Jinny Gutierrez (The DreamYard Project)
My name is Jinny Shakira Gutierrez Zapata. I was born in the Honduras in San Antoni Hospital. I’m sixteen now and I came to the U.S. when I was three years old. I lived in Brooklyn for about two years, and then I moved to the Bronx when I was nine. I go to Theater Arts Production Company High School, and I’m going into the 10th grade. I’m the oldest child of four. I’ve always had to be independent, helping my mother out; cooking, cleaning, and taking care of the kids, so I guess that’s where I get my maturity from. I’ve always been treated older than my actual age.
I started acting in about the 6th grade. For me, acting at DreamYard is a very new experience because I’ve been in plays at school, but this is extremely serious. DreamYard is somewhere I can actually start my career as an actress. When I came to DreamYard, I first started by rapping in the Rhyme Factory, and that was really fun because I learned how to write lyrics. So now I’m becoming better at writing, which is great.
With the Shakespeare Summer Intensive, I feel like my eyes were opened in a different way. My perspective has changed. The quotations Tiffany brought in, and hearing other people’s interpretations of the quotations, made me view things in a different way that I hadn’t before. With that program, I feel like I grew on everyone and everyone grew on me. I’m upset the intensive had to end because now I’m like, “Oh my God…no more yoga? No more Tiffany?”
A big passion of mine is reading. I’ve been reading since I was five years old. Whenever I feel upset, or mad, or happy, I just pick up a book. One book I read recently was Anna Dressed in Blood—that book was awesome. I also really liked reading Bodega’s Dreams and The Absolutely True Diary of a Part Time Indian. I LOVE reading!
I’d like to go on to act and do music, and I’d like to one day establish my own clothing line. I really want that. I want to be able to give back to the people I’ve grown up around. I want to someday get married, and live in a condominium that has a swimming pool, a home theater, all of those things!