After an entire semester of reading character backgrounds, learning music, listening to lectures, stage combat, memorizing lines, re-learning music, rehearsing, dancing, eating free food, and performing, Ragtime at Duke is finally over. People ask me, “Do you miss it?” “Not at all,” I tell them. (Aw, don’t look at me like that). We gave it our all, people. We worked hard for almost four straight months, and we brought Ragtime to Duke in the grandest of ways. We should proud of ourselves. I know that I am, and I’m ready to move on to the next big thing.
A large part of of me not missing Ragtime, of course, is having my free time back. I graduate in three weeks, so I have a ton of stuff to get done – final papers, projects, finals, finding summer plans, looking for grad school scholarships, etc. But another part of why I don’t miss Ragtime is because I honestly feel that we juiced it for all it was worth. I can’t imagine a cast working harder than we did on a project for so long (and without pay!). We didn’t just put in time on stage. We helped build the set, we passed out flyers, we tabled, we took DOWN the set (phew!). Everybody involved in this production understood what it would take to take this show to the level we wanted, and we went out there and made it happen. I respect that.
I was surprised at the amount of people Ragtime at Duke attracted. I’m used to the spring musical here selling out one or two shows MAYBE. We did incredibly well every night. And matinees, oh LORD matinees are usually the worst. I’ve performed matinees in the past to about 8 audience members (and I’m pretty sure that half of them were our production team who came out of sympathy). The Ragtime matinees were amazing and found the same power and energy of our night shows. Of course, that was drastically helped by the presence of Manny Azenberg and Bill Brohn…
Overall, I’m incredibly pleased with my Ragtime experience. I may never get to do another show of this scope again. That was one of the biggest reasons why I auditioned, and I haven’t forgotten it. If it is my last big show, then I’ll know I went out with a bang. Thank you, all, and good luck in your future endeavors.