Someone perfectly quoted, “Know your passion. Follow it. Dream it. Live it” and one talented individual who embodies this quote is A.R. Garcia. For those who don’t know, A.R. Garcia is a New Jersey playwright, screen writer, actor, poet, blogger, and soon to be author who is no stranger to the entertainment realm. In 2013, Garcia wrote and performed his first one-man show—I Love Them All, which was directed by Leslie Daniels. The show was entered into the One Festival at LATEA Theatre where Garcia won his first Off-Broadway award. He went on to write other plays, as well as advertising campaigns for products such as Robert DeNiro’s Vodka 6100.
On top of the plays and campaigns, Garcia has written and co-starred in the film Saint Nicholas, an adaptation of I Love Them All, which is currently on Amazon Prime. Currently, he is the writer, director, and producer of a new play, She Hates Coffee. The play premieres on November 9th the Hamilton Stage, Union County Performing Arts Center in Rahway, NJ. For more information on She Hates Coffee and where to purchase tickets, visit the official website by clicking HERE.
Check out my interview with A.R. Garcia where he discusses She Hates Coffee, Saint Nicholas, what’s next for him, and more below.
1-When did you first decide that you wanted to pursue a career in the entertainment world?
From a very young age, I was always drawn to what it meant to artistically express yourself, whether it was through music, writing or acting. I started out learning how to play the piano at the age of 7 yrs old, becoming a classically trained pianist. And although it was art, it didn’t feel that that was the way I wanted to express myself. It always felt more like I was studying to be a trained pianist for my parents than for myself. As a teen, I started to express myself through writing poetry usually inspired by music that was influencing me at the time. I began to write a lot more poetry which led me to start journaling. When the movie Love Jones came out, it inspired me to share my poetry. So, I started then to do open mics. I knew then I wanted to write. Just not to what capacity. It wasn’t until I got the idea for She Hates Coffee that I knew I wanted to peruse being a writer seriously.
2-Who is your favorite actor/actress?
Jack Nicholson. He makes it look effortless. However, at the same time, it is such a loaded question. So many actors/actresses inspire me and move me so it’s really hard to just pick one. Especially when you have people like Viola Davis, Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Al Pacino, Daniel Day Lewis and more. I believe we have an amazing blueprint to follow when it comes to craftsmanship, professionalism and overall talent. They inspire me to continue to be great.
3-You have many hats–writer, actor, poet, blogger, and author. Which is your favorite?
That’s hard to choose. They all serve a purpose in my life and intersect so perfectly that I don’t really feel like I have to choose but I can say that presently, producing She Hates Coffee is a very gratifying feeling for me. I am so excited to finally be telling this story that I wrote 12 years. So, to finally see my words come to life and direct the amazing actors that I have is just really truly amazing feeling. In the end, I always remind myself, that I am just a kid with a laptop. I will always be and have always been a writer. It is how I unequivocally express myself.
4-Out of all the productions you’ve written, which is your favorite?
She Hates Coffee! It is my baby. It is the first play I ever wrote. First full body of work. It was a life changing moment for me. It is undeniably the moment I decided to become a writer professionally. That is not to say that all of my work has not been impactful to me. When I wrote I Love Them All (which is now a movie SAINT NICHOLAS on Amazon), it introduced me into the world of acting. It was my introduction into the industry and afforded me winning a theater festival and an Off-Broadway award for best Actor/writer. I wrote a play called My Time, loosely based on my mother’s life that was very special to me. The Broken Bachelor was a play that was very dear to me. I poured all of myself in that. It pushed me as an artist, both actor as well as writer. I look forward to putting that back out very soon.
5-How did you come up with She Hates Coffee?
At the time that I wrote She Hates Coffee, I was going through a very difficult time in my relationship at the time. I was trying to figure out why we have difficulties communicating in relationships as a man and what and why was behind the arguments. I was searching for solutions. I was trying to see what an argument seemed like looking from an outside lens. I began to write an argument. So, I wrote a thirteen page argument between two people. It seemed real. It seemed like these two characters were very real and their problems were tangible. But it didn’t answer my questions. So I began to give this 13 page argument a back story. To try and figure out the perspective of this male character and why he was so hurt. And it became She Hates Coffee, the play.
6-What is one aspect of She Hates Coffee that you believe will keep viewers interested?
There’s something for everyone in this play to enjoy because one thing that is universal is love. We all know what it’s like to be heartbroken and what that journey of healing looks like but with the story being told through the a male perspective, I believe that it will open up the minds of anyone who comes to see it when we think about the way men approach and deal in & with love. I believe with all my heart that the truths that are told through the male perspective in this play will break stereotypes and stigmas that people have about the way men view, feel and express themselves about love, pain and relationships.
7-Your project, Saint Nicholas, is currently on Amazon Prime. For first time viewers, what can they expect from this film?
Well, first you can expect that the twist will absolutely blind side you. It’s a story of addiction and how quickly we can fall in deeper to our demons by not facing said demons. It’s a story about what happens when you do not deal with your past emotionally and how it will affect your whole life no matter what stage you’re in your life.
8-What is your dream project?
Honestly, She Hates Coffee is my dream project. These actors are amazing and they’re going to affect people, I believe, in a way that has not been done before. But I would be lying if I wouldn’t say that I would love to see She Hates Coffee adapted to the big screen or as a series on a platform like Netflix, Amazon, HBO, etc.
9-What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in the entertainment field?
DO IT! I live by some simple philosophies that I think all artists should incorporate. I have a tattoo on my inner left arm that reads: it’s the price you pay for the life you choose (that quote is from The Godfather 3). And what that means for me is that the greater you want to be in your art the greater the sacrifice you have to make. If everyone around you does not feel the brunt of your sacrifice then you’re probably not sacrificing enough. You have to pay the price for the life of art that you aspire. The other philosophy is one that is an old one but one that I have edited a bit. They say to “think outside the box.” The problem is that the box represents a place of comfort. So you can think outside the box but if the box is present you have a safety net. You have to remove the box completely so you’re able to move you and your dream, career or art as far as possible.
10-What is NEXT for A.R. Garcia?
After the debut of She Hates Coffee, we plan to take the show on the road!!!! I am planning an 18 to 20 city tour for She Hates Coffee! I am also in the process of pitching a few pilots that I have written for television.
Photo Credit: She Hates Coffee/A.R. Garcia/Honey B Media Group