Reflections On My Spring 2024 TONYC Internship

Jun. 12, 2024

The following was written by TONYC's spring 2024 intern, Yeudy Ramirez Guerrero, who supported the administrative team from mid-April through mid-June.

I have been an Intern at TONYC since April 16th, which now has been nine weeks! I found my stay at TONYC a magnificent roller coaster ride because, as you know, a roller coaster goes up and down and side to side.

I say this because when my roller coaster went down, it meant I had to switch out my plans for the day and be ready for my meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday, but the meetings with Harrow (my supervisor) were great! I had nothing to complain about because they were amazing. Harrow was patient with me and was able to inform me and include me into whatever they found was a great opportunity for me to learn.

Thursdays, I was given the privilege to be at the office, which allowed me to meet the TONYC group, and they were very welcoming and EVERY Thursday, they welcomed me without any issue. I felt my stay was appreciated, and although it was a quick two months, they felt very important.

I learned about Forum theater, which is a type of theater that allows people to perform a solution to a problem, and seeing as I'm a Theater major in my art school, I felt like the troupe facilitators' (Jokers) were a great example, and I learned a lot of their leadership skills and how they go into training to better their skills so when they go about leading their groups there isn't any issue. I learned about important values like community, empowerment, and solidarity, which I learned thanks to their Wildcard Workbook. They use these values to better their work and implement them for social change.

I was also able to learn about a theater technique that is used by placing public audiences in real-world situations and seeing how they react. To me, it’s very realistic. I've seen and heard people critique others on their actions based on a serious issue. For example: if a woman who was SA'd was in shock and couldn’t react or say anything because she felt like the quickest way would be to just let it happen, some people would think, "why didn't you address it with the person and let everyone know you're being SA’d, or physically harm the person?" However, we don't all react the way each other does because we all are different. Being able to run this technique is crucial and important for cases like this, as well as other political and social justice issues.

I attended a great showcase on Saturday, May 18th, where I was able to do volunteer work, which was amazing, and I loved seeing the people get together and eat, as well as the performances, which I believed were great and went hand in hand with my Theater unit at school, which was improv. Improv means being creative and coming up with your own character and story and going along with what is going on and addressing the issue. I was also able to learn a little of financial management, which I just started doing, but Harrow was very kind in showing me and being patient with me.

My Internship at TONYC was great! I have no complaints, but I do have many thanks to everyone at TONYC.

— Yeudy Ramirez Guerrero, June 12th, 2024