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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.

The New Victory Theater launched the New Victory Usher Corps the day the theater opened 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 the young people in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program!

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory Blog. Today we’re talking to third-year usher Daniel Alaimo, who comes from the Bronx.

Who inspires you?
My family and friends. They are the ones that have pushed me to better myself, to become fearless and to never doubt myself.

What's your fondest childhood memory?
Waking up on Saturday mornings to watch Pokémon with my sisters.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
The Amazing Spider-Man comic books were my favorites. They were fun, awesome stories that have also helped me with growing up; they've taught me to be responsible and to help others whenever I can.

What are your favorite subjects in school?
I would say it's a tie between science and history. Science has helped me learn how the universe works, and history has taught me how humans have evolved throughout our existence. 

How would you describe your personal style?
If I'm being honest with myself, my personal style would probably be considered “lazy.” I kind of just wake up, look in my drawers and think, “Meh, good enough.”

What's your favorite place to eat or grab food near the theater?
My favorite place to eat is usually someplace quick and cheap. Also, Dunkin' Donuts. I really like (and often really need) their coffee.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
I sometimes take classes and perform at The PIT (The People's Improv Theater). I also play video games and work on my YouTube channel. 

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
I'll go anywhere that seems fun and interesting—there's no one specific place that I like to hang out.

What's the most challenging thing about being an usher?
The most challenging thing would probably be trying to make sure that everyone has a good time.

What's your dream vacation? 
I would love to go on a cross-country road trip.
 

Each of our Third-Year Ushers gets to spend 40 hours working on a special project—a Third-Year focus—in the department of their choice at The New 42nd Street. Dan is spending his Third-Year focus writing and producing a tongue-in-cheek Usher Corps training video with Zack Ramadan, our Digital Marketing Associate and resident video guy.
Posted by Zack Ramadan

Written by Greg Arrastia, Third-Year New Victory Usher

During the recent run of FLY at The New Victory Theater, I had the great pleasure of getting to know three real-life Tuskegee Airmen! I had a lot of questions for them, and they were more than happy to answer them and share a few of their stories with me.

 

Third-Year Usher Greg Arrastia with Tuskegee Airmen Audley Coulthurst and Dabney Montgomery
Greg got to know Tuskegee Airmen Audley Coulthurst and Dabney Montgomery during the run of Fly, when they attended a pair of special Talk-Back events.
These men, who bravely served in our country's military at a time when they weren't accepted by others, really made a difference. They risked their lives to make the world a better place. To be given the opportunity to meet some of the Tuskegee Airmen is an honor that I won't forget. I remember a story one of the airmen told me about the time he walked up to a set of water fountains—one was for whites only, and the other solely for blacks. "Simply taking a drink of water from the wrong fountain could have gotten me killed," he said. And yet, he sipped from the "Whites Only" fountain, proving that he was determined to take a stand against discrimination and oppression.

As I observed and got to know these men, I noticed that they were not only funny, soft-spoken and young-at-heart; they were really strong, too—physically, mentally and emotionally. One of the airmen told me that he worked as Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s security guard. Wow! I mean, just to get to meet Dr. King, an amazing man who made a huge impact on society, would be such a huge honor. I can't imagine what it must have been like having the job of protecting Dr. King.

Listening to their stories helped me to think about life, and our country's history, in a different way. One thing that will stick with me is the moment one of the airmen looked me in the eyes and said, "Don't ever let anybody tell you that you can't do something. People will try to tell you that because they haven't done it. Anything you put your mind to, you can do. Don't let anyone hold you back. We are living examples of that!"

I wish everyone could have the experience of talking with someone who has been such an important part of our history. Being with these amazing men and listening to their stories changed my life. To be honest, I never really found history to be all that interesting. That is, until I saw FLY and got to meet the airmen. The story of the Tuskegee Airmen should be talked about more in schools. It's an important part of our history, and people need to know what they went through and what a difference they made. It was a blessing to get to know these inspiring men.

This is definitely an experience that I'll keep with me—always.
 
 
Greg Arrastia Greg Arrastia is a Third-Year Usher who hails from Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Greg’s #LoveOfTheater began right here at the New Vic, and he also enjoys playing basketball and working out at the gym. He credits the New Victory Usher Corps for highlighting the importance of helping others and teaching him how to be a leader. You can learn more about Greg in his Usher Spotlight from earlier this season.
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