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100 Creatives 2012: Florence Garvey, Actress

100 Creatives 2012: Florence Garvey, Actress
Photo by Kristine Canterbury.

Check out our Houston Theater Awards and the category that Florence Garvey won.

From a young age, Florence Garvey recalls having a passion for being the center of attention and being onstage, which she feels may be partly attributed to Middle Child Syndrome. The actress, born and raised in Houston, says she had a lot going on in her life and used to entertain herself by pulling up and experimenting with emotions as a young child. This led her to act in elementary school plays, and this continued through middle school. In high school, the hobby became her passion.

Garvey attended Prairie View A&M University, where she studied theater under C. Lee Turner. Upon completing college, she moved to New York City, where she pursued a professional career as an actress. About three years ago, she made the decision to move back to Houston and become part of Houston's theatrical talent pool.

What She Does: Garvey thinks, as an actress, she and her peers onstage and in film "have a chance to take people -- as the actor ourselves and the audience -- out of our own little personal box and into the heart and mind of others, making us more well-rounded individuals." She elaborates that this is possible "because we get to look into someone else's story, and we get to understand why we do the different things we do." Garvey also explains that the power of her craft sometimes allows people to find their "own self-reflection in the situation or in the characters," stating, "You can really understand and appreciate it because it's not really you up there, even though you can really understand and empathize with the character."

Why She Likes It: Garvey doesn't simply like acting; she loves it. There is no denying this is a passion of hers. She says, "On a personal level, I love what I do as a craft because it's always challenging me to be more honest, and vulnerable, and transparent." One of her favorite aspects of acting is that "there's always more to learn," claiming, "my professors used to always tell me that acting is like carving a statue of snow; it never stops." Another aspect of acting Garvey really enjoys is doing the research to be successful in a certain play and role and the problem solving that accompanies being skilled in the profession. She especially enjoys "the constant energy onstage with other performers. It's like life onstage, and sometimes it can be so real and so powerful," which is her "personal love." Garvey says, "Overall, it's amazing because we can do so much with teaching and showing people other people's lives."

What Inspires Her: Garvey is inspired by "personal stories from people in the past and history." She asserts "people that make history" encourage her. However, she is deeply motivated by "really, really fine acting." She says, "I'm inspired by the motivation to just become a really excellent actor, and I know it never stops." Her profession keeps her on her toes, never allowing her to be bored because "it's so challenging to always be on, and to be really good." Garvey is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, saying, "I just know there is always so much more technique, so much more problem solving, and it just inspires me." Garvey is interested in film acting, "with all the glitz and the glam," but she is not willing to sacrifice quality acting to act on film. "I never want to get all showy and glitzy and lose quality acting and always striving to just touch people," says Garvey.

100 Creatives 2012: Florence Garvey, Actress
Photo by Kristine Canterbury.

If Not This, Then What: If she weren't acting, Garvey initially felt she would be teaching or being a counselor for young adults. Then, on second thought, Garvey affirmed, "I'd probably be in psychology because the human psyche amazes me. So, I'd be some kind of psychologist."

If Not Here, Then Where: Having lived in New York, Garvey knows that she doesn't want to live there anymore, even if she does love the work in that city. Instead, Garvey feels that she would want to live in Chicago, "if I could get through the cold weather," she states. Also, she said, "Atlanta seems to be a new popping city right now."

What's Next: Garvey says Houston audiences will next see her in The Ensemble Theatre's production of Pearl Cleage's The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years, which is often shortened to The Nacirema Society. The historical romantic comedy kicks off their 2012-2013 season, and will have its preview performance on September 22, "which is my birthday," she adds with a smile. The show officially opens on September 27. In the play, Garvey says, "I'm playing a young medical student, who's in love." She explained that the play "has a really interesting classical farce comedy kind of effect, where there's a lot of different story lines going on all at once, and it's all kind of twirling around each other." She also noted that the play deals with the Civil Rights Movement, debutante balls, social standings, bus boycotts and medical school, all while maintaining thrilling comedic and romantic plots.

More Creatives for 2012 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist JoDee Engle, dancer David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor Jessica Janes, actress and musician Dennis Draper, actor and director Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist Adriana Soto, jewelry designer Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof Patrick Turk, visual artist Elizabeth Keel, playwright Bob Martin, designer Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer Jeremy Wells, painter George Brock, theater teacher Radu Runcanu, painter Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker Philip Hayes, actor Patrick Palmer, painter Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer John Tyson, actor Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music Laura Burlton, photographer David Peck, fashion designer Rebecca Udden, theater director Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer Paul Fredric, author John Sparagana, photographer Damon Smith, musician and visual artist Geoff Winningham, photographer Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor Katya Horner, photographer Johnathan Felton, artist Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer Carol Simmons, hair stylist Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet Greg Carter, director Kenn McLaughlin, theater director Justin Whitney, musician Antone Pham, tattoo artist Susie Silbert, crafts Lauralee Capelo, hair designer Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director J.J. Johnston, theater director Mary Margaret Hansen, artist Richard Tallent, photographer Viswa Subbaraman, opera director Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist Sonja Roesch, gallery owner Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor Sandy Ewen, musician Camella Clements, puppeteer Wade Wilson, gallery owner Magid Salmi, photographer Carl Williams, playwright


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