Gloria Garayua - Star Amongst the Stars
Updated: Feb 20
With a track record like Grey's Anatomy, How to Get Away with Murder and Maid, Gloria Garayua is no stranger to any of us! We had a chance to catch up with Gloria and get all the juicy secrets about her time with some of the biggest television names.
Your resume just keeps getting better and better, with featured roles in such prominent shows and movies, like Grey's Anatomy and Fun With Dick and Jane. What has been your favorite to work on and why?
My favorite project to have worked on was "Reckoning" by Sony Studios. Sony Studios was independently funding all ten episodes when I was cast, but the show had not found distribution yet. So I knew that while I was filming it, I had no idea of its future. Eventually, it landed on Netflix. It was beloved by audiences, but we did not get a second season. However, it does remain to be my very favorite role. And that was because of so many wonderful factors, including filming in Australia for four months! That was just amazing! While I was there, I met the loveliest people both on set and off. When I was not filming, I would go salsa dancing if I did not have any other production responsibilities. I made friends and felt complete. I had a great time while on that project. I would go back in a heartbeat to another season and Australia!
You were on the hit show Grey's Anatomy as one of the interns, Intern Graciella, and we are HUGE fans! We have to know -- who was your favorite co-star to work with and why?
Sandra Oh! Sandra stood out from everyone else because she was incredibly kind. She went out of her way to remember all of the interns' real names. When I came on board in season four, the writers wrote a storyline that dozens of interns came on. Some were recurring characters like mine, and some were extras. Sandra remembered the principal interns' names and embraced us all with a warm welcome to set.
You also played Detective Brianna Davis in the hit show How to Get Away With Murder! Another one of our favorite shows! How was it working with the iconic Viola Davis?
Amazing! Of course, she was a true professional. But what was most impressive was that in between takes, she was able to just be a regular person and chat with me about life stuff before she had to turn on the tears and go again for another take. I don't think that I am that good, but I sure hope to be one day!
Most recently, you guest starred as Penny in the breakout series Maid on Netflix. What was it like being a part of such a breakthrough and thought-provoking show? We all learned so much from it. What did you take away from your character and the show?
We shot up in Canada during the pandemic. So I quarantined for two weeks, and then I waited another four weeks in my hotel before my character was scheduled to film. I didn't know anyone in the cast or production, so it was a bit lonely. I couldn't go out much because many businesses in the area were shut down due to Covid; the options were limited along with my social life.
But when I finally made it on set, I had a blast because I was living my dream. I loved my character "Penny" because I understood her. I did not judge her for being a hoarder. Instead, I admired her for valuing the items that belonged to her children and understood why she did not want to throw them away. "Penny" is nine months pregnant in episode nine, and to me, she's clearly a loving and nurturing mother. There's nothing negligent about her. She simply has a hard time letting go of material things. It was nice that my character gave the leading character her first job as an independent maid. That moment propels the protagonist into the future and ultimately frees her financially and from the emotional connections with her domestic violator.
Who are your biggest inspirations?
I look up to artists that have made it big but started humbly. If an artist had no family or friend connections in the entertainment industry and managed to make it on their own will and determination, that to me is inspiring. Jennifer Lopez is one of those people. I also look up to Michelle Rodriguez.
Where do you see your career going in the future or where do you hope it goes?
I have always dreamed of booking the lead role of a television show. I would be happy with either genre, drama, or comedy. I feel comfortable with both genres and love them. I would also love to be the lead of a romantic comedy. If I were to tap into the film world, this would be my dream role. If I could be greedy and dream on, I would also like to be part of a thriller. I love watching thrillers! I love being on the edge of my seat when I watch a movie! Since I have such diversified interests, I think I will be happy no matter where I land!
Any projects upcoming you can share with our readers?
I am in between jobs at the moment, which is not uncommon for actors. We're used to it. I also work as an acting coach and teacher. I help actors prepare for their auditions, and I teach the craft of acting in weekly private lessons. If any of your readers would like to reach out to me for private coaching, I can be reached either through direct message on my Instagram, which is @gloriagarayua or through my email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also, I developed an online video series for actors called "Acting For True Beginners ."If anyone out there is interested in learning acting but they are new, and a bit intimidated to jump into a group acting class or to work with a coach, they can purchase this series and watch it from the comfort of their own homes. The series will teach them the basics and fundamentals of acting vocabulary that they will hear consistently in any acting class. This series should help them feel confident and ready to jump in class, but it most certainly should not replace going to class. In an acting class, you have the element of performance in front of an audience which is imperative for growth. So whether people come to me go to another coach or jump in an acting class, I hope that "Acting For True Beginners" makes them feel more prepared and empowered.
If your readers are interested, they can go to my website, www.gloriagarayua.com. Click on "Online Video Series" and purchase from there. I have priced it at a very inexpensive subscription at $29.99 a month. Once they've completed the course and feel ready to move on, they can find cancellation information in the initial email. My hope was to provide an affordable, flexible solution for the beginner to work with me from the comfort of their own homes.