Jacardo Ralston, a senior, and theatre major, at Northern Kentucky University, is not famous, nor has he done anything extraordinary. He is a happy go lucky guy who dreams of becoming a playwright.
Ralston can be seen hanging out in the student lounge of the theatre department. He is quick to crack a joke or laugh at something someone has said. He sees the humor in whatever life throws his way.
Ralston was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. At 15, his parents moved to Ft. Mitchell, Ky, where he graduated from Beechwood High School. He now resides in Florence, Ky.
Ralston was the first in his family to finish high school and the first to go to college. He has a sister who also attends NKU. Ralston has not let anyone deter him from his dream. He has no regrets about growing up or what his life has become.
“I know this is going to sound vain, but I don’t have any failures. I have done everything I was supposed to do and more,” Ralston said.
Ralston has always felt he was a writer and in seventh grade he wrote his first play, which he never completed.
“The second play I wrote included all my friends. But I kept adding pages; it turned into a huge play, at sixty-five pages” but it was never finished, Ralston said. During his senior year in high school Ralston wrote a musical that also went unfinished. Even though his first attempts were not successful Ralston knew he wanted to be a playwright.
By the time Ralston entered college he accepted the fact he was gay. As a freshman in college he completed his first musical drama called ‘Leviticus.’ ‘Leviticus’ is a book in the bible that condemns homosexuality.
It is the story of a gay man who has been murdered in a hate crime and has to fight for his soul to enter into heaven. The play deals with his fight for the right to be there. The first act is called the prosecution, the second act is called the defense. ‘Leviticus’ has not been produced, but Ralston has performed monologue pieces of it in several of his classes.
When asked why the play has not been performed he said, “Everything has been written for the play except the music, because I don’t know how to write music. But I am looking so if you know someone,” he said laughing, “I wrote it when I was coming out; it helped me deal with a lot of issues family wise. I would let people read it and they would pass it along to their parents and their parents understood a little more about me and who I am.”
After ‘Leviticus,’ Ralston wrote a comedy called ‘Kiss and Tell.’ The play is about five guys on stage talking about their first kiss. He followed that with a comedy called ‘Sebastian and Bach.’ It is about two individuals who just want to be who they are, without explanation to anyone.
A one man-show based on Jacardo’s life titled ‘No Sex In the City’ quickly followed Sebastian and Bach. Only this time it would be performed in front of a live audience. He took the show on tour throughout the tri-state area and beyond. The tour made its final stop at the University Of Tennessee, where Ralston received a standing ovation.
Jacardo holds a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts for Playwriting and will graduate in May 2003. When asked where he will be in five years Ralston said, ” I hope to be in New York.”