Today we get to meet one of our Summer 2017 interns, Zoe Correa. A Korean, Puerto Rican, Russian-Polish non-practicing Jew, Zoe decided that the best answer to the question “What are you?” is simply: “A mess.” Her quest to rephrase the question as “Who are you” began with her undergraduate Acting training at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She took a year out from studies to find her roots back home in New York, only to find herself empowering young voters across the country as a Field Organizer with the Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign. With this newfound fire in her belly to fight for a more inclusive and representational America, Zoe then transferred to USC’s School of Cinematic Arts where she is now studying screenwriting in hopes of telling the stories of all the kids who identify as Other.
If you were to start your own political party, what would it be called?
The only political party that should ever exist is one that devotes itself to honoring Lin-Manuel Miranda. It would eliminate any and all partisan gridlock. (I mean… he is the man responsible for exposing Mike Pence’s love for theatre!) A key First 100 Days agenda item would be making “My Shot” our national anthem because there are few things more American than being a young, scrappy, and hungry immigrant!
What is your favorite family tradition?
My aunt makes a mountain of rice and gandules, a Puerto Rican dish of yellow rice and pigeon peas, every Christmas Eve. I don’t eat dairy, so I can’t wash down the guilt I immediately am seized by after my third helping with coquito (a sinful concoction of rum, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla) but I wish I could!
What’s your sign and why do you think it’s the best?
We Taureans make the best Moms — biological, adoptive, honorary — because while we care deeply for the welfare of others, we’re ready to literally fight anyone who threatens our offspring. We’ve got these horns for a reason.
What is a skill you wish you had?
Being able to alternate between languages. As a Mash-Up and daughter of immigrants, it’s hard not to feel grief in not inheriting the native tongues of my ancestors — it was simply their means of assimilation and ultimately, survival.
In your teenage angst, what is the one thing you wanted more than anything?
To altogether not be seen and be seen. I just re-watched a video with one of my favorite writers (and humans), Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, speaking about how we, as women of color, have been programmed by the world to reduce ourselves. At drama school, I was taught how to enter a space and claim it as my own; there’s nothing more empowering than affirming that you have the right to be here, especially when society screams that you do not.
You can find Zoe on Twitter.
And if you’re interested in a Fall 2017 internship, apply here!