Debra Tries: Acting


Debra Garcia, Online Editor-in-Chief/Business Manager

   Hello, and welcome to “Debra Tries…” The series where I review topics and activities that I would not normally take part in on a normal day. For example, I will listen to music, watch movies, TV shows, play video games and even eat foods that lie outside my comfort zone. Today’s challenge: act for a short film. 


   This all started when my friend Mia Sadlouskos asked me to star in a short film she was making for her TV Production class. It was written to be a short parody of a really bad Hallmark film. I was really surprised that she asked me to star in it since I can be really shy and have a lot of social anxiety. 


   Now, I have never acted  in my life. Even when I used to be in TV Production, I was mostly behind the camera, not a shining star. It was scary to think about. What if I kept on messing up? What if I was the worst at acting? The thought of a ten-minute short film premiering on the morning show starring me was terrifying. But after some convincing from my peers that I would not bomb the role, I finally decided to do it, and then document my experience.  

   My assignment was simple: star in “The Holiday Article” as Winter, a journalist for the school newspaper assigned to write an article about a local Bed and Breakfast. During a Starbucks run, she meets Nick, played by my co-star Simon Armendariz. Nick is the son of the owner of the Bed and Breakfast (played by Sam Adams) “and an avid hater of the holiday season.. Over the course of the film Winter tries to help Nick enjoy the holidays again, and maybe finds love along the way. 

   Filming started that weekend, and oh my was it interesting. The first scene we filmed was when Winter and Nick met for the first time at Starbucks. They were supposed to bump into each other dramatically, making Winter spill her drink and then question why Nick was there with a box of holiday decorations. We then headed to Publix to film another quick scene, finished quickly, packed up the equipment, went our separate ways and then met the next day to finish filming.  Filming these scenes made me realize that memorizing my lines was and will continue to be my biggest issue. Armendariz and I both had to constantly ask for our line, look down at the script and reshoot when we got them wrong.

   The next day of filming consisted of the most scene, location and costume changes. Alongside Sadlouskos, Armendariz and Adams, our crew was joined by Owen Montgomery and Leandro Garcia. We all met up at Sadlouskos’s house, then drove to a nearby park to film the rest of the scenes.

   During our time at the park, Montgomery played a low-budget Santa Claus, while Garcia played a store clerk. These park scenes mainly consisted of Adams reading the script off-camera to give Armendariz and me our lines. 

  After the park scenes, Montgomery and Garcia left, leaving Sadlouskos, Armendariz, Adams and I to film the remainder of the film at Sadlouskos’s house. Here we made cookies, decorated a tree, danced in the kitchen and played holiday music.

Mia Sadlouskos

   I had a really fun time helping Sadlouskos with her project. It was a fun new experience to act in her film, and I am really glad I got to meet new friends, catch up with old ones and learn from this new experience.