A Moment With Natalie Davids
TheatreArtLife was created by the live entertainment and theatre industry for the industry. Our contributors are industry professionals working about the globe on shows and productions. In our “A Moment With” series, we give the opportunity for our contributors to tell their story and share their personal journey.
How did you get started in your career?
I took a job as a dancer on Carnival Cruise Lines when I was 19 years old. I was only given two weeks notice to pack up my life and move to the other side of the world. I never looked back!
What is the best role/job/gig you have done and why?
That’s a tough one, I can’t choose just one! I will always look back on my first contract fondly, I made some lifelong friends there and just being thrown into the deep end and learning the ins and outs of the industry was so awesome…it just felt like a dream come true…..Cruising the world on Fred Olsen Cruise Lines was also incredible. I completed two world cruises and met my other half while with that company. And I will never forget the feeling as I walked into the stadium to perform at the Opening Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics. Nothing can prepare you for that crowd. The flashes of thousands of cameras going off around the stadium is blinding. It was just out of this world. Now, I just feel so privileged and grateful that I am still performing, I still experience a rush when I’m out there on stage and I’m just trying to cherish every moment.
What was the worst task you were given when you were starting out?
Hmmm, well this one was kind of self inflicted…when I started on Carnival, in addition to performing in the shows, we were expected to help out with the cruise staff duties. If you were late to any of those duties, your punishment duty would be crowd control for US immigration…at 6am…the morning after a show night. Of course as worst tasks go, this is really not that bad, however to a young dancer that spends most nights in the crew bar until the early hours, this was the worst kind of punishment imaginable. Timekeeping was not my forte during that first contract, and I was rostered on punishment immigration more times than not and I was always hungover. Once I was even late to my punishment duty and so the cycle continued. I’m pleased to report I eventually learned my lesson…
What do you think is your best skill?
I think having the ability to really ‘feel’ the performance. You know when you can look at someone and see a genuine smile on their face, not a plastered ‘stage’ smile. There is nothing worse than watching someone who is technically brilliant but looks like they are just going through the motions. I was never the most flexible dancer in the room, but I’m a performer and I’ve built my career on that. People can watch me and tell that I’m having a ball or I’m feeling the moment.
What do other people think is your best skill?
Same as the question before, I hope!
What advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
Wow, great question….I would say just savour every moment. Learn from your mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. Trust your instincts and have faith in your abilities. There are going to be tough times ahead but don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t, because you CAN! Oh and don’t bother spending all that time & money on the work visa for Spain in 2012, you won’t get it and you’ll be seriously out of pocket.
What is your job now?
I am still dancing but now I’m back on dry land, performing at corporate functions and events back home in Australia, as well as performing in shows for children’s entertainment. I’ve also just recently completed my Certificate III in Fitness and am about to embark on a new journey as a Zumba instructor!