Interview with Sara Castro

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Sara Castro has been involved in the arts in some sort since the tender age of 5. Grammar school plays, talent shows, musicals, high school dance groups, etc. Sara considers herself an actor who can sing and dance. So whether it was singing a song in a talent show, performing a dance with a group on a tour or acting in a play; Sara Castro was a part of it.

indieactivity: How did you become an actor?
Sara: When I took my first scene study acting class in L.A (coach Joe Palese) I said to myself ” If he thinks I have it to pursue a full-time career in acting with my first scene I put up,then I’m staying. If he thinks I suck, then that’s my cue to move back to Chicago.” April 8th, 2016 marked my nine year anniversary living in L.A. I can say that I’m finally living my dream after many ups and downs, hurdles, studying and more studying and having the privilege to work on different sets, which quite frankly I think is the best acting school you can have.

indieactivity: What acting technique do you use?
Sara: I’ve always been a fan of method acting. I’m big on sense memory. I like to dissect the character, figure out how I relate to it. Creating a back story and studying the character has always been enjoyable to me. Making sure to just be when the camera rolls is what I most strive for. I think in order to have the audience engage and possibly relate to your character, you must deliver the most honest performance. It’s the actors job and responsibility.

indieactivity: What wrong impressions do actors hold about acting?
Sara: I believe the wrong impression some actors have about acting is the importance of memorizing their lines. They believe that all the work is done once you get them down. Soo far from the truth. You’ll never have a believable performance if you don’t add emotion or substance to your character. Once you study the character and become the character then the emotion you add to your lines will make the sides so much easier to memorize. At that point, your not just saying lines, you are the character therefore delivering a believable performance. Another big mistake some actors make is NOT listening. Listening to what the other person has to say is vital for being in the moment.

indieactivity: Do you take courses to improve your craft?
Sara: I really enjoy private coaching. With one on one session I’m able to spend more time on my craft and the coach is able to focus their attention on what I really would like to work on at that specific moment.

indieactivity: How do you keep fit?
Sara: When I’m not working on set or auditioning, I like to pick out sides from actors access and dissect them and study them as if I were auditioning for it or playing the role.

indieactivity: How do you prepare for a role, when you get it?
Sara: It depends on the role. If it’s an intense character I have to play then I’ll prepare a back story, study the character, their habits, tendencies, body language, etc. I dissect the script of course and go over the lines several times because they tell you a lot about the character. I try not to rehearse too much because I find when you do, once you’re on set, that can all change. I rather wait until I’m on set to see what revelations I get, which can be many which in turn leads to a very authentic performance.

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Sara Castro on set of The Girl

indieactivity: How do you create a character from a script into a person?
Sara: I study how I can relate to the character. I add life to the character when I add some of me to it. In other words, I try to find the similarities I have with the character.

indieactivity: How do you stay fresh on a production set?
Sara: I stay in character by secluding myself and keeping communication to the minimum with the cast and production crew until they call me to be back on set. I like to stay focused and prepared.

indieactivity: Describe a memorable character you played?
Sara: I played a distressed mother (Carmen) in “The Shift” whose seven year old daughter was dying of cancer. I had to let myself go completely. It was a very intense role to play.

indieactivity: Explain one creative choice you took on set?
Sara: I hugged my co-star when it wasn’t stated in the script. I was having a intense moment that compelled me to do that. Fortunately, The director was very happy with that.

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Sara Castro-on set of Halfway to Hell

indieactivity: What do you want most from a director?
Sara: I love it when a director challenges me. Pushes me to go further. I enjoy a director who encourages me to take risks. That’s the only way you can grow in your craft, challenging yourself which sometimes is easier said then done.

indieactivity: What actors do you long to work with?
Sara: Benicio Del Toro, Sara Paulson, and Jessica Lange.

indieactivity: Why?
Sara: I admire Benicio’s talent. He’s very bold with his choices. You can tell he takes no prisoners when he performs. He gives it his all and leaves it on the table. I look up to fearless actors who aren’t afraid to go to dark places. I feel I would learn tremendously from working with him.

indieactivity: What advice would you give to actors?
Sara: Keep fighting for your career. Keep pushing and challenging yourself. To always remember that as an actor you never stop learning. Always be prepared for every audition and every job you book. Directors and producers respect an actor who shows up to set on time and prepared. I have had the privilege of working with the same director more than once on different projects because of my professionalism. Being humble and prepared is essential in this business. You want to make a fan of each director and producer you work with. The same goes when you are in the audition room, make a fan of that casting director because whether you book the job or not, they will always remember you and call you back in to audition for another project.

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Sara Castro on set of Narrow Streets

indieactivity: Briefly write about your career?
Sara: The Shift- (starring Danny Glover) played the role of Carmen. It was an amazing experience and took my career to the next level and exposed me to a bigger audience.

Halfway to Hell- played a ex-gang banger married to a felon (Theresa) . I really enjoyed playing this role because she was very dark, cold hearted. This role gave me the opportunity to work with the same director in another project.

Narrow Streets- played the role of Marta. I low rank police officer in Juarez, Mexico. This was such a fun role because it allowed me to show my emotional range and physical strength. Playing this role inspired me to take on more cop roles.

The Longway- Played the role of Angie. A wild-child, careless and without a worry in the world. She lived life day by day and didn’t care what people thought of her. This role helped my craft significantly. I played a character who is total opposite of me which made it a great challenge to have.

The Girl – played the role of The Girl in this suspense thriller. My character in this project had a multiple personality disorder. One of her many personalities spoke French and killed men overnight. During the day, she was a timid receptionist. This was a very layered role to play, one of my favorites.

The roles I just mentioned above are the most memorable ones I’ve had and not to say the ones that have helped my career the most. I’m also proud to say that these projects are all Independent films. I’m a big supporter of Indies.

Sara Castro_indieactivity

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  • You spoke of a project that you were part of, which your character had multiple personalities, how did you develop such a character. Its like playing two roles in a story