“I get tougher on them as I get older,” says Snitzer, 60, who’s been teaching at New World for 20 years. “But I’d much rather be around 17-year-olds than 60-year-olds. They make me better. They make me think about things and question myself.”
New World teachers know that however tough they are, the world is much tougher. So they work to build not only talent and the practical skill to nail an audition or assemble a solid portfolio, but the resilience and self-knowledge to survive inevitable setbacks and possible failure.
Christie, who started with Broadway dreams, decided that her destiny was closer to home. In her senior year at New World, she started Voices United, a group where teenagers write songs and shows about issues and experiences that matter to them. She still heads Voices United, which has performed at the White House and been featured in national media.
Christie says New World taught her that Broadway wasn’t for her. “I realized it was more pressure than I could take,” she says. “I was really thrilled to use my art to be more healing in the world and not worry about using it for myself.”
After two years at New World, her daughter Maya has discovered a talent for composition.
“I’m mostly inspired just walking the hallways and observing my friends,” she says. “That’s what shaped me. I didn’t like to write songs till I came here. Now I’m writing a lot.”
She hopes to follow a student mentor to the Berklee College of Music in Boston. And she hopes her family tradition with New World will continue.
“I’m someone that thinks about the past and the future and how they connect a lot,” she says. “If I ever had kids that went here, it would be really exciting for me.”