Meet ‘Sydney to the Max’ Multi-Hyphenate Performer Julia Garcia


Julia Garcia is one busy performer! Not only does her impressive resume include national commercials and roles on hit TV shows, but she is also an award-winning filmmaker and an amazing dancer. We are thrilled she took the time away from her busy schedule to talk with us about her career. 

Having started in the industry at a young age, with over 20 National Commercial Campaigns, how do you think your early exposure to acting and the commercial world has shaped your approach to the craft? 

Learning the job from an early age allowed me to have a full understanding of how a production works. Experience onset has given me great opportunities to watch and learn from the most amazing actors. These are factors that have shaped me into the actress I am today.

Your work on ABC’s Fresh off the Boat and guest-starring roles on shows like S.W.A.T. and Station 19 showcase your versatility. How do you prepare for diverse roles, and do you have a preference for a particular genre or character type? 

Preparation takes time and understanding of a character’s story. I visualize what their journey may have looked like which has brought them to the specific moment in the scene. I’m thankful to have been given several opportunities to go from dramas to comedies and back to dramas. Fresh off the Boat is considered a single camera comedy and both SWAT and Station 19 are dramas, being versatile in both genres is key. I honestly don’t have a preference, I love both. I love to tell stories that the audience can connect with.

The Station 19 episode you were part of had clips that went viral, reaching millions of views. How did it feel to be part of such a widely appreciated moment, and what do you think contributed to its popularity?

To say it was an honor is an understatement. To be a part of a moment where women across the globe were able talk about their experiences and tell their stories was incredible.  It really opened a line of communication that just wasn’t there. Another aspect of the story was about not having a mother and what it was like growing up alone. So many women connected with this aspect and were able to encourage each other. Social media really sparked an amazing and much needed conversation.

Congratulations on your producing ventures! Your short film Abuelo qualified for Oscar consideration, and Sharing the Floor with Lily Brooks O’Briant won awards. Can you share more about your journey into producing and your experiences in the filmmaking process?

I love filmmaking, just being able to make your vision come to life is special. I’ve always been interested in the process of how things were made.  I remember I was about 5 years old, and a director took me to the monitor after a shot to watch the playback.  He told me I did well, and I told him to let me do it again, I could do it better. He laughed and reluctantly agreed to do one more take.  After he called “cut” I ran back to watch the playback and I was so pleased with myself because it really was better. The director told me I was right, and that was the shot. He said I had amazing instincts. We high-fived, it was great. That moment resonated with me, and it helped fuel me.

Your most recent producing credit is the documentary Shura, nearing Oscar qualification. What drew you to this project, and how do you choose the stories you want to bring to the screen as a producer?  

My mentor Kayvon Derak Shanian has always had a passion for telling compelling and thought-provoking stories. He wanted to tell this story of courage and compassion and it spoke to me. As a producer, I chose projects that I personally connect with. Opening up difficult conversations and telling stories of people’s journeys are both important to me.

As a classically trained ballerina, how does your background in dance influence your acting and producing work? 

Ballet has given me technique and discipline in dance and in life.  The performing aspect of dance, whether it’s been on stage or through the camera goes hand in hand with acting. Everything is linked together to bring it all full circle.

You are actively involved in charitable causes like CHLA and St. Jude Children’s Hospital. Can you tell us about the importance of giving back to the community, and are there specific causes that hold a special place in your heart? 

Engaging in charitable causes has been a way for me to foster unity and empathy. I have always felt led to alleviate suffering and cultivate compassion while encouraging others.  My brother was unfortunately ill when he was young.  I know first-hand what it’s like to see your loved one suffer through treatment for complex conditions. I’d like to be a voice for children in need. 

When not immersed in the world of entertainment, you enjoy spending time with friends, practicing mixed martial arts, and boxing. How do these activities contribute to your overall well-being, and do they influence your approach to your craft? 

My body is an instrument for my craft. Keeping it healthy is important. Spending time with friends grounds me and is good for my soul. The physical activities of martial arts and boxing not only keep me in shape, but it also supports positive mental health. I always feel so clear headed and relaxed after training. Both aspects give me the ability to focus on my work as well as support my ability to work long hours.

Looking ahead, are there any specific projects or roles you aspire to take on in the future, and what goals do you have for both your acting and producing careers? 

I think every actor would love to see themselves as a comic book character or superhero, I guess that would be my little kid dream. I hope I can cross that off my bucket list one day. But my goal for acting and producing would be to take a page from Adam Sandler. I’d love to run my own production company and have my friends act in them alongside me.  That’s the dream for me, to make movies my way with the people I enjoy spending time with most.


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