That I’m part of the large scale production of Ragtime still hasn’t quite hit me yet; likely because I’m preparing for another opening in less than two weeks, and as a second semester senior, also trying to piece together the rest of my life. But when confronted with the fact during read through, the reality sinks in a little more with each soulful note sung, and with every well-played part acted out from a seat in that classroom full of energy and talent. It’s amazing to me that the same kid who is lost in the sea of bodies in your econ lecture, except for those few times a semester when he/she bravely raises his/her hand to correctly/incorrectly answer a question, unexpectedly turns out to be the same kid whose singing voice can bring an audience to tears (the good kind). Whether or not it’s actually a personal anecdote, it is illustrative of my thoughts and feelings upon repeatedly realizing in the very first read through that so many of the faces I pass by every day are those of startlingly skilled actors and singers. I forget sometimes how multifaceted the talents of so many Dukies are. I’ve been continually impressed by my peers, and we haven’t even started true rehearsal. For myself, I thought a performance was out of the question this semester, and that I’d missed my chance to be in a production at Duke for good. Ragtime was one of the first shows I fell in love with in high school. When I found out that Duke was putting it on, I was heartbroken just thinking about the missed opportunity, but at the same time I was ecstatic—just to be able to watch. But long story short, some (major) things changed, and here I am. I can’t think of a better way to cap off my time here.