My name is Franchesca Jimenez and I was born in the Dominican Republic. I’m twenty-one years old, and right now I live in the Bronx. I came to the States once before, for about a year, but I went back to my country, and I’ve been back this time for just a few months. I actually always felt like I was born in the wrong place, just because I always dreamed about coming here. I love New York—I love the city, I love the movement, I love the people walking around—I love all of it! I love the Dominican Republic, it has beautiful things too, but I feel like I belong in New York City. I feel here that this is the way I want to live, so I plan on staying.
Back in the D.R. I was studying criminal justice, and I studied that for about two years in college. I definitely want to go back to school here in the States, and am planning to study music, film, or theater. Art is what I love to do; I’ve loved being on stage since I was a little girl. I used to sing and dance in front of my mom and dad ever since I was a little girl. So to this day, that is what I love to do, and that is what I plan to study. In my country, I don’t have as much opportunity to do what I love, because it’s not too easy to get into the spotlight there. You have to have money to pay for a good school or theater programs. So that’s why I came here. I feel like here in New York I have the opportunity to do what I love to do.
I would ideally like to find myself acting in a movie at some point or singing on stage—singing and dancing at the same time. That is my dream, and that’s what I hope New York will give me. I plan to take singing lessons, and am saving money now to be able to do so. I also hope to start going to auditions and castings once I get more settled. I really want to take class, because I’d love to find a place where there are people learning more about the same things that I love to do.
I got involved with the Tempest through DreamYard. The last time I was in New York, I used to be part of a DreamYard program called The Rhyme Factory. That was in 2010. And now I live in the same building that DreamYard is in, so I saw the flyers they posted all around the building, and that’s how I found out about the auditions. And my sister is in their theater program, and she told me to go with her to the auditions. I was like, “Yay! Finally!” It was awesome because I’d just arrived back in the States.
I love coming to the rehearsals! I’m always happy here. I never want to go home, I just want to stay here and keep dancing. Whatever we’re doing, I just don’t want to leave; I never want to! I’m putting all of my energy into it because I love what I’m doing here so much. And I really love the costumes. Oh my God! I haven’t told anybody I know about the costumes yet, because I want them to be surprised. Paul Carey, the costume designer, is actually having me wear one of my own hats because he loved it so much. It has stars on it and says “New York.” Paul was like, “Oh my God! I love that hat, you have to wear it!” I was like, “Yes!” This project means a lot to me. I love the team, I love the dancing, I love the songs, I love everything. I love Tiffany, I love Evangeline, I love Lear, I love Todd—I love everything and everyone who is part of this process!