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As Lopez, the man with links to the Monterrey drug cartels who has a particular interest in turning the debt-ridden land owned by a women-centric household into a real estate gold mine, Carlo Lorenzo Garcia took the Goodman Theatre’s stage by storm in last year’s World Premiere of Tanya Saracho’s El Nogalar. Garcia seemed to come out of nowhere, taking many in the audience by surprise with his sheer charisma and intensity. And now he is back at the Goodman, cast in another play by Saracho, Song for the Disappeared, opening next month.

Garcia serves as Producing Director for Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co., where his stage work includes Cherrywood, Buried Child, Mojo, Gas Mask 101, Beggars In The House Of Plenty, Bartleby The Scrivener, and How To Disappear Completely And Never Be Found. He also directed the highly acclaimed Red Light Winter (4 Jeff Nominations & 1 Jeff Citation) and Our Bad Magnet (2 Jeff Nominations). Recent directing credits include Guera for Collaboraction & Teatro Vista’s YO SOLO Festival.

His film work includes Innocent with Alexa Vega and Austin O’Brien and Anything Is Possible (2013). He recently completed filming the web series I Made America and the pilot for The Crunket Firm:

How would your grandma describe you?
When I was 9 years old, I told my Grandma I was going to run for president. She said she would vote for me. That was a vote of confidence, if I ever had one. At the time, I knew I would win the presidency by having her vote. When I was 18, I gave my other Grandma a kiss on the cheek and she told me not to kiss her because she didn’t know who I was kissing. I think my grandmothers thought I was Bill Clinton.

When you’re asked the question, “what do you do?” what do you answer? What would you LIKE to answer?
It depends on the situation and the person asking. I usually say that I am an actor/director; then when the follow up question “what do you do for a day job?” comes up, I tell them I work for a concert ticketing company working with music venues and indie rock clubs across the US. I have the best day job, it’s flexible and keeps me connected to music, which I love. Plus, I get to travel to lots of cool places and see tons of concerts. I’d like to answer that I’m trying to save the world, which is one reason I started Living Philanthropic, my personal mission to be more giving in my everyday life.

What’s one thing most people don’t know about you? Any special talents?
I’m a huge workaholic. Between acting, directing, Living Philanthropic, my day job, and being producing director at Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co., I hardly have time to sleep. Also, I’m a closet fantasy baseball fanatic, I always wanted to be Elvis, and I love karaoke. Is karaoke a special talent?

What was the first piece of theatre you ever experienced?
This is a hard one to remember. One of the first “plays” I saw was in grammar school: we took a field trip to see another school’s production of Bye Bye Birdie. I thought it was okay, I remember thinking this guy wants to be Elvis, but doesn’t have the moves. Later, in high school, I would have an actor dream where I was playing Conrad in a production and it was opening night and I had to ride onto stage on a motorcycle and didn’t know any of my lines.

What made you go into theatre?
It was the end of freshman year at an all-boys Catholic high school on the south side and I was dealing with my first “broken heart”, I saw a flyer for auditions for a theater production, so I decided to try it out and was cast as the lead in the fall production. I got into theater as a way to find a creative outlet but most importantly as a way to stay out of trouble and give myself something more productive to do after school. I can’t imagine what I would be doing now if I hadn’t gotten into theatre. It sounds silly, but I feel like theatre saved my life to a certain extent.

Any cool projects you want to tell us about?
Speaking of Karaoke, I put together this benefit event for Mary-Arrchie called Carlo’s Celebrity Care-aoke Calvalcade. It’s basically a bunch of cool people like Thea Lux, Jonathan Berry, Ami Saraiya and more performing as famous bands karaoke style. I will be performing as David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust era. It will be lots of fun and you should come on November 9th to Mary-Arrchie from 8 p.m. until 4 a.m.

This month, I start rehearsals for Tanya Saracho’s Song for the Disappeared at the Goodman Theatre as part of their New Stages Amplified series. You should also come to that, many ALTA members involved and it’s FREE! Song for the Disappeared opens December 8 and closes December 23.

I have a feature film called Anything is Possible which comes out mid-2013, it stars Ethan Bortnick, Lacey Chabert, and Jonathan Bennett.

For the 3rd year in a row, I’m planning to go to Chiapas, Mexico to build another school with my friends at Foundation Escalera. Last year, I headed up the Stove Project, here’s a video that talks about the mission:

Kolaval – that is thank you in Tzotzil.