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.
What’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.
||Want to learn more about The New Victory Theater Usher Program? Take a look here!
Photo: Alexis Buatti-Ramos