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The Vista Lounge

2009-10-21Where in the world am I today?: North Vancouver, BC, Canada

And so continues the discussion of the various venues aboard Princess Ships. The Vista Lounge is what I like to call the Cabaret venue aboard many of Princess’s Ships. This venue can be a challenge for jugglers because the ceiling height is quite limited, or is when the stage is set in the ‘up’ position. Thankfully (?) my show doesn’t rely on technical juggling that requires too much in the way of height and I can play quite successfully on the stage when the stage is in the ‘up’ position and as it only takes about 20 – 30 seconds to lower the stage for when I need a bit more ceiling height when I perform on my unicycle I keep the stage up for the majority of the show then have the tech crew lower the stage right at the very end prior to me getting up on the unicycle.

Why not keep it down for the entire performance you might ask? Well the nature of the seating arrangement allows for good for sight lines from about the knees up when the stage is in the up position, but only from about the mid-chest up when the stage is lowered. I prefer to keep the stage up for the greatest visual appeal until I get to the end of the show when I absolutely need the extra space for riding and juggling on my tall unicycle.

The seats in this particular venue are arranged in an arched configuration which provides and excellent view of the stage from just about every seat in the house. There are a few support poles in some of the Vista Lounges on some of the ships that impede the sight lines somewhat, but for the most part this arched arrangement works very well. These arches are made up of both sofa like seats as well as individual soft seated chairs and there are an ample supply of small tables for drinks and a bar at the back of the room which lends itself well to the more ‘cabaret‘ feel in this particular venue.

Technical support in Vista Lounge is usually provided by three individuals. The Crew Chief who runs the sound and lights, the Stage Manager back stage who looks after things like raising and lowering the stage (in my case) and may assist a bit with staging needs and the third member of the crew is quite often a spot light operator. Though the lighting effects that can be created in this venue aren’t nearly as sophisticated as those that can be achieved in the Princess Theatre, quite a bit can still be achieved with the creative use of what this venue does offer. Also, as you can see in the image, speakers are hung from the ceiling around the venue and provide excellent coverage for the room so that the quality of the audio is evenly distributed through out the space.

Give the choice of playing the Princess Theatre and the Vista Lounge I tend to opt for the Vista as I like the fact that the audience is in closer proximity to the stage. This allows for much stronger interaction with the audience which is something that my show relies on heavily. Being able to hop off the stage and virtually be in the middle of the crowd brings an immediacy to my performances with is much more in keeping with my training working as a street performer and in festival environments. The other nice thing about this space is that it can accommodate about half the number of people (if that) that the Princess Theatre can so if you’ve got a small-ish crowd it’s still a lot of fun to play in this space as it feels fuller than the Theatre would with similar numbers.

For what ever reason people also seem to walk into the Vista Lounge more prepared to play. In the Princess Theatre there seems to be a sense of the fourth wall being somehow more appropriate and shows in that space tend to have a more presentational nature. Shows in the Vista seem to lend themselves more to breaking that fourth wall and mixing things up a little bit more.

One Response to “The Vista Lounge”

  1. […] and some of the other ships in the fleet in that the area at the aft (back) of the ship where the VISTA Lounge is often located instead is home to ‘Club Fusion’ a dance club and bar that also gets […]

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