We had the good fortune of connecting with Gabriella Garcia and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Gabriella, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
The short answer: That was the only way to live my life. As I grew older, it only made more sense. The long answer: Why does the clock tick? Why does my tea burn my tongue when I’m impatient? It just does. I saw a play when I was five, and I don’t even remember the play or what was said. I got tunnel vision and witnessed a man and a woman on a stage. It was enough. It didn’t feel like a decision, but a discovery. Acting now serves me as a channel into other creative processes including writing and producing, and each serves as confirmation. This is the only way to live my life.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My purpose is creating art that inspires and in turn makes people feel they and their work MATTER. I didn’t come to that conclusion overnight, but at one point, my therapist asked me exactly what my purpose was in life. I couldn’t answer right away because geez, talk about a loaded question. She told me to think about it and write it down for next session. Two weeks later, she doesn’t even bring it up. I realized her knowing my answer was less important than me asking myself the question. I am learning anything and everything I can in front of and behind the camera to fulfill that purpose. Even if it’s just my friends and I putting aside a Saturday to shoot a one-minute short film. If my work can tell someone, anyone, that they matter more than they realize, I’ll have paid my debt. I’ve been fortunate to have many chances so far. I got my first gig when I was 6 and didn’t get my first TV spot until 10 years later. I have worked professionally on multiple television shows including Good Behavior (TNT), Survivor’s Remorse, (STARZ), Black Lightning (CW) and the film Yes, God, Yes directed by Karen Maine, which came to Netflix late 2020. In between, I spend time screenwriting and filming independent projects, both to stay busy and to work out my creative and collaborative mind. Was getting to where I am today easy? No. But answering this question feels weird because it implies that I’m done. Some things I’ve learned along the way though: My family does a good job of “keepin’ me down, not holdin’ me back”. I’ve learned to listen to them and my acting coach Neko Parham, who has instilled in me to have fun no matter what. Heeding their advice has brought me far and taught me when to trust my instincts. But you asked about challenges: I’ve been dropped by an agent. I grew up during the ’08 market crash. My biological father and I are estranged. I started therapy and didn’t get any paying gigs in 2020. And I have to pee right now. I’ve just learned to take it all and use it to fuel my purpose. I’m not diminishing ANY of these issues; they are all challenging in their own right and each take their time to work through. But I have gained perspective. I still have my family, and I’m still standing.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Get ready! It’s most food and cemeteries. First, I’d take her to the Beltline because it’s just cool, deal with it. Then, I’d take her to Old Fourth Ward, my favorite part of Atlanta. Get a hotdog at Little’s Food Store (Cabbagetown), then pizza at Gino’s Pizza Bar, then a beef kabob at The Mediterranean Grill on Monroe Drive. Because we can still walk after all of that, we go to Oakland Cemetery, then Decatur Cemetery. For dinner, we’re going to Zuarepa for Venezuelan food (order the Arepa Pelua) in Gwinnett. Dessert will be the chocolate mousse cake in the GA French Bakery in Norcross. If it’s a Wednesday night, we’re stopping by the Redlight Cafe, unless she doesn’t like jazz.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
EVERYTHING I do is for my family. My career wouldn’t exist without Adriana Pinzon, Juan Pinzon, and Daniel Pinzon. I grow every day with Alejandro Valdez by my side, and I bow down to Neko and Onira Parham and our TeamGreatness ATL family. Family doesn’t allow you to live unloved and unchallenged. Those who provide a safe space to try and to fail should be kept close.

Instagram: @thegabriellagarcia

Other: Email: gabriellagarcia1@gmail.com IMDB: www.imdb.com/name/nm3150988

Image Credits
TNT, CW, Netflix, Vertical Productions, Olivia Ettinger

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