Jessica Moreno-Caycho spent this summer interning for The Public Theater in New York City where she worked under designers to create costumes for hit productions like Hamilton and Privacy, including celebrities like Daniel Radcliffe! Find out more about Jessica’s internship in New York City and her various celebrity sightings in this edition of “Where in the World was VCU?”
Can you start by telling me your name, year and major?
Jessica A. Moreno-Caycho, junior, costume design
Where in the world were you this summer?
I was in the greatest city in the world, New York City, interning for The Public Theater.
What did your internship entail? When did you get it?
I got my internship in early May of this year. My internship entails of a little of everything costume related. We help out the designers and assistants with whatever they need, which often means making purchases and returns throughout the city. It’s a lot of tedious work, but when you have several productions running at the same time, all the extra hands help. Because The Public is gaining so much more popularity due to hit shows that started there like Fun Home, Eclipsed and Hamilton, they’re doing their usual free Shakespeare in the Park AND productions at the theatre. We also help with small alterations and helping out with paperwork.
Was this your first time in New York City?
Not at all. I used to come here every year with my fashion design and marketing classes in high school and that’s when I first fell in love with the city.
Was this your first internship? If not, how different is it from previous ones?
It’s been my first internship at a very professional level. It’s very different because my past internships would be around D.C. and now I’m in New York City exploring and schlepping around five days a week and I get to be a part of such a great community of different ethnicities and backgrounds that are all working towards the same goal and that is to put on an amazing production.
On a scale of 1-10, how hard was it adjusting to the city and how hard was the internship?
Probably an eight for the first few weeks that I was here, but now it’s at a solid four. It’s such a huge city with so many people that it was a bit overwhelming, but, after you get the hang of the fact that the city is built on a grid system, it’s not that hard. The internship hasn’t been that difficult either, not as long as I have comfortable shoes on. It’s a lot of what I usually do at the costume shop back at VCU and a little more. It’s a bunch of helping each other out and work isn’t hard when you love what you do.
What was your most memorable experience?
Probably our annual Gala. It was a night filled with people that had previously done shows at The Public like Lin-Manuel Miranda and family, Phillipa Soo and Steven Pasquale, Meryl Streep, Phylicia Rashad, Lily Rabe, Kate Burton and much more. It was such a warm and welcoming environment and I felt so proud to be doing what I am doing. Also, seeing Meryl Streep do an impersonation of Donald Trump is not something you will ever forget.
Did you meet anyone famous?
Oh yeah, we have a lot of “fancies” walking around The Public. We’re doing this new play called Privacy which is starring Daniel Radcliffe so that’s pretty exciting. I also went to go see Chicago about a month ago because Jane the Virgin star, Jaime Camil, is in it and I ended up meeting Azie Tesfai and Andrea Navedo who are also in Jane the Virgin. I’m actually working on a theatre production with Andrea at the moment, so New York City has been pretty good for me.