value to the company I work for. I need to be properly prepared for my auditions, and if they include sight-reading, then I need to envelop myself in that practice to ensure that I am proficient in it. But most of all, I need a beer.


*crack* *fizzzz*


Ahh, much better. On to my next audition! I don’t have one scheduled as of now, but I am quite confident that more and better ones are on their way down the pipeline.


Until next time, much love to my mom, who is probably the only one reading this. Love you, Mom.


- Mark

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Mark De La O was here xoxo 2019