We’ve often wondered how actors do it — that is, how they sort of keep track of themselves and maintain stability. It’s a curiosity because of their constant moving in and out of different personas when they take on roles in films or stage plays. It was rumored that the famous actor Peter Sellers of the 1950s, 60s and 70s had difficulty knowing who he really was when he wasn’t playing a character in a movie. Erika Garces, the wonderfully talented actress from Quito, who now lives and works in Los Angeles, has solved the age-old problem that actors have been confronted with for millennia.
Erika understands the need to stay grounded especially if you’re working in a crazy, up and down business like the film industry. Since she has played so many characters and been in countless films she saw the need to develop a routine that enables her to get rid of stress and remain grounded, no matter what kind of character she is currently acting out and no matter how deeply she immerses herself into the part. She has shared this with other professional actors and they have all agreed that her method works because it is so simple.
Erika gets up early, although some actors need to sleep in, which is very understandable. Then she does stretching exercises for 20 to 30 minutes and after that she reads for 30 minutes. By the way, she says it’s not necessarily the amount of time you put into these activities each day, the important part is that you DO put in some time doing a certain routine each and every day; that’s the secret and the key to grounding yourself in something that is not acting.
After reading, Erika makes a light breakfast, 2 eggs and a half of an avocado and then she’s ready for whatever the day may bring. She is grounded, she knows who she is and when it’s time for her to get into character, she is fully confident that she can separate her true self from the role she is playing at any time.
When she played Audrey in the highly praised and award-winning film City of Dreams she fully got into her role and showed what real acting is all about. The film went on to premiere at multiple film festivals around the world and Erika received kudos from critics and audience members alike. Erika has got a busy schedule this year with several projects coming out soon, including an episode of Jimmy Kimmel (which she just filmed) and a movie that’s going to be coming out called The Hudson Case.
We recently caught up with Erika and this is what she had to say:
Some of your latest highlights are an Audience Award and being featured on a high-rated national TV show on ABC. Tell us about that.
It’s been pretty exiting lately. I produced a film with a dear friend of mine and we shot it in Manhattan, New York a year and a half ago. We had gone a long way with the festival run, promoting and premiering the film here and there, but once City of Dreams was officially selected at the Audience Awards earlier this year, we thought, this is it! We got to the semifinals in early March and from there, we just hoped for the best.
The jury announced their finalists and I remember scrolling down the website looking for the title of our movie, and there it was! It was the most exciting thing. From there, we continued promoting the film and were so glad and thankful that the audience enjoyed it, laughed with it, were moved by it, and took their time to vote for us. At the end of the day, we make our movies for the audiences, so it was the best thing we could have asked for.
Filming the episode for Jimmy Kimmel Live! a couple weeks ago was lots of fun. We had a blast on set. I mean, we were shooting a comedy skit on what would happen if Trump left the White House to Sean Spicer for the weekend. It was parties here, parties there. So we were doing that: dancing, drinking and having fun, just, you know, in front of the cameras!
What can we expect to see next from Erika Garces in the near future?
I have a film coming out at the end of the summer titled The Hudson Case. I play a young Sergeant that’s investigating a case about a murder. When going to a suspect’s house, Sgt Lodge and her partner get shot. It was such an interesting and enriching experience to work on a character that has gone through so much emotionally and explore with the director, where she wants to go from there. How she wants to handle the next murder investigation, when the victim is her partner.