I have been having a blast on tour! I am exhausted, and yet I keep thinking about how lucky we all are. We are exhausted, but we are lucky. Ticket sales aren’t ideal, but I sure count myself lucky. This is the first time I’ve been alone in my own space for a month, but I am so lucky. The performance space doesn’t accommodate our show, but we are lucky as heck, because we adapt, and do a strong show all the same. There are children yelling at me while I am trying to balance on the wire, but holy moley am I lucky to be in this place right now. Performing for screaming children is 100% better than not performing at all. In this particular situation, I have never had to remind myself why I am doing this. Our audiences are (mostly) small but mighty, and we are so lucky, because though we cannot reach the world, we can at least (hopefully) touch the hearts of some with our Ragtag emotional roller coaster of a show. If we can do this – awestrike a few people, and feel happy performing it ourselves, it feels worth it. Yes, I am fried, my body is hurting, and I am schvach (I AM LEARNING YIDDISH! From Nina!) Even so, I would not trade this experience for anything.
Besides, I think our show really does bring something special. I am not sure what it is exactly – but there’s something to it – something almost tangible, but only for a second and then it’s gone. I may not be sure what it is exactly, but I do know that it has a whole lot to do with the other five incredible cast members. As a cast, we truly are solution people, and boy, are we good at helping solve each other’s problems!
We’ve been asked a lot lately about our favorite moments in the show, and I had been having a hard time answering, because I get so into the whole world of the show that I really could not pick a favorite. In the moment I think of something as my favorite part, but then the next moment happens and I’ve already forgotten the first. It could be the moment right at the
beginning of contortion, after Rena has made eye contact with each of us – when Kevin strikes the first note on his guitar and Rena places her hands on the floor to start her number. It could also be the moment in contortion when Rena makes eye contact with David while she is in a handstand and smiles, and her smile is contagious, so I can’t not smile too. It may also be in tight wire (my number) when I am lying down on the wire and I make eye contact with David who is playing banjo. Or maybe it is during rope when Nina leads the women in a choreography that calls back to the bows from our numbers. There is something in these minute moments that feel
like my favorites in the show. The common theme I can find in these moments is that they are all about connection with the other cast members. It is so crazy to think that just over a month ago, most of us barely knew each other, and yet our show seems to be so contingent upon our strong
connections to one another. As I was going through some photos, I found this one, and realized this very moment is the most fun I have in the show, because it is so absurd, and because it involves all of us.
What happens (spoilers if you have not yet seen the show!) is that Nina finds some scissors, and is scared of them, and then Joy is trying to figure out what to do with them, and we appear shocked to see how they open and close. In this moment, we connect with each other, we breathe together, we are absurd together. I feel comfortable saying at this point that this is my favorite moment in the show.
So: Rena, Joy, David, Nina, Kevin – thank you for opening your hearts and minds enough to connect and for creating something beautiful and inspiring alongside me.