There’s no truer sentiment in travel than “it’s a small world,” especially as my wife, Heidi Leppert, and I discovered aboard Viking Ocean Cruises’ Viking Star in the Caribbean. On the ship, we met the line’s very talented singer Audrey Dukes and found out that she and Heidi are fellow alumnae of Azusa Pacific University, a small but esteemed private Christian college in California. So, we got to talking to her to understand how she ended up performing on the Star.
For only being 29, Audrey has already seen and done a lot in entertainment. Coming from a musical family, she got her associates degree at Citrus College, where she performed with the renowned Citrus Singers, traveling with the group as far as Sweden and Denmark. Then after praying about it, she ended up going to APU for her bachelors in theater arts after switching from music exclusively.
It was when she later left for New York City that she started on the path towards Viking. Audrey says, “That’s how I got this job. I went to a school, a conservatory called the New York Film Academy, and they’re phenomenal.” There she learned more about film and voiceover and even performed in a movie musical that is now on her reel and making the rounds at film festivals.
Following the completion of the conservatory program, she went on to audition for hundreds of opportunities including ones with Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. She even got called back for the role of Sherrie Christian in NCL’s “Rock of Ages,” but it was the chance to work with Viking and Mertz Productions that ultimately came together.
The Orlando, Florida-based production company is responsible for all the shows onboard, from originals to cabarets, and Audrey exclaims, “They’re amazing. They’re the sweetest team. They care a lot about artists and not just about
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