Friday, February 20, 2015

Twinkie takes New Orleans by STORM

Casting Locally in New Orleans

So Thankful!!

I'm Blessed to have the opportunity to Cast a film locally in New Orleans, this winter. WOW!! What a Wonderful Experience.  While in New Orleans running in Audubon park, I had an epiphany.. Okay well my Actor friend Lance Nichols with his beautiful wife Zardis helped me put it together. They are wonderful!

Running in Audubon Park
So we put the word out there to get the ball rolling. Lance and Zardis are Awesome!! While getting the word out I received an email regarding my workshop and a interview for WGNO News With A Twist!! Yay!! Seriously!! My Actors B.S. Workshop is hapening in New Orleans!! The Big easy!! Hollywood has come to Hollywood South!

The Interview was Awesome. Shout out to Jabari Thomas for his Audacity and Tenacity! (my two favorite words)  GREAT JOB!

After my interview, I donated my time to speak to High School students at New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA). WOW I was completed taken aback by their wonderful reception and turnout!! It was Awesome!! The Students are very Bright and articulate. I loved listening to their questions and point of view.
 I figured I would start off wiht who I was and what I was doing there. Welp, they stopped me with Ms. Twinkie, we already know who you are. We did our research. Oh My.. Okay lets get into it then..

We moved on to the Q&A portion of the afternoon. My first question floored me.. Yes, I said, whats is your question. This adorable young lady asked "What have you sacrificed to be in this business and to get where you are today?" WOW!! Gulp.. I was speechless.. What have I sacrificed... well, to be honest, marriage, children, funerals, weddings, Thanksgivings, Christmases, Easter, quality family time, friends, baby showers etc. you name it and I have probably missed it, therefore sacrificed it. Its challenging and I try not to give it too much thought.  Casting is my Gift from God, so I'm sure there is someone very special in store for me. From there the questions become even more on point and insightful.

These kids are no joke but I loved it. We discussed Type Casting, Attitudes, Likability, Lack of Actors of Color, TV versus Film etc. We discussed the industry in general and then some very real specifics. Such a Great speaking engagement. Thank you to Ashley Nicole Williams for utilizing your network for me. I was so full after leaving that school, my feel didnt touch the ground.

A Day at NOCCA

Thank you NOCCA!! You were Awesome!! 

Next was a Radio Interview with Samantha Beaulieu at WBOK in Nawlins!! Thank you Samantha!! 

Last but definitely not least was my workshop!! Actors B.S. happened in New Orleans and Special Thanks goes to LaZardis Productions!! Lance and Zardis made sure to assist me in any way they could, which included putting the good word out there for my workshop!!

Guess who stopped by, Director Oz Scott!!! LEGENDARY!! I ran into Oz while at the Valet waiting for my car. I saw a Production Van and wondered "Who is here and getting into that Production Van?" None other than Oz Scott and his producer. Oz was in town Directing an Episode of NCIS New Orleans. After a Big Ol HUG!! Oz asked what I was doing there.. I shared I was Casting a Feature Film and decided to do a workshop to impart some valuable information to Actors. Oz said.. IM IN.. I said wait.. what?? He said.. I will come by if you want. I was Floored!! Totally Floored!! This is Oz Scott!! He IS "For Colored Girls who have considered suicide when the Rainbow is Enuff! I was speechless.. I said Yes Sir!! Thank you Sir.. Thank you!! 

I just cant believe he is here!! Ladies and Gentlemen, OZ SCOTT!! 

Thank you Sir! Thank you.. Lets Chat...

MY NETWORK IS MY NET WORTH!! New Orleans was so Good to me!!  Thank you James Lopez, Lance Nichols, Zardis Nichols,  Janee Tucker (Mama Gee), Robert Doqui and the City of New Orleans!!

Its all about Nawlins Beybee!! 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Our Obsession with "THE LEAD"

It's time to have the discussion. Maybe we should start with a question...

Are we obsessed with being THE LEAD??

If so, what is this about?

Please allow me to elaborate.I've been teaching a class on Actors B.S. (to be discussed later) and I'm learning so much.

