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100 Creatives 2013: Sara Gaston, Stage and Screen Star

What She Does: You may or may not have seen much of Sara Gaston yet, but she has roles in more then ten films and web series that are scheduled to come out in the next two years. Some of them are very big local deals with the cream of Houston's film scene, such as Stephen Wolfe's heavily anticipated horror film Doll Factory and Josh Vargas' biopic on Houston's most notorious serial killer Dean Corll. In the latter, Gaston portrays Mary Henley, the mother of Corll's young accomplish Elmer Wayne Henley who helped Corll acquire at least 20 young boys to rape, torture, and murder.

Recently she just wrapped up a one-woman show at Main Street Theater about the life of Molly Ivins called Red Hot Patriot - The Kick-Ass Wit of Molly Ivins. Ivins was a legendary newspaper woman who made much of her name right here in Texas at the and the Fort Worth Star-Telegram where her column was syndicated to more than 400 papers. Gaston was thrilled to be able to bring Ivins' words to life on stage, words that continue to inspire people with their wit and honesty on subjects as diverse as breast cancer and war.

For those in Houston that would like to learn the acting trade, she also offers coaching sessions locally.

Why She Likes It: "I love that I get to do research - I'm a scholar at heart. I also love that I get to live someone else's life for a while. When you're a kid, you say things like 'I want to be a princess,' 'I want to be an astronaut.' When you're an actor, you have a chance to do all those things. I like to do research about things like occupation or socio-economic class, to name a few. That helps me understand where a character's choices come from."

What Inspires Her: Gaston gets a kick out of actors and actresses who are willing to take risks and be ugly and vulnerable. Meryl Streep and Anthony Hopkins are two big influences, as well as Daniel Day-Lewis. In addition to her research on individual characters, she thrives on art and literature. Nature is a definite recharge for her that allows her to find herself.

More than anything else, Gaston finds inspiration in tales of human heroism, such as that of Rachel Beckwith who wanted to raise $300 by her ninth birthday to help bring clean water to people in poor countries. "I want to be that," said Gaston.

If Not Here, Then Where: "Probably Chicago or New York... but LA's where the film is and I love film so it's a tough call."

If Not This, Then What: Nature lover that she is, Gaston could picture herself being a forest ranger if she wasn't acting. Her penchant for reading and research also lends itself to being a professor of literature. Still, it doesn't look like she's going to quit acting for the woods or academia anytime soon.

What's Next: Gaston has a role in Carlos Tovar's superhero web series More Than Human, which recently cleared its Kickstarter goal for a second season. Look for her in several of Joe Grisaffi's upcoming films like Lars the Emo Kid and Conjoined, where she plays her recurring role Detective Waters. "I love Detective Waters - she's tough, she's smart, she's funny... I'll keep her going as long as folks write parts for her," said Gaston.

More Creatives for 2013 (In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Rachael Pavlik, a writer mom Ana Villaronga-Roman, Katy Contemporary Arts Museum director Erin Wasmund, actor, singer and dancer Karim Al-Zand, composer Jan Burandt, paper conservator for The Menil Collection Deke Anderson, actor Craig Cohen, hockey fan and host of Houston Matters Mauro Luna, Poe-Inspired photographer Trond Saeverud, Galveston Symphony Orchestra music director and conductor Khrystyna Balushka, paper flower child Christina Carfora, visual artist and world traveler Sara Kumar, artistic director for Shunya Theatre Kiki Maroon, burlesque clown Gin Martini, fashion designer Lacey Crawford, painter and sculptor Homer Starkey, novelist Jenn Fox, mixed media Shohei Iwahama, dancer Erica DelGardo, metalsmith Bob Clark, executive director Houston Family Arts Center Kerrelyn Sparks, bestselling romance author Lindsay Halpin, punk rock mad hatter Drake Simpson, actor Shelby Carter, Playboy model turned photographer David Matranga, actor Crystal Belcher, pole dancer Daniel Kramer, photographer Blue 130, pin-up explosion art Nina Godiwalla, author and TED speaker David Wilhem, light painter Tom Abrahams, author and newscaster Browncoat, pin-up pop artist Kris Becker, Nu-Classical composer and pianist Vincent Fink, science fashion Stephanie Saint Sanchez, Senorita Cinema founder Ned Gayle, thrift store painting defacer Sameera Faridi, fashion designer Greg Ruhe, The Human Puppet Sophia L. Torres, founder and co-artistic director of Psophonia Dance Company Maggie Lasher, dance professor and artistic director Jordan Jaffe, founder of Black Lab Theatre Outspoken Bean, performance poet Barry Moore, architect Josh Montoute, mobile gaming specialist Ty Doran, young actor Gwen Zepeda, Houston's first Poet Laureate Joseph Walsh, principal dancer at Houston Ballet Justin Garcia, artist Buck Ross, dilettante and director of Moores Opera Center Patrick Renner, sculptor of the abstract and the esoteric Tomas Glass, abstract artist and True Blood musician Ashley Stoker, painter, photographer and Tumblr muse Amy Llanes, artistic airector of Rednerrus Feil Dance Company Bevin Bering Dubrowski, executive director at the Houston Center for Photography Lydia Hance, founder and director of Frame Dance Productions Piyali Sen Dasgupta, mixed media artist and nature lover Dean James, New York Times bestselling mystery novelist Nicola Parente, abstract painter and photographer Cheryl Schulke, handmade leather pursemaker Anthony Rathbun, Alternative Lifestyle Photographer David Salinas, computer-less analog photographer Danielle Burns, art curator Alicia DiRago, Whimseybox founder Katia Zavistovski, contemporary art curator Ashley Horn, choreographer, filmmaker Amanda Stevens, scary book author Peter Lucas, film and video curator, music lover and self-described culture-slinger Ana María Otamendi, collaborative pianist and vocal coach Billy D. Washington, comedian Michele Brangwen, choreographer and dancer Kristin Warren, actress and choreographer Kelly Sears, animator and film maker Colton Berry, Bayou City Theatrics' artistic director jhon r. stronks,dance-maker Joe Grisaffi, actor, director, writer, cinematographer


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