Check Out What it Takes to be a Pirate
Written By: Erica Johnson
Photographed By: Nathan Whelan
Expert: Edward Bangasser
Credentials: Show Manager at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
Q: How did you become a pirate and what responsibilities are involved with that title?
Edward Bangasser: I have been a performer for most of my life. I started acting at the age of six and I also began to compete in springboard diving at the same age. Over the years I have been involved with film, television and stage productions throughout America. Nine years ago, I was invited to an audition at Pirate’s Dinner Adventure, where I was asked to learn fight choreography, sing, give a ‘cold reading’ and demonstrate other skills that would be utilized in the show. From that first meeting, I have performed in more than 3,000 shows, learned seven different roles, acquired new skills and have been blessed to work with some of the finest people in the stunt industry.
Q: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is a large show with an even larger cast. How do you keep it running smoothly?
EB: We have daily sound checks with the cast to make sure everyone is vocally prepared for the show. We also run daily fight calls before the show to warm up and solidify our choreography. If time permits, we may also practice on the various equipment that is involved in the show.
Q: How would you describe the show and stunts that are involved?
EB: Pirate’s Dinner Adventure is a live action musical stunt spectacular! You will witness live action stunts being performed on our stage that could easily rival the best shows in Las Vegas.
Q: The show is interactive. What can people expect when they come to the show?
EB: Guests are encouraged to cheer for their pirate and ‘boo’ the opposition. We look for volunteers to help with our pirate challenges, come onboard and be sworn in as part of the crew, hoist the sails and follow along in the action of the show.
Q: The show features sword fighting and amazing stunts. How long did it take to learn everything for the show?
EB: First off, we look for performers who may already have special skills, such as acrobatics or martial arts. We hold open auditions, where we strength test, teach short fight choreography and then look at acting experience. If invited to join the cast, each performer is assigned a trainer who will meet with them for 12 hours in a four week period. They are taught the blocking of the show and all the fight choreography that pertains to their character. Once they are cleared by their trainer, the new hire must then walk the show manager through the entire show before they are given a part. They will perform for a live audience while the trainer watches and takes notes. If all goes well, they are officially a pirate!
Q: What tips do you have for aspiring pirates?
EB: Most people will come and watch our show and say ‘Hey, I would love to do what you guys do!’ My advice to people looking to join our crew—train! You need a very high level of physical fitness to be able to safely execute the stunts that we do on a nightly basis. Strength and endurance are the backbones of our show. You can’t be afraid of heights, and you have to love what you do! We are living a kids dream right now, playing pirates for hundreds of people daily!
Q: What is the most dangerous stunt?
EB: The most dangerous is the two-man spinning ladder routine because you cannot make any mistakes or you will get severely injured. Come and watch Pirate’s Dinner Adventure and you can see for yourselves!
Pirate’s Dinner Adventure
7600 Beach Blvd
Buena Park, CA 90620
You Might’ve Played Pirates as a Kid, but Edward Bangasser is the Real Deal