Our newest club member Deborah introduced her son James Van der Maas to the meeting. As a 14 yr old he had a passion for music and upon leaving school formed a small band in Wellington before his departure to the States. James has spent the last 5 yrs as a duo with a mate Sam and more recently as a solo musician with the Carnival Cruise line out of Florida in the States.
When he was offered the job back in 2015 it was a telephone interview and job offer “ It this for real or what” But anyhow he and Sam packed their bags and off they went.
Each day they would do a 4-hour stint broken into around 4  x 45min sets per day.
He talked about his experiences on board with the passengers ;
  • The Tips were great  - Food quality of the big cruise liners was not good
  • At times you felt like you were on a floating prison.
  • With some ships of 1500 staff, there would be up to 65 different nationalities.
  • Musicians were ranked quite high in staffing rankings – accommodation 1-2 persons per cabin
His future? Plans to go to Waikato Uni next year and train to be a music teacher and has also enlisted into the NZ Army.
But James left a special thought “ You don’t need a plan B – Just make plan A work”