I am having Ragtime withdrawal and I did not even realize I had become so attached. There is so much running through my head write now that I hope this post does not come out as word vomit. Where should I begin? I left my last post by saying that our costumes made all the difference in me fully becoming the characters I was to portray and that energy definitely continued into opening night and throughout the run. With each show I only saw my confidence level grow and I began to make more and more specific choices with my characters. I can say that for me, the biggest contribution to our success as a cast was having amazing audiences night after night. Each audience was different in their reactions to various parts of the show but their energy fed our performances. This is my last show at Duke and performing to almost sold out crowds made me feel like I was a star. These feelings only made me want to perform each night better than the last. This type of self-inflicted pressure usually causes me a lot of anxiety but for some reason by the time we finished the Prologue every night I was no longer nervous and there were no more butterflies. There was no room for nerves because we all as a cast had to many reasons to be confident. Having a director, choreographer and musical director that are all just as passionate as the actors made all the difference. Because we had worked on fine tuning literally every second of the show then going back and fine tuning every millisecond of the show, the show was drilled into all of us and all we had to do was put a piece of ourselves into it in order to make it real. This realness surpassed my wildest expectations. I was a Haitian Immigrant, a Factory Worker, a resident of Harlem and a member of Coalhouse’s gang. I am usually not an emotional person but through these characters I was able to have a physical reaction to what was happening whether it be the feeling of loss when Sarah is clubbed to death or that sunken in feeling you get after defeat when the other gang members and I leave Coalhouse to accept his justice. I ACTUALLY CRIED and that is REAL!
The show is over but I still catch myself singing random songs from the show and those moments only make me reflect on this experience. I was so close to not being involved in this show and that fact blows my mind. I have had the most fun being apart of this cast. The personalities were all over the place and although there were some stressful parts throughout the process I would not have turned this opportunity down. I have grown as a person and as a performer and I owe and thank RAGTIME for that!
As far as crew hours go I dabbled in a few arenas. I helped Ritza transport clothes from the costume shop to the dressing rooms and back to the costume shop for dry cleaning. She also taught me how to sew and I was able to help her close the holes that a few of the guys had in their pockets. During tech I stood in for a few people for lighting cues/adjustments. I helped advertise by hanging some of the large posters, dorm storming and I had an impromptu tabling experience to sell tickets. Lastly, I participated in strike, which was a very unsettling experience. In a matter of hours it was like Ragtime never existed and Reynolds was returned to its former stature.
I would like to thank, Jeff, Anthony, Barbara, the Crew and my fellow classmates for this amazing experience. This was the perfect end to my time at Duke. It was something that I was able to put in a lot of effort and receive that energy back ten fold. I will always remember this show as it has been the biggest production I have had the opportunity to be up to date.
LOVE YOU GUYS!