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.

All season long, we'll be featuring young people from our Usher Corps program in our New Vic Bills and online on the New Victory Blog. Earlier this season, the New Victory Usher Corps program won the 2014 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, so we're thrilled to tell you more about this fantastic group of hardworking young people! Read more about the award here, learn more about the New Victory Usher Corps on our website, or find out how the young people in your life can apply to be a part of this award-winning program!

Today we’re talking to third-year usher Paul Williams from Brooklyn!

What inspires you?
Success and being able to provide inspires me. 

What was your favorite movie as a kid?
My favorite movie as a kid was The Rugrats Go to Paris. I wanted to have an adventure just like theirs when I was young. 

What's your fondest or earliest childhood memory?
My earliest childhood memory is sitting back on the couch with a bottle of milk watching Power Rangers.

What is/was your favorite subject in school?
Global studies was my favorite subject. I had a funny teacher, so class was never boring, and I always passed!

How would you describe your personal style?
I really don't have a style. If it looks good on me, I'll wear it. 

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not at work?
When I'm not at work, I like to chill with my friends or catch up on my shows.

What's your favorite NYC hangout or neighborhood?
My favorite hangout spot in NYC would be my own neighborhood, Crown Heights. It’s where I feel most comfortable. 

What's the most challenging thing about being an usher?
The most challenging thing about being an usher is keeping an eye on all of the patrons that eat during the shows.

What's your favorite place to eat or grab food near the theater?
My favorite place to grab lunch near the theater is Cafe O.

What's your secret skill or hidden talent?
I enjoying boxing as a hobby. I plan to practice MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) later this year. 

What's your favorite song right now?
My favorite song right now is "Faded Too Long" by Meek Mill.

What's your dream vacation?
My dream vacation would be going on a cruise through Central America. Central America is appealing to me because my family is from Panama and I would like to trace my roots. Also, I’d like to see the differences and similarities between all of the Spanish-speaking cultures.

What are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of graduating high school.
Posted by Zack Ramadan
April 21, 2015

The Secret Power of Music

This week, Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players are bringing their theatrical concert The Mysterious Hat to the New Victory stage. It's a musical with a twist, and through puppetry and innovative storytelling it quickly becomes much more than just a concert for kids. Justin Roberts and his cohorts defy characterization as "children’s musicians". The best music for young listeners, just like the best theater for young audiences, is universal enough to be enjoyed by adults and kids alike.

With witty lyrics, memorable melodies and catchy arrangements, the best "kids' music" will stick with you into adulthood. I speak from experience—this brand of music played a significant role in my upbringing, and I never really outgrew it. In addition to still enjoying the lilt of Raffi and Peter Combe myself, I happen to have a younger brother who continues to take joy in these artists, and who has for the past twenty-six years. Why?

Like many kids on the autism spectrum, my brother has a fascination, indeed a love, of the songs he first latched onto as a little boy. He never stopped listening, and so neither did I. Many families with children on the spectrum can attest to this: there is special significance, a power even, in all the worn-out Disney VHS tapes, and the obscure Sesame Street DVDs and Raffi albums. There's a secret magic in that one song that can settle my brother back to earth with a smile, just as he's about to unravel. And so the music never stops being important. 

My ongoing relationship with this genre makes me a bit unusual, but we all have fond memories of at least one or two songs from our younger days. New Victory staff have gathered together some of our favorites in a playlist below, along with a few classics. Many of them showcase artists who are real gems, reveling in a joyful genre most music-lovers overlook. Give them a listen, and be sure to check out Justin Roberts during his limited time here at the New Vic. There's also an autism-friendly performance on Saturday, April 25th at 7pm. Everyone is welcome—spread the word.
   Acoustic guitar
   Drum set
   Bass guitar

You can also have some fun with our Family Activity for The Mysterious Hat! Start a family band and make your own #MysteriousPlaylist to share with us. See you in the front row!
   Piano Keyboard
Posted by Zack Ramadan
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