The rehearsal process of Ragtime was as frustrating at times, but was also incredibly rewarding. Being a member of the ensemble, I was not kept too busy onstage during the rehearsal process of this show. For this reason I experienced frustration resulting from the slow-moving nature of the process. Because I was not involved that heavily in the plot of the story, I often felt as if our extensive (and often slow-moving rehearsals) were unproductive for me personally. However, whenever we ran “Til We Reach That Day,” I would regain a sense of purpose in the show.
My true love of Ragtime did not surface entirely until we moved into actual runs of the show. Once this period began, I felt the continuity and passion that the show had to offer the audiences. Frankly, I considered myself a member of the audience as well as a cast member, as I was continually touched and affected by the storyline and performances of my cast mates.
I knew that once we opened, my passion for the show would only continue to grow. Having performed for audiences varying from 8 to 1,000 people, I have had a wide range of audience experiences. Though I always attempt to give everything I have to my performance regardless of my roll and the size of the audience, a lack of audience feedback does drain me onstage. There weren’t many instances of this, as we had a fairly regular and exuberant audience in Ragtime, but there were a couple of performances where I remember having to remind myself to keep my energy up. Though I doubt an audience member would’ve noticed the difference in my performances, I enjoy performances much less when I have to remind myself to stay actively involved in the story line.
As far as tech work is concerned, I tabled several hours for Ragtime and enjoyed being able to reward the publicity team’s hard work with the ticket sells. Additionally I had the opportunity to speak to several PFrosh interested in theatre at Duke about the show and my experience here, and I am proud of Duke Theatre for the performance we showed the potential future members of our program. I also helped Kay Webb with the costumes during strike. I did not imagine this to be as much work as it actually was, and it really opened my eyes to the magnitude of our show.