We’re excited to introduce you to our December Volunteer of the Month, Ennis Bashe. Ennis started in 2019 supporting our field trips program (now known as Write Together), and returned to 826NYC to connect with our Write Away Workshop students! Learn more about their interests, passions, and impressive superpower by reading their profile below.
826NYC: How did you first get involved with 826NYC, and why did you decide to volunteer?
Ennis: When I moved back to New York after dealing with some health challenges a few years ago, I really wanted to get more involved with the local community. A family member sent me a link to 826NYC’s site because they thought it looked like a great fit for me. They were right! As a writer and performer, I’ve had the opportunity to run writing, poetry, and improv workshops for kids and teens. 826 looked like the perfect way to use the skills I’d learned as a teaching artist and facilitator.
826NYC: What’s your favorite part of 826NYC?
Ennis: I love getting to witness the absolutely wild ideas our young writers come up with, especially when they’re working collaboratively. They don’t have any preconceived notions of what good writing “should” be or what a story “should” include. That kind of confidence is so refreshing!
That, and playing the “evil” publishing boss [Dr. Mildew] over the PA system during in-person field trips.
826NYC: What do you do when you’re not at 826NYC?
Ennis: Something most people don’t know about me is that I’m an avid LARPer. On an average weekend you’ll find me wearing elf ears and cracking open a pack of stage blood capsules in the upstate wilds, helping turn a hotel ballroom into the faerie realm, or safeguarding a secret society of magic-users on the Lower East Side, ideally while fake-crying so hard all my special effects makeup comes off, because chewing scenery is part of a complete breakfast. I also love tabletop roleplaying games!
When I’m not working on my social work degree from NYU, or my other volunteer gig as a crisis counselor, I try to make time for my own projects. I write LGBT romance novels—my most recent book, A Scheme of Sorcery, came out this past August.
826NYC: What advice would you give to a new volunteer?
Ennis: Even if you’re nervous, you don’t need to be afraid of the kids or see them as adversaries. They’re a great bunch of tiny humans who are just here to have a good time. Also, it helps to know about pop culture and memes.
826NYC: What are your superpowers?
Ennis: In addition to being a NaNoWriMo winner, I can recite the opening to Beowulf in the original old English!