The famous quote from three-time Tony Award nominee Terrence Mann– “Movies will make you famous; Television will make you rich; But theatre will make you good,” says a lot about the skills of many of the most recognized actors in the spotlight today.
Ecuadorian actress Erika Garces is one performer whose skill on both the stage and screen have ushered her into a prominent position in the international entertainment industry. While her name was already known throughout South America, Garces has been making waves in the U.S. film and television industry since she moved stateside a few years ago. In May, national audiences saw her take on a featured role as U.S. Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s escort on ABC’s hit three-time Primetime Emmy Award winning late nite TV series Jimmy Kimmel Live!.
Garces, has created a dazzling reputation for herself as a diversely talented on-screen actress, but she went through years of classical theatre training before making her way onto the silver screen. In Los Angeles alone Garces has starred in numerous sold-out theatre productions at the Adler Theater, such as “Largo Desolato” directed by Academy Award winner Milton Justice, “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui” directed by Susan Bonito, “Agnes of God” directed by Tim Mcneal, whose film “Anything” premiered earlier this month and was produced by three-time Oscar Award nominee Mark Ruffalo (Hulk from The Avengers), giving the Adler Theater a greater reputation.
Garces starring role as Agnes in “Agnes of God,” which ran for two months at the Adler Theatre in Los Angeles in 2015, is marked proof of just how dynamically talented Erika Garces is when it comes to taking on challenging characters. Centering on Garces’ character Agnes, “Agnes of God” tells the story of a novice nun who was sexually abused in her youth and struggles to decipher reality from personal delusions. While in the convent Agnes gives birth, which she claims to be the result of immaculate conception, something that causes an uproar among the other nuns and brings much of Agnes’ past abuse to the forefront.
Although Garces has taken on a number of layered and emotionally complex characters in both film and television, she marks her role as Agnes as having been one of her most challenging to date. Garces recalls, “This character, no doubt, expanded my emotional abilities as an actress tremendously. There was definitely no chance, for a second, to lie on stage. It had to be as pure and as powerful as possible. And it was so gratifying to hear the emotional response from the audience.”
She also stood out in 2014 and 2016 with her live performances at the Orpheus Awards from the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival. The first year she beautifully portrayed the young lover Juliet in “Romeo and Juliet” staged at the iconic Egyptian Theatre and directed by Yorgos Karamihos (The Durrells in Corfu, NCIS), a play Garces also performed in front of Jim Gianopulos and J.K. Simmons. During Erika’s second time performing at the Orpheus Awards where she took the room’s breath away with her portrayal of a 1920s seductress.
Her undeniable skill in the theatre has definitely carried over to her work in film and television with her giving one knock-out performance after another. Some of her film and TV credits to date include the films Accidental Muse where she acts alongside David Aranovich (Mission: Impossible- Ghost Protocol), One Day of Freedom, the California Film Award-winning family comedy Social Norm, the dramatic series Sangre Negra starring Oscar nominee Eric Roberts (Inherent Vice) and award-winning actor Danny Arroyo (Richard III, Saints & Sinners), and many more.
Earlier this year she also earned the Women’s Film Challenge Award from the Audience Awards in Los Angeles for her work as the lead actress and co-producer of the film City of Dreams. This popular and successful film produced by Freedom Way Films first premiered at the Action on Film Festival in September 2016. About working on the film, Garces says, “It was such an interesting experience for me to play this part because at one time or another, we all get a feeling of being trapped in a situation, at a job or in a relationship and you start thinking to yourself, what if I just left?”
Garces spot-on performance has been integral to the impressive reception City of Dreams has received to date, which includes being chosen as an Official Selection of the Nova Film Festival, Action on Film Festival and BAFICI in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Before that, Freedom Way Films had hired Erika to be the lead in a romantic thriller titled The Perfect Plan. This fast-growing production company has been gaining popularity in the recent years. In fact, we’ve heard rumours around town that the actress and the team at FWF have created such a tight collaborative and artistic communication (such as the one with director David O’Russell and actors Bradley Cooper, Robert DeNiro and Jennifer Lawrence), where Munalula, the CEO at Freedom Way Films has hired Garces once again for their upcoming motion picture set to be released in 2019.
As a highly skilled actress whose body of work stretches across every platform, it comes as no surprise that Erika Garces has been invited to judge the work of other actors. Earlier this year she was invited to judge the prestigious English Speaking Union’s annual Shakespeare competition, where she helped determine the six finalists who would go on to compete at the ESU National finals at New York’s Lincoln Center. In the past Garces was also chosen to judge the Premios Colibri competition, which is held in Ecuador.
One of the things that has made Erika Garces such a unique and successful actress is the diversity of her work. In addition to being in countless high-profile theatre productions, award-winning films and hit television shows, she’s also been tapped for several commercials over the years, such as those for leading hair brand Wella and the car sharing app Maven, which have led her to become an even more recognizable talent in the industry.
Last year Garces starred in a commercial for the Dos Equis beer, which you can check out below. Her fun loving attitude and facial expressions throughout the ad are definite highlights, and the judges at the 2016 MOFILM competition thought so too, as the commercial took home the 3rd Place Award out of thousands of submissions.
Garces early theatre training has been tantamount to the actress developing the dynamic skill she has become known for today; and thanks to her relentless drive to keep growing as a performer, we know that she will continue to impress fans around the world with her flawless performances on both the stage and screen. Up next for Erika Garces is the dramatic film The Change of Heart from director Ronnie Ashury, which is slated to wrap production this summer, the premiere of The Hudson Case and the filming of two features: Dozen Roses and Look Ahead.