Weekly Spotlight: Jason Ralph
By: Angel Martin
“And of all illumination which human reason can give, none is comparable to the discovery of what we are, our nature, our obligations, what happiness we are capable of, and what are the means of attaining it.” ~ Adam Weishaupt
In the age of social media, it has become so much easier to find and follow the big screen stars and Hollywood crushes, in the hopes of catching just one second of their attention or catching them doing something “scandalous.” Actors and actresses spend majority of their time under the social microscope and they have gotten used to the constant spotlight on what they drank with dinner. The public eye watches to see what movies they will be in next, where they shop and who they are dating. Less frequently hailed are the more noteworthy activities that some choose to involve themselves in during their time off screen – knowing that in all likelihood it will not be the next headline, even when it should be. Rather than illuminating who bought another pair of $1,000 sunglasses, how about a shining a lantern on someone who has decided to give a damn about others?
This week’s spotlight on using his fame to make an impact goes to Jason Ralph for his efforts on behalf of Covenant House and the Broadway Sleep Out.
Born in McKinney, Texas, Jason attended the theater program at Collin College in Plano, Texas before appearing in several movies and TV shows, including “Aquarius” and his most recent (and fabulous) work as Quentin Coldwater on SyFy’s “The Magicians.”
“The Magicians,” if you somehow have missed it, is currently preparing to begin its third season. It follows a group of millennials who are gifted with the ability to do magic. While learning to use those gifts, Quentin and his friends struggle with their own personal problems and try to find where they fit in the world (….and hopefully save it). Jason provides a remarkable insight into the world of depression as his character fights his own mind in a daily battle, trying desperately to keep from fracturing.
And despite what must be a full schedule on “The Magicians” and serving as the artistic director for the theater company, Strangemen & Co, Jason still spends time talking to his fans. In frequent Twitter storms, Jason (and his cast mates) spends his off hours talking to the fans on social media, joking, sharing artwork and providing the rest of the world a small peak behind the proverbial curtain.
Using the social media platform, Jason has frequently pushed for awareness and support of homeless youth. The program, Sleep Out, is from Covenant House to assist youth with the basic necessities that you and I frequently take for granted and help get them on a path to independence.
Covenant House works to give food, shelter and a safe haven to the homeless youth of the United States, Canada and Latin America, hoping to provide some semblance of comfort to those who have nothing. With that goal in mind, Jason tweets and pushes for his followers to participate in a Sleep Out and give a few dollars that can help feed a child in need. Covenant House houses and supports more than 50,000 kids, hoping to move those youth into safe and productive adults, NOT living on the streets, but happy and healthy. Through Sleep Out, the youth at Covenant House are given positive interaction with the volunteers, showing that someone does, in fact, care about them.
Jason is currently participating in the Broadway Sleep Out and hoping his fans will be willing to do the same. It doesn’t take much to change the life of another person – a small kindness, a little positive attention and a warm meal can go a long way to a child. With the popularity of “The Magicians” and “Aquarius,” you might expect Jason to lead a more sedentary off camera lifestyle, but he has shown on more than one occasion that he remains grounded. He has used his fame to help those around him and guided his fandom to do the same- and for that, his accolades are well earned.
To help the youth of Covenant House and learn about the Sleep Out program, please visit: http://covhou.convio.net/site/TR?px=1834324&fr_id=1921&pg=personal