Special NOVEMBER - Page 10

With all his bravado he decided he wanted to see the world so went to an Air Force recruitment office and told them he wanted to join , but only if he didn ’ t go to boot camp , and started out as a Captain . Needless to say that didn ’ t go over well . Jonathan laughs as he says , “ I would have made a great captain .”
Not one to be put off he decided to keep trying different ways to “ see the world ” and saw an advertisement for small cruise ships seeking naturalists based in Seattle , called Exploration Cruise Lines . He phoned the office and they told him to get lost , so he phoned upper management and they told him to get lost , he then phoned the CEO of the company who told him the same thing . Still firmly believing he was the right person for the job he realized they weren ’ t doing any entertainment on these ships . They were “ nature ” cruises and Jonathan assumed the poor cooped-up passengers must be in great need of some magic and laughter ! He set off early one morning to a christening of one of the companies new ships . Because he had previously phoned the Vice-President and President of the company he knew their names , so he told the guard he was hired to do magic and had a meeting with the executives later in the day . He needed to get on early to set up . Of course you couldn ’ t do that today , but like all things Jonathan does he is determined to bring his best to anything , and ultimately they met him and got to see him perform , even well before the provisions were loaded on the ship . Not only did he get the job but he became the head of the entertainment and the naturalist department , and turned that title into Cruise Director and Director of Entertainment within 6 months .
From there he was offered a job with Regency Cruises with the elegant , huge , old , queens of the sea renamed Regent Sun , Regent Sea and Regent Star . These were large old-world ships with swept back two and three smokestacks that plied the Atlantic at the end of WW2 . There he very quickly worked his way up to become the Owners ’ Representative in charge of the entertainment , Casino , Shore Excursions and on-board games like BINGO and Horse Racing . Jonathan now found himself flying all over the world with a bag of magic with at least two hours of stage and 5 hours of Parlour material in case he needed it should he have to fire somebody who wasn ’ t doing their job up to the Owners ’ Rep ’ s standards . He was just 26 years old at the time .
The cruise industry is very tight and word got out about the Jonathan ’ s skills and ability and he was contacted by Stanley B . McDonald , an entrepreneur who founded Princess Cruises . Stan had just sold Princess and was looking at starting a new cruise line that would allow car access like a ferry one way , and a luxury cruise with full cabins and entertainment on the way back . Alaska , the Mediterranean , South America and Europe were targeted . It was Jonathan ’ s job as VP of Marketing and Sales to fill those cruises through convincing travel agents to sell the line to their clients . The only issue was the sales had to happen before the ships were in service . He used his background in magic to produce extravagant shows on land to create the feel of being on the ships even though they didn ’ t exist . The first of the ships scheduled to sail was christened The SunDancer . The cruise line was named Sundance Cruises . True to his internal makeup , Jonathan convinced the travel agents in America that the line was viable . Some