During my class, I work on Type. The Typing process made some actors "feel" some type of way about how they are being typed. So we discuss it.  I learn that many actors want to be Leading Men/Ladies. When you say they are character actors or types, their faces got all scrunched up and eyes rolled around in their heads. Truly not happy about being typed as a character actor, the question is asked.. Why cant I be the "Lead"?? I see myself as a Lead and I want to do Lead work.

I wonder..what are we equating with the word or term  "Lead"?

My questions then become..How do you feel about yourself? Do you need to be the Center of Attention? What does Lead mean to you? Does being the Lead, validate you in some way?
Denzel dreams? Halle Berry wishes?
Do you have a Passion for this Industry? Do you truly have a passion for The Craft? Does the Lead make more money? If yes, are you sure?

You reveal alot about your Ego when LEAD roles are your obsession. One young lady compared herself to Paula Patton saying she is "mixed" so therefore she should be a Lead. (SERIOUSLY!!!)

For this particular Blog, I'm truly interested in Comments from the Acting community.  Can you guys answer some questions for me please? Post others as well.

Looking forward to your thoughts and Feelings!

Update: Lets be clear that it should NOT be about proving yourself as
worthy, able or talented. That should exist in your spirit already. The Craft is the Craft. work towards being the Best you can be. Lead does NOT mean Best.

Saturday, October 18, 2014


HI, please state your name: Kyla Victoria Garcia 

Where are you from? Hoboken, NJ 

When did you fall in love with Acting? It started when I was very young.  One of my earliest memories is of watching The Wizard of Oz.  I would learn the lines and act them out for my family.  As I grew older, I started a love affair with books and reading.  Everywhere I went I would always have a book with me.  At nine years old, I got cast in a student production of Macbeth as Lady Macbeth.  I fell in love with the combination of reading and performing on a stage.   And I haven't stopped since. 

I was also inspired by my older sister.  She was always singing, dancing, or acting, and because I looked up to her so much, she paved the way for me in the arts. 

Who is supportive of your Dream? How do they support you?  I am very, very lucky because my whole entire family is supportive.  My Mom has always said "Do what you Love."  For as far back as I can remember, she encouraged me to follow my dreams.  My Dad is also a huge supporter along with my Aunt.  They both flew across the country to see me in my one woman show, 'The Mermaid Who Learned How to Fly,' this year which was the highlight of my summer. I come from a very creative family who did not have the blessing of support and encouragement to follow their artistic dreams, so they always encouraged my sisters and I to follow ours.

I am also surrounded by an incredible support system of friends.  Before I made the move to LA, my boyfriend and best friend threw me a surprise going away party.  All of my closest friends and family were there to see me off.  It was one of the happiest days of my life.  To have so many people I love sincerely giving me their blessing on the next chapter of my life in California, even though they knew I would be 3,000 miles away, filled my heart with even more courage for the move. 

How did you turn your dream into Action?  When I was 10 years old, I starred in my first play which was called "Destiny."  I had an angel of a teacher named Margo Singagliese, who saw me play Lady Macbeth at 9 and supported and guided me as an actress throughout my adolescence.  She directed me in "Destiny" and helped foster the confidence I needed to pursue this path.  From that moment on, I got this idea that I needed to excel in school to get a scholarship in order to go to a prestigious acting program.  Even at that age, I had an awareness that I did not come from a very wealthy family.  My parents worked very hard to give us everything we needed and then some, but I instinctually knew that I would have to create a college opportunity for myself.  I continued doing plays throughout high school (under the direction of yet another amazing mentor Alex Perez) while also taking academics very seriously.  After my senior year, I got into my dream acting program at Rutgers University on a full scholarship.  Under the stellar guidance of Barbara Marchant and Kevin Kittle, I was able to learn more than I ever had before about my craft and truly immerse myself in acting.  I decided very early what I wanted and I saw it through.  

Where have you studied? I received my BFA at Rutgers University, studied Shakespeare at Rutgers Conservatory at Shakespeare's Globe in London, and went to UCB for comedy and improv in both NY and LA.  

