Thursday, June 10, 2004

I'd Walk a Million Miles...or at least drive 20

I noticed that a lot of "Ragtime" folks seemed to be coming from quite some ways away to do the show. So, I thought I'd do an informal poll...who comes more than 20 miles and why?

Well, I believe the winner is Wendell Wilson, who travels 60 miles each way for the show! He lives in San Rafael. Wendell originally was encouraged to audition by a friend who was auditioning, but he declined, as the distance seemed just too great. Although Wendell declined, his persistent friend gave Director Jay Manley his head shot and resume, and Jay tracked him down and said he was interested in seeing him for the leading role of 'Coalhouse'. That's when Wendell got hold of the CD...and fell in love with the score immediately. He decided that he just "wanted to be a part of the show, Coalhouse or ensemble." Well to quote Wendell further "ensemble it is, and I am thrilled."

The Runner Up is Jake, who alternates in the role of the Little Boy with another friend of his. Jake's parents drive him 45 miles each way from San Ramon! With a brother who plays hockey, it's clear that Jake's parent are going the extra (45) miles to help the boys do what they love!

There are also more than a few who drive from further up the Peninsula, from Wayne, 28 miles away in San Bruno to Paul (our 'Tateh') and others who come from San Francisco.

And we've got folks from the South and East as well, from the Silver Creek area of San Jose, through Fremont, even up to Hayward and San Leandro.

As for why, the responses were pretty much identical:

- To do this incredible show "Ragtime", which isn't produced too often due to its scope and difficulty
- To work with a professional-grade production staff, from director Jay Manley & Music Director Cathy Snider, to designers Joe Ragey & Kurt Landisman
- To work with a talented and generous bunch of actors, for which FMT is renowned in this area

So, when you're stuck in traffic for your commute of less than 20 miles...think of these folks...suffering for their art!

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