We are now fully immersed in rehearsals and things have become very real. With only four weeks left before opening night I am both impressed by how much blocking and music we have covered while still being anxious with how much more we have left to cover.
As I said in my test blog I am extremely impressed with the talent we have in the show. The principals are amazing and the ensemble continuously produces a powerful and soulful sounds that I know will sound even more amazing once we are in Reynolds. Rehearsals have continued to be a large time commitment but I am so excited to be apart of the show. Although rehearsals have been going well I have had trouble with two things. First, I was given a dance solo in “Getting Ready to Rag”. In general I am not the best at learning new choreography but this dance is especially difficult. The dance is called the “Snake Hips” and I know it will take a lot of practice in order to resemble the dancer from the video. Secondly, I have had difficulty learning the male upper tenor parts for some of the songs. My voice has been working at 70%-80% the past two weeks, which has been unfortunate because we have covered so many of the songs.
Even though I am a member of the ensemble with a cast this big the individual acting choices of the ensemble are extremely important to the feeling of the show. Both Jeff and Barbara have continuously asked the cast to think about the individual choices we will make and how they culminate to showcase the character we have chosen to portray. This is something that I have tried to take to heart but I still find asking who am I in the show and I know that the more I contemplate the question the better my performances will become leading to opening night.
The thing I enjoy most about being in any production is the process of learning. We learn the music and blocking separately and it is the combination of the two that makes the experience worthwhile. This holds especially true for Ragtime because I was not familiar with the music or story until joining the cast. During the past couple of weeks I have really gotten to know the feeling of the show and the emotional progression the story takes on. This learning process has made me feel much more connected to the show as actor and participant in the process.