Idalmis García: Acting is Knowing How to Listen

Actress Idalmis García has been living and working for three years between New York and Havana. “I haven’t left, I just moved away a little and I always return,” she said to OnCuba. From Cuba she has the joy, character and extroversion. The notes of our musical heritage make her days enjoyable, perhaps a bit cold in the Big Apple.

“I like acting. I studied History of Art and at the same time attended workshops, and I became a professional actress,” she affirms, very sure of herself. In Cuba she worked in teleplays and TV series; she also worked with the Buendía group and children’s theater groups. In films, we were able to see her in Páginas del diario de Mauricio, Larga distancia, Los dioses rotos and Conducta, the latter directed by Ernesto Daranas, with whom she will soon return to the set.

But that is not what brought her back to the island. Together with British filmmaker Stephen Bayly she gave an acting workshop in the San Antonio de los Baños Film and Television School (EICTV). “I have been working for several years with Stephen, I was his student. He gives courses in Cuba on the Meisner Technique, a method by U.S. acting teacher Sanford Meisner. This time I participated as an assistant professor.”

Photo by Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida
Photo by Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

Acting, more than her great passion, is her life. She considers that “acting is living and a great apprenticeship…. If you want to work in movies you have to be in Los Angeles, but if you’re interested in theater you have to live in New York.” The charismatic actress is of the opinion that “for the time being I am in the right place. With the constant challenges of a Cuban in a city full of immigrants, where everyone is pursuing their dreams, acting in English is one of the most complicated things because it demands greater concentration. I got to New York without planning it, almost by chance, and I plan to stay. I worked with a Colombian film director in a workshop and he went to study there. He was presenting his graduation work and he invited me to work with him, and that’s how I started off. Before establishing myself in my profession I worked in other things, because it is a very expensive city and full of challenges. I am currently working in Repertorio español, one of the oldest Hispanic companies of the United States, founded by a Cuban (Gilberto Zaldivar), through which many Latin American and Cuban actors and actresses have passed, like Ania Bu, Zulema Clares and Francisco Gattorno. In Repertorio español I’ve done Aire frío, Loco por fuerza, and Yerba mala nunca muere.

What do people in New York think of Cuban actors and actresses?

In the United States there is a lot of interest about Cuba, our professionals are highly valued because we work hard and are devoted. Before coming I did an independent series, they were very happy with the work, because when you are professional you give the best of yourself and people appreciate that. Over there they are very avid and expectant regarding our culture. When I got here, Forbidden Cuba, a film in which I work and that speaks a bit about relations between both countries, had just been premiered. I have also done a few shorts and I have a new series in the planning stage.

In your opinion, what can’t an actor or actress lack?

Knowing how to listen when acting, that is my secret. Being connected and living under imaginary circumstances is truly indispensable when acting.

How do you prepare for you characters?

Each one of them is a trip and great fun. Building characters is seeking inside them and seeing what I can contribute to create them.

Photo by Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida
Photo by Alain L. Gutiérrez Almeida

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