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ASU music, dance and theater alumni sail the high seas

Graduates of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre perform on cruise ships around the world

Smiling woman standing in front of a Disney Cruise Line logo.

Alumni Yophi Adia Bost was scouted by Disney Cruise Line after performing in the ASU Music Theatre and Opera showcase in New York. Courtesy photo

September 28, 2023

Vacationing on a cruise soon? You just might run into some Arizona State University alumni from the School of Music, Dance and Theatre.

Yophi Adia Bost ('22 MM in music theater and opera performance) was scouted by Disney Cruise Line after she performed for agents and casting directors at 54 Below in New York City as part of an annual performance put on by the graduating class of music theater majors.

After seeing Bost perform, the cruise line reached out via Instagram. At first, she thought it was a scam, but upon learning Disney Cruise Line had seen her showcase, Bost pursued the opportunity and was able to sign without an audition.

“I didn’t realize that they DM people to offer them contracts,” she said.

Bost had been teaching voice for the popular music program at ASU when she signed the contract with Disney Cruise Line. Although teaching has always been her passion, she felt she was too young to be a full-time professor and wanted to see the world. 

“It was really hard to leave academia,” said Bost, “but I feel like this is such a great opportunity to take back to my future students.”

Bost signed on to be the vocal captain of her ship, which is similar to a music director. On Disney Cruise Line, performers are singing, dancing and acting in some of Disney’s most popular shows, including “Frozen,” “Tangled” and “Beauty and the Beast.” Bost said she knows 10 other alumni who signed on for cruises within the past year, some of whom are rehearsing with her in Toronto. 

Brielle Amrein ('18 BM in music theater) has been performing as Belle for Disney Cruise Line. 

"Getting a chance to be on the other side of it was nothing short of magical," Amrein said. "Looking at the little ones in the audience, seeing their faces light up when they saw their favorite princess, knowing that we were making a memory that they will never forget. … It was so special and something I will cherish forever."

Even though the experience is a "magical" one, it's also hard work.

“It’s like summer camp,” Bost said. Performers live with the same people for nine months, rehearsing from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday, with shows every day while on the boat. 

“It’s going to be a different type of intense than even a show a week on Broadway would be,” Bost said.

Carole Fitzpatrick, associate professor of voice, isn’t surprised by the number of ASU students being hired by cruise lines. 

“We are preparing not only the expected ‘triple threat’ — singer/dancer/actor but we're also encouraging students to be able to sing all different styles and genres of music, not just music theater or classical,” Fitzpatrick said.

According to the Cruise Lines International Association, ships are expecting a 106% increase in passengers from 2019 levels. Looking into 2027, this number jumps to a staggering 39.5 million passengers who need a boatload of entertainment.

Dance alum Brayden Guentzel ('23 BFA in dance) will be traveling all the way to New Zealand and Australia with Princess Cruises. Carley Conder, clinical assistant professor of dance, told Guentzel about the audition in December after he expressed interest in entertainment and cruises.

It was Guentzel’s first and only audition after graduating from ASU. He was pleased to accept the position and started rehearsing this summer in Los Angeles.

“I haven’t danced this much in a long time,” Guentzel said. 

He’s rehearsing for 10 productions and 50 different dances in those productions to be performed for guests each week. 

Guentzel said his production responsibilities at ASU helped prepare him for the Princess Cruises position. He has to take care of his own costume, and also has to know about lighting design and how to run a show. 

“I know what that means because of ASU,” Guentzel said.

Along with dancing, Guentzel will also perform duties and work on the ship in hospitality. On his days off, he’ll get to explore some of the many countries the ship will be porting at.

From the student's perspective, this is full-time work doing what they've been trained to do; that's a gift in our industry, and not usual,” Fitzpatrick said. “The chance to get paid to travel around the world? What a great gig!” 

Follow along with alumni from the School of Music, Dance and Theatre on their cruise ship journeys:

Aydan Bruce ('23 BM, music theater)
Carnival Cruises

Ben Massouras ('18 BM, music theater)
Disney Cruise Line

Brayden Guentzel ('23 BFA, dance)
Princess Cruises

Brianna McClure ('21 BM, music theater)
Disney Cruise Line

Brielle Amrein ('18 BM, music theater)
Disney Cruise Line

Brittany Howk ('16 BM, music theater)
Seabourn Cruise

Frenki Hykollari ('22 BM, music theater)
Carnival Cruise Lines

John Batchan ('18 BM, music theater)
Disney Cruise Line

Jonice Bernard ('22 BM, music theater)
Disney Cruise Line

Julia Kelly-Davis ('19 BM, music theater)
Norwegian Cruise Lines

Yophi Adia Bost ('22 MM, voice, music theater and opera) 
Disney Cruise Line

Written by Benjamin Adelberg

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