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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 ages 16-22 from across the city. Find out how teens 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 our Usher Corps in our New Vic Bills and here on the New Victory blog. Today we're talking to third-year usher Porscha Rippy from the Bronx, New York.    
Porscha Rippy

My favorite show at The New Victory has been…
Hands down, Fly, from the 2015-2016 season, was my favorite. It was so real and it didn't sugarcoat anything. We even had three Tuskegee Airmen come see the show and do a discussion panel after!

The show I'm most excited for this season is...
I can't wait for Jason Bishop: Believe in Magic. Because it's the holiday show, I'll get to work with a lot of tourists and families. It makes me feel great when I see new faces at the New Vic and hear them talk about coming back.

My favorite memory from working as an usher was... 
I'll always remember when I first decided to learn American Sign Language (ASL) at the show Museum of Memories. The show was so intimate, that I got to see the interpreter up close and watch how her hands just flowed. Picking up ASL has had a huge impact on my job because I'm able to better interact with patrons who are hearing-impaired. By learning ASL, I'm able to make EVERYONE feel welcomed.     

My dream job would be… 
I would LOVE to work with kids who are hearing-impaired. I'm overwhelmed when I see how surprised the kids are when I sign. The parents and teachers notice that the New Vic is a versatile place, where their kids can come to be themselves. That feeling is indescribable.

My love of theater started... 
When I was 16, I joined an acting program called Opening Act, where I not only saw plays, but learned about the hard work that goes into them.

What was your favorite story as a kid?
Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, because it taught me about morals at a young age. Throughout the story, the King tests both of his daughters to see which one is worthy of inheriting his kingdom. It taught me to be kind because you never know who you're talking to when you interact with strangers.    

Describe the most challenging thing about being an usher.
One of the most challenging things is that not everyone will come to the New Vic happy. I've learned that bad moods are just something you have to deal with and all you can do is try to keep it light.

Describe your dream vacation.
I would LOVE to visit Africa so I could discover a little bit more about myself and my roots.    

What is your favorite childhood memory?
My favorite childhood memory is planting tomatoes and peppers with my grandfather in his garden.    

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

 
Posted by Beth Henderson

Get silly, develop a comedy routine and find your signature clown look in this Family Activity for Pss Pss! For each show in the season, we post a new Family Activity. You can find all of our past posts here on our blog and at Pinterest.com/NewVictory.

Face It
The creators and performers of Pss Pss, Simone and Camilla, use facial expressions and grand gestures to help tell their story. To create their show, they drew inspiration from silent film comedians. In this activity, master the art of silent comedy.

Materials: Mirror

Step One: Watch the video below to see some silent film comedians. Pay close attention to how expressive their faces are!
 


Step Two: Now, it's your turn! Stand side-by-side with a friend or family member in front of a mirror. Warm up by making some silly faces. Can you:

  • Stick your tongue out?
  • Open your mouth really wide?
  • Open only one eye at a time?
  • Scrunch up your nose?

Step Three: Now it's time to really express yourself! Test out the following expressions in the mirror! Can you look:
  • Happy?
  • Sad?
  • Surprised?
  • Scared?
  • Excited?
  • Confused?

Step Three

Pas de Deux
In Pss Pss, Simone and Camilla tell a story without a single word being spoken. In this activity, play with different ways to express your thoughts and feelings to a partner without using a single word.

Materials: A random household item that can fit in your hand (maybe a ball!), card template

Step One: Sit or stand, facing your partner. Start a practice round with what you already know—your face! Decide who is partner A and who is partner B. With only their face, partner A will convey the emotions listed below in any order they'd like for 30 seconds. Partner B must try their best to keep up and mirror partner A's face. Once the 30 seconds is up, switch roles!
  • Happy
  • Sad
  • Scared
Step Two: Pick up a random object in your home. Make sure it's something you can pass back and forth, for a game similar to hot potato! Some items that could work are a potato, a small ball, a rolled up sock, balled up paper or your favorite toy that fits perfectly in the palm of your hand!

First practice: simply pass the item to your partner and have your partner instantly pass it back. 

Once you get a rhythm, try passing the item based on the following prompts. Don't forget to react with your face.
  • The item is as light as a feather. Pass it!
  • The item is 1000 lbs. Pass it!
  • The item is really smelly. Pass it!
  • Can you think of other things this item could be? Pass it!
Step Three: Print and cut out the card template. Pick who is going to be partner A and who is going to be partner B. 

Card Template

Partner A picks a card and keeps it a secret, then holds the item as if it took on the identity of the object on the card they chose. 

For example, if they pick up an apple card, they would think about it's weight and how they would hold it in real life. Maybe they could take a few fake bites of it! Partner B must try to guess the identity of the object based on how partner A handles it.

BONUS: Create your very own cards with this blank template!

take it to the stage
Clowns are known for their signature looks—for Charlie Chaplin, it was a bowler hat and a thick mustache, and for Marcel Marceau, it was black triangles painted under his eyes. Check out some iconic looks below, and get ready to create a costume for your own clown persona!

Step One: Look at these classic clowns and silent film comedians in their costumes. 

Marcel Marceau
Marcel Marceau
 
Buster Keaton
Buster Keaton
 
Laurel and Hardy
Laurel and Hardy
 
Louise Brooks
Louise Brooks
 
Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin

Step Two: It's time for you to get ready for the stage! Go and find some silly clothes to put on. TIP: It doesn't have to be silly from head to toe. Sometimes a regular outfit paired with a funny hat or silly shoes is even funnier than a wacky outfit!

BONUS: Put on whatever stage makeup that inspires you!

Step Three: You're ready for action! In costume, present your clown routine to family and friends. Invite them for a performance of Pas de Deux, or ask them to quiz you with expression cards. You will amaze them with your new skills and knowledge! Record your performance and share it on social with the hashtag #familyplay
 
 
Seedfolks Thumb Slapstick at its sweetest, this timeless performance celebrates the clumsy connection we make when we meet our match. Get your tickets to Pss Pss today!
 
Posted by Beth Henderson
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