Having just performed his last show of an incredible seven month run on the Carnival Breeze, mainstage performer Carter Easler is both smiling and dripping with sweat as he walks backstage. For the past half year, Carter and the rest of the eight person cast not only carried the weight of being on the flagship of a 27 ship fleet, but also bore the burden of pioneering Carnival’s 2.0 entertainment plan. Carter sits down with the Examiner to discuss how he ended up with Carnival, his personal experiences on board, and what his plans are back on land.
Lets start from the beginning, when did you decide you really wanted to pursue music and performance as a career?
At the end of high school I was enrolled to study Commerce in Montreal and Performance at Sheridan College, but I kept putting off making the decision. During that same time I spent about three months backpacking through Europe on my own and had kind of a self-discovery.
Wow, you backpacked through Europe on your own at eighteen, that’s amazing! So, after deciding on and graduating with a degree in performance from Sheridan College, you found yourself auditioning for one of the biggest commercial cruise lines in the world- will you describe that experience?
It was kind of an open call, there were hundreds of people there- kind of like an American Idol audition. They whittled it down pretty quickly. There were basically three rounds and then by the time we got to the third round we were auditioning with about fifteen of us in a room. Individually going in to sing and then we did a dance call. I didn’t hear anything for three months so I was kind of like’ ah well’. And then I got a call…
…And finally joined Carnival Cruise Lines as a main stage performer! In the shows on board, you play a lot of over the top, high energy characters, but speaking with you now you seem so relaxed. Do you ever find it hard to put on the mask and get yourself into the mindset of the show?
Its never ‘put this on to be something else’ its ‘put this on to find something inside’.
The best part is losing thought. When the thoughts disappear and you’re totally present.
And that’s one of the best feelings ever is just knowing exactly where you are without having to think about it.
It sounds like you are very passionate about what you do. That being said, have you ever questioned your choice to become a performer?
Any performer has to live with the reality that they may not be a job tomorrow. Right now I’m working a seven month contract which is unheard of. Usually contracts are 5-6 week engagements for a show. The instability is tough.I think a lot of it is making your own work. You can sit around and wait for other people to give you a job and put you in a show or you can be writing, you can be conceiving ideas that you yourself can produce. You can always be meeting people, seeing things, and constantly getting inspired.
Speaking of, I hear you are currently writing a play?
Yes! I was so inspired by a play I saw in NY called Sleep No More. It’s an immersive adaptation of Macbeth. Basically the whole action of the play takes place in a way where the audience is directly involved in the scenes. So you are in the set, you are in the playing ground of the actors and you can affect their path.
I’m writing a show right now based on the idea of Sleeping Beauty- from the time she’s put to sleep by the witch to the time she wakes up. The show is about the nightmares that happen to her in between.
I’m excited to find people to help. At this stage I’m looking for people who can kind of pioneer this type of art.
That sounds incredible! What other plans are you considering once you get off the ship next week?
You know I find that question so difficult because there are so many things I want to do. I want to act, I want to be in film, I want to continue writing my own music and performing that for people who want to listen. I want to see my shows produced. So when I go back I will see what presents itself while I’m working on whatever I can.
Thank you so much for sitting down with me. Before we finish, is there anyone you would like to specifically thank or mention?
Yes! I am so thankful for my amazing parents Teresa and Chuck, my brother Alex, my boyfriend Jake, and my best friend Brianna. My family and friends have always been very supportive and I am very grateful for them!
To reach Carter and find out more about his future projects check out his website and blog: CarterEasler.com.