A day in the life: Jason Ray

Jason Ray ’06 has no trouble staying active on Wednesdays, even though he has only one class. A theater studies major from Glennville, Ga, Ray acts in three or four theater productions a year, holds two part-time jobs and sings in the Yale Gospel Choir. This Davenport student just finished playing the lead in a production of Shakespeare’s “A Winter’s Tale.”



Wednesday, April 13, 8 a.m. An on-campus job:

Ray goes to his job at the Jerome N. Frank Legal Services Organization, which pairs Yale law students with people who cannot afford private attorneys. Ray’s duties include translating for Spanish-speaking clients, working at the front desk and organizing the file system. He works between 15 and 19 hours a week.

“Those involved in the [organization] are really doing it because their hearts are in it,” he said.

11:30 a.m. First rehearsal of the day:

Ray rehearses for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” a Yale production that will run in a couple of weeks. He is playing the title character, whose botched sex-change operation leaves her with an “angry inch.”

“It’s probably the most challenging role I’ve played to date,” Ray said. “It’s very witty and dramatic and calls for a broad range of emotions and a German accent.”

2 p.m. A little color:

Ray goes tanning at Chameleon Color Cafe. A newly signed model, Ray is doing a photo shoot Saturday. But Ray is nonchalant about his modeling gig.

“Right now I’m deciding whether my heart is in acting, or law, or…” Ray said, trailing off. “Right now I’m, like, pursuing everything.”

3:30 p.m. “Dramatic Theory and Criticism”:

Even budding celebrities need to take courses. Ray’s one class of the day is “Dramatic Theory and Criticism,” taught by David Krasner, who he says is his favorite professor at Yale. And since the class has just 15 people, Ray says he also learns from his peers.

“The people in the class come from different backgrounds. We have lit majors, we have theater studies majors, we have a philosophy major,” Ray said. “We have a lot to offer each other.”

5:30 p.m. Second rehearsal of the day:

Ray buys a burrito from a street vendor and heads to dance call for “A Winter’s Tale.” The play goes up this weekend, and dress rehearsal is tonight. At one point in the play, Ray, who plays Camillo, must dance around stage half-naked, wearing Mardi Gras beads. At another point, he wears an army general’s uniform and a stern demeanor.

“It required me to pull my acting together, my singing together and my dancing together,” Ray said.

12:30 a.m. Time to eat and de-stress:

Ray heads to Yorkside Pizza to relax, eat cheese fries and gossip with a friend who is also in the play. They tell each other about their days and discuss rehearsal.

“We just kinda like bitch about the things we need to bitch about,” Ray said.

After Yorkside, Ray does a bit of metaphysics reading and conks out.

Comments