Upon stepping into our space, some of your first interactions are with the ushers at the New Victory Theater. The ushers are a part of your journey every step of the way, from greeting you inside the theater to helping you find your seat before the show.

New 42, the nonprofit organization behind New Victory Theater, powers the New 42 Youth Corps, a three-track workforce development program that offers paid employment, job training, academic support, mentorship and an introduction to the performing arts for over 50 young New Yorkers annually. Since launching in 1995, the program has provided over 400,000+ hours of paid employment to over 660 teens from across the city.

  • New Victory Usher Corps offers NYC high school students in their junior year (or equivalent) flexible, part-time, paid employment, college access, workshops and opportunities to experience live theater.
  • New 42 College Corps offers workshops, flexible, part-time employment in the arts and college success to CUNY undergrads.
  • New 42 Fellow Corps offers CUNY Cultural Corps Alumni and Youth Corps Alumni early career professionals guidance, mentorship, and full-time employment in arts admin and related fields.

This season, we’re putting the spotlight on ushers and getting their thoughts on what it’s like to go through this workforce development program through prep work, on-the-job training, workshops and their memorable experiences at the theater with theatergoers like you. For this edition, we’re highlighting Dulce (New Victory Usher Corps), Jaryel (New Victory Usher Corps) and Mika (New 42 College Corps).

Meet Dulce, Jaryel and Mika

Can you talk about your favorite workshop? What was that experience like?

Mika: My favorite workshop was the one on time management. It really helped me become organized with my day-to-day life. Since I’m a college student, it has helped me stay focused on what I need to prioritize. It also made me start using Google Calendar to make my daily schedule more visual and stay on track.

Dulce: My favorite workshops are social hours! These consist of socializing with fellow coworkers and activities that really help me connect with everyone else in the program. They’re always a comfortable space for fun and interaction.

What was your favorite part about working during our last show, 360 ALLSTARS?

Mika: My favorite part was feeling the energy of the audience during the final performance of 360 ALLSTARS. It always feels sentimental to see patrons stand and cheer the cast for their performance. In those moments, the reactions of patrons really resonate with me and remind me of the first time I stepped into the theater—it was a new experience for me, and I was overfilled with joy. 

Jaryel: My favorite part about this experience was meeting the cast of 360 ALLSTARS. They were all so nice! And I also enjoyed meeting so many of our donors at the Family Benefit performance.

What was your most memorable interaction with a patron during 360 ALLSTARS?

Mika: A little boy came up to me to show off the dance moves he’d come up with after seeing the show. It made me feel like we did our part, providing the best possible patron experience and creating a memory they will keep well after their visit to the New Victory. 

Dulce: My most memorable moment was being able to talk to a mother and her son in Spanish! I grew up in a Mexican household speaking Spanish all my life. The language is very dear to me, so I always find ways to incorporate it into anything I do. I was working in the Orchestra level of the theater when I saw a mother and her son having trouble communicating with another usher. I knew I had to step in and help! I directed them to their seats and talked to them about how lovely the show was, since it seemed like it was their first time at the theater. They seemed grateful to find someone who spoke Spanish, which made me happy!

Why is it important to greet patrons at the theater?

Jaryel: It’s important because, as a greeter, you set the mood for the whole theater experience. You are the first person the patrons see, so your presence and attitude affect their experience.

Dulce: Greetings provide a sense of warmth and suggest a friendly, welcoming space. I think patrons also want to leave with something that resonates with them on a deeper level. Greeting them is the first step in creating memorable connections and experiences that they’ll never forget.

What’s your favorite memory of supporting a family at the theater during 360 ALLSTARS?

Jaryel: My favorite memory of supporting a family was helping out a family with accessibility needs. I gladly helped them, and the kid was happy, too.

Dulce: I was able to help a family that seemed confused about what to do when entering the theater. I stepped in and told them that there were activities in the lower lobby. When they came back up to the first floor to find their seats, they seemed so happy to have been able to spend that time together engaged in pre-show activities. It warmed my heart to see them so happy, knowing that I was able to provide them that sense of joy.

What’s a memorable part of your job training that you’ll take with you into the next step of your career?

Mika: For me, it’s interacting with many patrons of all age groups. Seeing their smiles as they experience the theater in its entirety makes me happy, and I will always be grateful for being able to come out of my shell around so many wonderful co-workers.

Jaryel: The part of my training that I will take with me is to always be on my best behavior and not let the outside world bring me down. Also, I’ve learned that serving the community as part of my job is important.

Dulce: Working at the New Victory Theater is truly a one-of-a-kind experience. Being able to connect with my co-workers has brought a sense of togetherness and belonging, which not only makes it a comfortable space for me, but also elevates my confidence to make sure I am my best self for patrons! I will take those community-building skills with me.

I’ve also learned to overcome obstacles by problem-solving, looking for patterns to avoid making the same mistakes. Those skills have helped me make decisions that may be tough sometimes, and they’ll be very beneficial in the next steps of my career.

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