Tihany Lewis (The DreamYard Project)
My name is Tihany Lewis I was born in Manhattan but I live in the Bronx now. I attend high school at DreamYard Preparatory High School, in the Taft Educational Campus. I’ve been at DreamYard since last year in the 9th grade. I love it. The only thing I don’t love is that my school is on the 4th floor and that’s a lot of stairs but it’s okay. It’s good for me. That’s where I met my best friend Nafesah who is also in the show. There are five girls in our group—Nafesah, Franchesca, Arlene, and Aisatou. We talk to other people but us five are really close.
DreamYard Prep is a school for the arts and I do acting. For 9th grade my electives were singing and dance, and then in the 10th grade it was musical theater and theatre, and I’ll be majoring in theatre for 11th and 12th grades, which is what I wanted. This summer was my first time at the DreamYard center, which runs out of school programs. I loved the Shakespeare Summer Intensive we had! It was a good opportunity for me because it was so acting focused, which is what I want to do. Before this program I just went around living my life, but now sometimes if I’m waiting for the bus or the train I’ll actually look at people and notice little details about them—in a good way. It actually helps me grow as an actor, like with the exercise Tiffany gave us to create a character based on a real person we observed. It was fun—each and every person in the class grabbed my attention with their work. When I watched Josue and Michelle present their movement phrases that we all had to create I was like, “Oh my God!” It just grabbed my attention so much and I was so surprised with what everybody came up with. I’m so in love with everything we did that I didn’t want the days to end because it was so much fun and we got so close to each other. At first we didn’t know everybody, but through the work Tiffany led us through, everybody got closer and we had to depend on each other inside of the work.
I like to be a very happy person. I go around smiling and try to cheer people up before I cheer myself up and I love to watch cartoons. The thing about cartoons is that I feel when I watch cartoons it takes me away. When I’m watching my cartoons everything is just paused for a moment, and I feel like there’s still a chance in the world. I’ve been watching cartoons since I was little because I wasn’t in a good home when I was younger. We were poor and my mom wasn’t really there all the time; it was just my cousin and I. Then when I was seven I was put in a group home, then into foster care and I was just moving from home to home to home, which I still am kind of. So ever since I was younger I wanted to be independent and do things on my own because nobody was really there to actually be a parent for me. It’s been hard. But I’m going through it. I’ll make it.
I feel like what I’ve gone through shows me how not to be in the future. I’ve seen very much what not to do when I become an adult. That’s one of the reasons I want to be independent. My close friends are really the only ones that have actually cared. But I’m thankful because some people probably don’t have anybody, but I have them and that’s ok.
When I graduate high school I see myself going to SUNY Canton to learn to be a crime scene investigator. I watch everything—CSI, Law and Order, NCIS—everything, and I like solving problems. Even when my friends are sad or having a problem, they come to me. I like solving problems and helping people.