I found a source that confirms that theaters used to hire sailors. Apparently, that’s where the superstition about whistling on stage came from.
Turn to page 4 under the heading “Why isn’t it OK to whistle on stage?”
I have to say, this is awesome because at the time I remembered working in that theater, I had no reason to believe that my memories of a life at sea were correct. I’m remembering things I didn’t know about and I’m getting closer to re-tracing my footsteps. This one may be harder to trace, but maritime records might be useful if I remember something specific enough to know where to look.
Also, I seem to remember a name, though not exactly. It was something like Clyde Starr or Clive Sparks but I’m not sure.