Sara Garcia is a young and wildly talented Latinx/Lebanese and queer actress whose star is quickly rising within the industry. Ontario-born and Toronto-raised, Garcia has always been a natural storyteller. She began her foray into theater at just seven years old. In following her passion, Sara eventually applied and was accepted to Toronto’s renowned Etobicoke School of the Arts. When it came time for University, Sara chose to attend the renowned Queen’s University, where she double majored in global development and theater. Her studies eventually took her abroad, teaching migrant children health and English in China. Her passion for the thrills of life abroad eventually took her to the vibrant city of Shanghai, where she lived and taught for three years. She embraced her desire to be a theater actor full-time when she finished teaching and began booking roles upon her return to Canada.
Other recent credits of Garcia’s include a recurring role on Netflix’s “My Little Pony” franchise, and as the lead of the feature horror film “True Fiction.” Sara’s incredible voice work can additionally be heard in two seasons of Amazon Prime’s “Gary & His Demons,” and on AppleTV/ Dreamwork’s project “Pinecone & Pony.” Prior to these roles, she starred in the CW’s acclaimed period piece “Reign,” USA’s “Falling Water,” Syfy’s film “Stickman,” and the Canadian CBC thriller series “X Company.” Film and television are not the only mediums through which Sara has displayed her acting skills, as she has had major roles in two incredibly successful video game franchises, Far Cry 6 and Starlink: Battle for Atlas, with both premiering to great success.Photo credit:
Photographer: Sarah Krick
MUA: Robert Bryan
Hair Stylist: Doug Mengert
Wardrobe Stylist: Lucy Warren
Hi Sara welcome to OLC! You’ve had an extraordinary career so far, but where did your passion for acting come from?
Thank you so much! I’ve had a passion for performing ever since I was little. My parents often joke that I’ve always had a flair for the dramatic — I would frequently put on mini-productions singing my favourite Disney songs for anyone who would listen. But, really, it was my mom who encouraged me to pursue the performing arts. Even though we didn’t have much, she always found creative ways to encourage my talents; for example, enrolling me in the local church choir so I could get free singing lessons. Eventually, I attended a high school for the performing arts which provided me with an amazing education and understanding of what it takes to turn your art into a career… and I’ve been doing it ever since.
I want to talk a bit about your work abroad, and the amazing opportunity you had in China, can you tell us about that and why it was something that you were so passionate about?
I can be a bit impulsive at times and my application to study abroad in China is a reflection of this, in the best way possible. I remember I had a paper due the next day that I was procrastinating. Instead of finishing it, I filled out an extensive application for a scholarship to study and work abroad in Shanghai. I ended up failing that paper but getting the scholarship, and so marked an incredibly influential and important chapter in my life. While I studied at Fudan University in Shanghai, I also volunteered with an NGO called Roots & Shoots teaching Health and English to students in the migrant school system.
It was an eye-opening experience to the realities and inequality most of the world faces and was a reminder of just how privileged we in the West are. It was also a time of self-discovery. I met some of my best friends over there, including the person who would become my life partner, and I grew the inner confidence to pursue my dream of acting. \
You’ve been on so many successful shows of course ‘The Flash’ and “Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist” just to name a few, so how were you discovered?
It’s funny because I don’t think I have been ‘discovered’. I still have moments where doubt and imposter syndrome take over. My journey has consisted of a lot of hard work, a lot of rejection, resilience, and perseverance.
I guess I see my trajectory as a slow burn. I used to compare myself to others but that would take me out of the present moment, mess with my mental health, and ultimately would negatively impact the work. I’ve come to realize that there is no one-size-fits-all model when working toward your dreams. Everyone is on their own path and the more gratitude you show to yourself and toward others the more at peace you become with where you are right now.
You can now be seen on Hallmark’s new series ‘Ride’, can you tell us a bit about the show and who you play?
Ride is a multigenerational family ensemble following the lives of the McMurrays, a dynastic rodeo and ranching family, as they struggle to keep their beloved ranch afloat. In the aftermath of a family tragedy, each character goes on their own journey of transformation that ultimately leads them back to the place and people they call home. I play Valeria Galindo — an orphaned teen who becomes a surrogate daughter of the McMurrays.
What drew you to this particular role on the show?
Valeria is spunky, tough, and fiercely loyal. She loves unapologetically and would do anything for the people she calls family. Val is also a bit of a wild card with a lot of hidden skills and talents. I knew right away I was going to fall in love with playing her.
How did you prepare for the role? Did they teach you much about the workings of a ranch?
Coming from the city, I had no prior ranch or horseback riding knowledge. There has been so much learning! I remember doing an Equine Therapy session before I flew out to Calgary to prep for being around horses. It was really interesting because it taught me a lot about the horse’s body language, how to respect them and communicate with them, and how empathetic they are.
It was a beautiful experience and very healing. As for ranch life, we are taught by the best. We film Ride on a working ranch in Calgary, so a lot of our wranglers are real-life ranch hands. We are very lucky to have them showing us the ropes.
What’s been the most memorable part of being on this show so far?
The most memorable part of being on Ride has definitely been working with my incredible co-stars. They are so talented, kind and really really funny! We’ve become a family on-screen and off. I think that finding incredible, supportive, and collaborative people who work well together — and become genuine friends — is a relative rarity in our industry.
Do you have any other projects on the horizon you can tell us about?
I’m excited to be starring in some amazing upcoming animated series. One I’m particularly excited about is Unicorn Academy, a new series that will be airing on Netflix in the fall. I play a young girl who receives a mysterious invitation to attend a very special riding academy. It’s like Harry Potter but with Unicorns and it’s absolutely fantastic!
What advice do you have for aspiring actors who hope to get their big break one day?
My advice for other actors is twofold. First, focus on your health, which includes your mental health. This is a marathon, not a sprint, and it’s mostly a mental game. Making sure you are nourished in the soul and in the vessel is paramount to helping you get through those tough days when self-doubt creeps in.
You have to know that you are good enough just “as you are.” You cannot let the constant rejection affect your sense of self. There is so much that is out of our control in this industry, but the one thing you can control is how you take care of yourself.
Second, understand the business side of this industry. Familiarize yourself with budgeting, taxes, on-set etiquette, and how this industry works outside of the creative. People don’t really teach all of this in acting classes, but it is as important as the craft itself. Oh, and one more thing… don’t forget to play and have fun!
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