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New Victory Blog

The New Victory Blog is a place to learn more about New York's theater for families and the shows we produce. Find out what we do and what we're passionate about—exploring the arts as a family.
October 5, 2018

Meet the New Ushers

Map of NYC with Welcome flag and greetings in nine languages
When performances of Machine de Cirque kicked off a brand new season last weekend at The New Victory, the curtain also rose on a new group of first-year Ushers. Part of the New 42nd Street Youth Corps, the New Victory Usher Corps provides paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for 50 young New Yorkers each year.

Meet this new group of First Years, who hail from across New York City!

Pick your neighborhood: The Bronx | Brooklyn | Manhattan | Queens
 

THE BRONX

Amy C.
Amy C.

School: Long Island City High School

Route to Work: 6 to the N

Favorite Food: Beef tacos

Ananda D.
Ananda D.

School: Bronx High School for Medical Science

Route to Work: D to the A

Favorite Food: Fettuccine Alfredo

Cliff W.
Cliff W.

School: Careers in Sports High School

Route to Work: Bx5 to the 2

Favorite Food: Well-done steak

Dorian T.
Dorian T.

School: Hostos Community College

Route to Work: 4 train

Favorite Food: A chopped cheese

Maurice E.
Maurice E.

School: Borough of Manhattan Community College

Route to Work: 6 train

Favorite Food: Sesame chicken with pork fried rice

Qura D.
Qura D.

School: Smith YABC

Route to Work: 4 to the 2

Favorite Food: Mac and cheese

Ronnie C.
Ronnie C.

School: Bronx Community College

Route to Work: 4 train

Favorite Food: BBQ fried chicken

Veronica P.
Veronica P.

School: Borough of Manhattan Community College

Route to Work: 4 to the 2

Favorite Food: Fettuccine Alfredo

Yunis O.
Yunis O.

School: Pathways to Graduation

Route to Work: 2 train

Favorite Food: Double cheeseburgers

 

BROOKLYN

Angel O.
Angel O.

School: Fort Hamilton High School

Route to Work: N or R trains

Favorite Food: Pepperoni pizza

Annalisa D.
Annalisa D.

School: LaGuardia High School of Performing Arts

Route to Work: B train

Favorite Food: Chicken tenders

Dennorie G.
Dennorie G.

School: Urban Assembly Maker Academy

Route to Work: 4 train

Favorite Food: Cheeseburgers

Ishaga J.
Ishaga J.

School: High School for Youth and Community Development

Route to Work: L to the Q

Favorite Food: Anything with BBQ sauce

Kasim C.
Kasim C.

School: Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice

Route to Work: 2 train

Favorite Food: Mangoes

Melissa R.
Melissa R.

School: University Neighborhood High School

Route to Work: D or N trains

Favorite Food: Tacos al pastor

Xan B.
Xan B.

School: Saint Francis College

Route to Work: 2 or 3 trains

Favorite Food: Shake Shack french fries

 

MANHATTAN

Ashlie M.
Ashlie M.

School: Harlem Village Academies High School

Route to Work: 2 or 3 trains

Favorite Food: Shrimp

Bella D.
Bella D.

School: Saint Vincent Ferrer High School

Route to Work: Q train

Favorite Food: Chicken empanadas

Jessica C.
Jessica C.

School: High School of Economics and Finance

Route to Work: A/C or N/Q trains

Favorite Food: Everything!

Kyana J.
Kyana J.

School: Repertory Company High School for Theater Arts

Route to Work: 2 or 6 trains

Favorite Food: Baked potatoes with sour cream and cheese

 

QUEENS

Jeniya S.
Jeniya S.

School: Queens Metropolitan High School

Route to Work: J to the A

Favorite Food: Lasagna

Josh P.
Josh P.

School: Forest Hills High School

Route to Work: M train

Favorite Food: Plain pizza

Nowsin T.
Nowshin T.

School: Hillside Arts and Letters Academy

Route to Work: F to the E

Favorite Food: Ice cream!


If you're headed to the theater this weekend or anytime this year, look for these 23 young New Yorkers scanning tickets, helping you to your seats, selling concessions, leading activities in the Jack and Lew Rudin Lobby and keeping everyone in the the theater safe. 

For profiles of Ushers during their final year in the Youth Corps, return to this blog throughout the year for Third-Year Usher Spotlights. The program was also recently profiled on the Reduced Shakespeare Company podcast (duration: 20 minutes).

The New 42nd Street Youth Corps programs are made possible, in part, by grants from The Pinkerton Foundation, The Adolph and Ruth Schnurmacher Foundation, The Virginia B. Toulmin Foundation and The Theater Subdistrict Council. To support this educational and job training initiative, make a gift to the New 42nd Street Annual Fund.
Posted by Jamie O'Brien

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened in 1995 to provide paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers each year. Since then, the program has provided over 400,000 hours of paid employment to over 500 NYC teens from across the city. Find out how teens ages 16-21 in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program here!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from the Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory blog. Today we're talking to third-year usher Shanice Rodriguez from the Bronx.
 
 
Shanice RodriguezWhat’s been your favorite show at the New Vic so far?
Mother Africa was my favorite show because it was entertaining from from start to finish. My eyes were glued to the stage the whole time! The best part was when a girl juggled a barrel in the air with her feet. 
 
The show I’m most excited for this season is...
Machine De Cirque! Based on the trailer, it looks so fun and I know a lot of kids will enjoy it. Performers doing flips back and forth on a teeter-board? You don’t see that everyday.
 
The thing I like most about being an usher is…
I always feel great when theatergoers acknowledge me by name. It's awesome when I get to see a familiar and friendly face.
 
My dream job would be…
Exploring the world, trying different foods. I'm a food junkie and I love to travel—combine the two and that's my dream job!
 
My love of theater started...
When I went to see Hamilton with the Usher Corps. I had never been to a Broadway theater before, so seeing that show was a blessing. It completely changed my perspective. 
 
Who inspires you?
My mom inspires me because she never stops her hustle. Regardless of her financial situation, she always makes things happen for her kids. She wants and expects nothing but the best from us. 
 
What was your favorite story as a kid?
Junie B. Jones was my favorite book as a kid because I loved her spunk and charisma. She was someone that marched to the beat of her own drum—I wanted to be just like her.
 
What was your favorite subject in school?
English was my favorite subject because it allowed me to express myself on a piece of paper. I loved writing essays, doing research and being able to express my own opinion. My teacher, Ms. Little, was also a big factor in my love for English. She was strict and liked things a certain way but she cared a lot about her students. 
 
What’s your favorite hangout in New York City?
Times Square is so beautiful at night. The lights, the smells, the food and the people are all wonderful.
 
Describe the most challenging thing about being an usher.
The most challenging thing about being an usher is doing a bunch of things at once. It's not easy seating people, handing them boosters, making sure they're not eating inside the theater and answering questions all at once. Once the show starts, I'm out of breath!
 
Describe your dream vacation.
Going to Greece or Italy. I'd want to stay in a huge, beautiful mansion with the view of the ocean, where I could swim in the crystal clear water. 
 
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Every Sunday, I'd go to the baseball park and spend time with my cousins. Then I'd go out to eat with everyone right after.

 
New Victory Thumb Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!

Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos
Posted by Beth Henderson
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