Cruise/Casino Audition

Ted T

Hello everybody. I haven't posted in a while, hope everything is well in DrummerWorld.

There is an audition here in Phoenix next weekend for an entertainment company.

I will basically be spending this next week attached to a metronome and reading charts until my eyes bleed. Does anyone care to share any tips about this sort of audition? Thanks.


Silver Member
That sounds like an audition for a management company who then contracts with the cruise line/casino not the actual cruise line itself. I do know that cruise lines will actually go into music schools and hold audtions for players when in need. I know someone working cruises now. He joined as part of an established trio who just needed a drummer. He loves it. He was already a working pro though. He was in a professional major orchestra that went under due to bankruptcy and he played professionally for over 25 years.


Drummerworld Pro Drummer - Administrator
Staff member
Does anyone care to share any tips about this sort of audition? Thanks.
Playing ability is obviously important, but it's you that must make the best impression.

Shave, bathe, and dress in nice casual clothes - no jeans & t-shirt. Be friendly, and keep a smile on your face (or at least look pleasant by curling up the corners of your mouth slightly.) If you're bringing a kit, make sure it's tuned well, and clean (no beat-up heads or wacky graphics on the kick, no gaff tape on the shells or hardware,) and gig-appropriate - don't show up with a Bonham size configutration (unless you're auditioning for rock tribute bands!) It doesn't matter if you won't be bringing your own drums on the gigs, you're trying to make a good impression. And above all, be on time, as you'll be expected to do if you're considered for a gig.

These are the toughest kind of audition for many musicians, because they're being considered for a position where they'll encounter guests who have spent (or are expected to spend) a lot of money to be where they are. Candidates that are easy to get along with and somewhat cheerful will fare the best. Those who display attitude, seem removed or disinterested, or just come off as unfriendly, will not get very far.

Good luck!



Platinum Member
I'm not a professional by any means but I have picked up advice here and there from time-to-time.

One thing I picked up recently was about asking questions. If you're unsure, ask questions. It's better to be unsure and ask than to not ask and make mistakes. If you're asking questions, it shows you're interested in what's around you. In an ideal World, you wouldn't have to but I think at some point everyone has been unsure about parts of an arrangement or the tempi of pieces.


Gold Member
I would make sure your reading is good, your time is good, attitude, etc.

As far as material, cruise ships will demand diversity so listen to everything from top 40 to greek tunes to traditional Mexican dances. Be able to play things like "THe chicken song" or any of those "crowd favorites that musicians usually roll their eyes when asked to play". Be an eye-roller rather than one whose got the "deer in the headlights" look. :D


Silver Member
last year, i lost my day gig & started auditioning for everything. one was a talent guy for cruise ships [Lime Entertainment]. after some initial Qs, an audition was set. the basic deal was that he emailed me 5-6 charts 10 min before the audition (held via skype). so i had 10 min to print them out, scope out the form, roadmap, tricky stuff. then he pinged me via skype and we went back & forth as i essentially sight-read the stuff w/ my laptop /skype off to the side.. it was designed to make sure they got good sight readers and that you could handle the styles / interpretation. pretty typical stuff my cruise ship standards. so i won the audition & was offered a 6 month w/ Carnival. but passed on the job as it was too long to be away from my family & $$$ not near enough. as soon as i said no, the main guy called me back 10 min later & offered me a 3 month contract. ping me if you need more details...might have the charts.


Senior Member
As some people already said here, that will be an audition for Mike Moloney, the agent, not any direct cruise line. If he takes you on he may give you work for any number of different cruise lines. You also don't always have to audition in person. If the Mike Moloney thing doesn't go well be sure to check out Landau Music and Pro Ship. Both of those agencies cover a large majority of the major cruise ship gigs and they're always looking for more people.

As far as the audition goes, be kind and confident. Come in with your head held high and a big smile. Dig on lots of different styles leading up to the audition and definitely sharpen up your sight reading. Dress professionally, ask questions, and just be a likable person and you'll be fine, assuming your playing is up to snuff which I'm sure it is.

What kind of you music do you usually like to play? There are also a lot of cruise ship gigs where you put a band together yourself and go out as a group. I've done that a few times for a few different cruise lines and absolutely loved it. If you have any other questions about it feel free to send me a line.