The people called it Ragtime. The professors called it Ragtime, and so did the producing team, and the students, as well as the rest of the cast and crew. I called it one of the greatest opportunities I could ever have at Duke. I can’t say that I have anything close to an extensive background in theatre. I joined Hoof ‘n’ Horn as a sophomore in the cast of Aida, and I discovered a love I never knew I had. Granted, I’ve always loved music and singing, and even a little dancing here and there as well. Yet, it never really occured to me that there was an opportunity on campus to do all three at the same time in front of receptive audiences in an awesome theater. What was I thinking?! Fast forward a year, and you’ll find an elated and incredibly pumped junior who can barely comprehend the immense excitement and challenges that await him and his fellow students. There are days (usually consisting of shower singing and rhythmless dancing) where I’m breathing confidence about the coming performances in April. There are other days (usually when I look to my left, right, front, and back, taking in the incredible talent and determination surrounding me) when I ask myself if I’m truly ready for such a large and great production. That said, no matter what day you may find me on, you’re guaranteed to see me with a kind of excitement that only a production of this caliber can inspire. On Monday nights, I think about how much we are going to learn about the time period surrounding Ragtime. I imagine us in vocal rehearsal, learning how to sustain our notes. I look forward to us in sweats and T-shirts, practicing (and eventually perfecting) our choreography that harkens back to the time even before our grandparents. Rehearsal is a chance both to learn and connect: it’s like old friends meeting every week. My hope is that by the end of the show’s run, we will have worked our hardest, performed at our best, and enjoyed the experience to the fullest. That it was fun, it was crazy, it was the best, and the people called it “Ragtime”. – Now ending cheesy dialogue and show references.