When did you make the move to Los Angeles? Why?  Everything was going well in NY.  I was working consistently; performing in Off-Broadway plays and commercials frequently, I was surrounded by everyone I loved, and had a great side gig right next to the Equity building in Times Square.  On the surface, it seemed like I should stay.  But, my intuition said I needed to move to LA. I initially had that feeling the first time I visited it in 2007.  But, it wasn't until 2011 after a chance encounter that I finally decided I needed to make the move.  On New Year's Day of 2011, one of my customers at Havana Central asked me "What do you need to do this year to make you say on New Year's Eve of 2012 that 2011 was a good year?" The first thing that came out of my mouth was "move to LA."  This angel of a man made me promise to move to LA within the year.  I promised him, saved money from making A LOT of mojitos, and made it to LA within the next six months. 

What made you enter Twinkies Monologue Slam?  When I moved to LA, I began researching casting directors who were working on films that inspired me and that I knew I was right for.  I also started following some of those casting directors on Twitter.  Twinkie was number one on my list.  One day I happened to see the announcement for the slam on her Twitter feed.  I've always loved monologues and I thought it would be a great opportunity to be seen by one of the casting directors I admired most. 

You are Puerto Rican and you entered a Monologue Slam at the (then.. Hollywood Black Film Festival) Were you Intimidated? What were you thoughts??  I was not intimidated.  From watching Twinkie's massive repertoire of films, I knew that she specialized in diverse casting.  I knew that there could be a place for me in one of them if I tried.  I didn't let the name of the festival get in my head.  She encouraged actors of all ethnicities to apply, so I figured I had nothing to lose in taking the risk and putting my work out there. 

How has your life been since the slam??  Wonderful!  I have not stopped working since last October.  And I don't plan on it!  Every since that magical night, life has been on overdrive.  I've returned to the theatre in LA and had the opportunity to work on "Se Llama Cristina" by the prolific Octavio Solis at one of my favorite LA theatres, The Theatre at Boston Court.  One of the casting directors for Marvel saw me in that performance and cast me in my very first TV role on ABC's Marvel Agents of SHIELD.  I also shot several commercials, wrote, produced, and starred in a one woman show that debuted at the Hollywood Fringe Festival this year, and returned to my musical theatre roots in the West Coast Premiere of Stile's and Drew's "The Three Little Pigs" at the Lewis Family Playhouse working alongside incredible actors and performing for young audiences. It has been an inspiring year.  Knowing that the work I am doing may inspire another little nine year old to realize her (or his) dreams early on, means everything to me.  

Were the Prizes Helpful to your career?? Very much so.  The prizes were very generous!  I was able to have a glam make up session with the lovely Melissa Hibbert and photo shoot with the amazingly talented Zsanae Davis.  I've also put my Actors Access gift certificate prizes to good use!  Bonnie Gillespie's book "Self-Management for Actors: Getting Down to (Show) Business has also been a wonderful tool.  
But, for me, the greatest prize was finding a mentor in Twinkie and the relationships I made at the slam.  It seems my career has been led from the very beginning by connecting and working with inspiring people who believe in me and became my mentors.  Now, I have the privilege of calling Twinkie one of those special people in my life.  I also am still very much in touch with the other finalists.  They were all so very talented and it is a gift to call them friends. Those priceless relationships will go on for the rest of my career and I am forever grateful.
Lunch after The Slam! 

Whats next for you?  My one woman show, "The Mermaid Who Learned How to Fly" will return for One Night Only at the Theatre Asylum on November 8th at 8PM.  (FYI Tickets can be purchased here:

I plan to take this show around the country and eventually around the world.  I also plan on taking screenwriting classes and learning how to adapt the staged work I've written for film.  I have found that the greatest freedom in the arts comes from creating your own work.  Once I got a taste of it, I became hooked and want to continue shaping original stories of the type of strong female characters I love to play.  Rather than wait for someone else to give me those opportunities, I am creating them for myself. 
What is your wish for the Next winner of Twinkie Byrds Hollywood Monologue Slam?  My wish for the Next winner of the Slam is that their experience fills them with the confidence and joy they have always had since the moment they chose to pursue this dream. Sometimes along the way, we forget our own power.  The Slam reminded me of mine.  It empowered me to never let it go.  I hope that the next winner is inspired in this way and allows the experience to remind them of their wings.  Once you remember you have them, there's no telling how far you will fly.