Being on stage with an audience is one of the best feelings in the world. It is the moment where it is time to show off all of the hard work from all sides – vocal training, acting, blocking, set building, costume designing, prop finding – everything comes together for a spectacle.
We had some amazing audiences – even that one audience on the second Thursday that was very quiet that we as a cast did not like, they were good too. They might have not have been quick to respond to our actions, but at least they clapped after every song and laughed sometimes. I had friends and classmates in that audience that raved about the show afterward so I know, for a fact, that even though they were quiet, the crowd still enjoyed the show.
The best audiences are the ones that are responsive. My favorite days to perform were the opening night, the first Friday night, both Saturday night performances and the final performance. The audience gasped, laughed, and cheered when Horatio came on stage. The best audiences are the ones that react to everything! However, sometimes the reactions can be a little nerve-wracking. For example, the audience on the first Friday night laughed at things that were not supposed to be funny. This often left us that were backstage, or worse, on stage and not able to see what happened, nervous that something bad happened. The random laughter was unexpected, but memorable.
I can’t believe that it is all over. I vividly remember the auditions, so when I remember that the show itself is all done I have to pause and realize how much time has truly passed by. (Is this school year really almost over? Am I really about to graduate college?) So much hard work was poured into one project. The audience could see that too. As much as I loved getting complements about how we sounded and looked, I think my favorite comments were the ones talking about how everything was amazing and how people were so impressed that they witnessed something so big and so grand.
That was us. We did it yall! Can I also say, the cast and crew of Ragtime consisted of some seriously talented individuals. I don’t think I have ever worked with so many talented people before. And now, I am super happy to say, I call a lot of these talented people my friends. (Cue warm fuzzies)
I am so proud that I was a part of Ragtime. It was an awesome journey and an epic experience.
To every single one of you that contributed to Ragtime’s success, thank you so much.
Non-production Hours: The lighting was one of my favorite things about the show. It reminded me of what was done for Sweeney Todd, a show I was in my freshman year that was also Duke Theater Studies and HnH. However, lights were definitely used more for this show to tell the story of Ragtime and drive the plot. I stood onstage to help with setting light cues during tech rehearsal. It’s amazing how having a body there can make the biggest difference to figure out where shadows fall and create the appropriate mood.
I also sold tickets for Ragtime for two hours and helped flier for the show. Plus during strike I worked in the costume shop.