As soon as we started rehearsing on the beautiful set, I could feel my excitement growing at what I knew would be an amazing run of this show. I was looking forward to having an audience because it always makes me perform better. There is just something about having an audience that you can connect to during the performance. I knew that many people who came out to see the show, particularly students, would be surprised at how serious it was. I was worried about how some of my friends would respond to it but they all were incredibly amazed at the production.
As a performer, I can feel the energy of the audience. Some performances were tougher to do than others because the audience was smaller or had less energy and enthusiasm. The times then the audience was livelier, we were definitely livelier. I felt the energy of the show change throughout the process. Opening weekend, during the first couple of shows the excitement of opening got me through all the late nights. There was a noticeable change in energy by the 4th or 5th show. However, by the time we got to closing night, reality began to set in: Ragtime was ending.
Being in a show is something I am used to. I always feel a sense of loss after a production. I get so used to seeing the same people and doing the same things, each show I am in becomes part of my lifestyle in a way. The last performance of Ragtime was bitter sweet because I was excited and proud of what we had accomplished, but at the same time, I would miss performing and spending time with all of the wonderful people I had gotten to know so well. Knowing that I would be singing these songs for the last time was sad. I’m not going to lie, I am an emotional person. I cried at least once during every show, usually during “Till We Reach That Day.” This is a song where acting wise, I didn’t hold back my emotions. Usually, it didn’t affect my singing because it was just tears. Although on closing night, I found myself uncontrollably crying to the point where I was struggling to sing. Feeling my cast mates around me crying was so powerful. It was like we were all connected and all feeling the same thing. Ragtime was a production that I was so luck to be a part of. You’ll probably still catch me humming the music for a long time. I’ll never forget this incredible show.