Ok, so, those of you who know me fairly well know that I am a fairly spunky, energetic girl that likes to see the cup as half-full and loves the challenge of making the most out of a situation. And truly, until this cruise ship experience, I thought the best of people - never imagining that there are those out there who would truly be mean or wish ill upon anyone. I genuinely LOVED everyone. As naive as it sounds, that is how I was. Ignorance is bliss some say and it's true. When you think the whole world is on your side and no one is out to get you and life is all sunshine and roses, it's very easy to be positive and peppy.
I learned a few things from my time abroad:
- Some people really suck and hate you no matter what you do to try to befriend them.
- The world truly hated Jesus before they hated me and will hate me BECAUSE of Jesus.
- Take heed where you stand, lest you fall.
- If you play with fire, you will get burned.
- The squeaky wheel doesn't always get the oil, sometimes it gets removed.
The plane landed in Orlando, FL, where 2 members of my cast met me: James, the company manager (our liaison to the production company and ship once we were on board) and Kim, my roommate for the next 6 months. We met and chatted on the drive back to the apartment where we'd be staying the next few weeks.
Without going through every intimate detail of the entire contract, I will try to summarize the
I was one week behind the rest of the cast in the rehearsal process so had to learn BOTH production shows in one week. This meant I would rehearse the regular 8-hour day and then stay late with the dance captain (the person responsible for maintaining the integrity of the choreography while on board) while he caught me up on the show that had been taught the week before.
Apparently the dance captain HATED me. The reason was a mystery to me. I walked with him from the studio to the apartment day after day, attempting to engage him in conversation - asking him about his boyfriend, where he was from, etc....you know the just-trying-to-get-to-know-you stuff. He would hardly look at me and would give me grunty one-word answers in a seeming attempt to not have to speak to me or become friends. Months later while on the ship and things had gotten terribly ugly, Martha, one of my few friends in the cast, said to me, "Kori, do you think he hates you because you read your Bible? I mean, don't you think it's kind of weird?" Well, yes, I had thought of that. I am not shy about pulling out my Bible and reading it if I have a lunch break or whatever. But I had worked in entertainment for several years and anyone who knew me knew how much I loved Jesus, my Bible, and my gay friends...agree with them, no; love them, oh yes! My Biblically moral convictions NEVER hindered my love once I rid myself of personal judgment toward these who God created and loves desperately. Truly His heart is broken over their sin (as he is over ALL sin), even if they are unaware and deceived. No, I didn't think reading my Bible was weird, but understood that "the world" thinks it's weird.
"The cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God." ~1 Corinthians 1:18
"If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you, 'no servant is greater than his master.' If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed My teaching, they would obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of My name, for they do not know the One who sent me." ~John 15:18-21Let's call the dance captain Travis, you know, since that's his name. Travis seemed to have one mission ahead of him: Make Kori's life a living hell and be nice to her only if it benefits me personally. "Nice" only happened once when the cast was ticked off at the company manager and Travis needed someone who would be assertive to speak for them: enter me. If you read this blog to any extent, you will know I am an activist for things to be "right." And, so I was glad to be the voice for the cast to try to improve our situation. But, other than that 5-minute interval, the rest of my time spent with the cast was filled with drama and trouble.
More to come...
click here for part 3.