So, who exactly is Gloria Garayua? Gloria is a successful working actress in Hollywood who is making her mark as multifaceted in her range of roles and how she leads her life. The entertainment industry is not easy to break into, but she has managed to do it. Gloria was born and raised in the Bronx in New York City. Later, she attended St. Catharine’s Academy High school, where she participated in school plays and choir performances and was active in the drama, music, and ecology clubs. She received her B.F.A. in Acting from Long Island University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. In college, Gloria’s portrayal of Ariel in “The Tempest” earned her an Irene Ryan Nomination where she placed as the 1st National Alternate! Overall, acting sustains her, and Gloria said that she "just knew" from a very early age that she wanted to become an actress.
Gloria started on the east coast but managed to make her way to Los Angeles. She is known for booking roles quickly. Gloria made her major film debut in the 2005 comedy film Fun With Dick and Jane and was commonly cast in guest roles on long-running series such as Six Feet Under, Weeds, and The Shield. After being cast in an ongoing role in Grey's Anatomy, Garayua has played recurring roles in other popular TV shows such as Cougar Town and How to Get Away with Murder. Gloria is also known for Maid (2021) and Reckoning (2019).
Gemma Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Gloria Garayua and it was a pleasure. She works consistently and has a true passion for her craft. Gloria never stops learning to stay on top of her game. We spoke about her passion, particular roles, and establishing balance within her life. She is a true storyteller. Let's get into it!
When did you know that you wanted to be an actress?
I knew I wanted to be an actress at the age of 4. It sounds hokey to say this, but I just knew. It was something within me. I was so young that I can’t say it had anything to do with watching someone or being inspired by a tv show. I can’t quite pinpoint it like that. I just knew. I kept it light and for fun until I was 17 and a senior in high school. After graduation, I decided to make it official and pursue acting as my college major. I was serious ever since I paid that expensive college tuition, haha!
You have played such a range of roles. Is there a specific character you gravitate towards?
I am attracted to emotional roles, primarily underdogs. I guess I identify with that sensation of reaching for something. I am also a Libra, and we are all about balance and fairness, so if I ever see any injustice around me, something inside of me just gets stirred up! That is why I want to root for the underdogs so badly.
How did you like playing Detective Cyd Ramos from "Reckoning," and what did you learn from her.
I LOVED playing Detective Cyd Ramos! She was so fun! She loved her job and was good at it but what was even better was that she had substantial boundaries and was clear about working AT WORK and not bringing her work home with her. Instead, she valued her personal time, which is so healthy! A person should be good about having a balance in all aspects of their lives. It’s tough, especially in the entertainment business, but we can strive for it, can’t we?
How was it working with Sam Trammell and Aden Young?
They were both so easygoing and professional. Aden and I had so many scenes together because we played detective partners. We got along great, and because we both cared so much about Reckoning, our workdays felt like smooth sailing. I didn’t see Sam much because we didn’t have many scenes together, but whenever I did have any interactions with him, I found him to be sweet and pleasant to talk to.
Tell us about Penny on the Netflix show "Maid."
Penny is a hoarder but a functioning one. In other words, her hoarding didn’t stop her life, and she was by no means a negligent mom. Instead, she was a great mom who loved her kids very much and wanted to save every little part of their childhoods. Hence, the hoarding. When Penny's character has to move, she realizes she can't clean up the hoarding all by herself, especially because her character is nine months pregnant. So she calls for a maid. That is when the lead of the show, the protagonist, “Alex” shows up at her door. Helping me clean catalyzes what happens next in Alex’s life. We see this transition for the main character in the next episode, the last episode of the series. Since this is a limited miniseries, there will only be one season.
How does the craft of acting sustain you?
Since acting is an imaginative and creative career, I feel like I am always playing! And playing is something most adults lose once they transition out of childhood. Yet, it is something we must all hang onto to keep us happy. Playing is not just for children. If you ever meet an artist, they tend to be full of life. Of course, the trick is earning income as an artist. However, just because it is challenging does not make it impossible.
Who are some actresses that you admire and respect?
Jennifer Lopez for sure because she has managed to stay in the spotlight for decades! Of course, it doesn't hurt that she is beautiful and is talented in multiple art forms. I am also a fan of Michelle Rodriguez. I think she's tough but soft on the inside, and I love that. It's desirable. I don't mean that romantically. I mean she has a magnetism.
What do you like to do during your downtime?
I exercise almost every single day. I alternate between strength training and cardio. Also, I like to attend jazz dance classes twice a week, and about once a week, I go hiking. I love to binge-watch shows. Since I am an actress, I have an excellent excuse! It is my job to research acting styles! Also, I need to be up-to-date with what is trending in the show world. However, I admit it’s hard to keep up with everything. There’s A LOT of TV out there! Not to mention amazing movies to keep up with as well. But I make time for it because it matters to me. I have two cats that I love and care for. I also have a vibrant social life. I try to maintain my friendships because everything can’t always be about work.
What is up next for Gloria Garayua?
I teach acting, which keeps me busy when I am not acting. I teach privately in one-on-one weekly lessons and coach actors for their auditions when they need a little extra guidance. Last year, I created an online video course for anyone interested in acting. It’s called “Acting For True Beginners.” It is on my website: www.gloriagarayua.com. It’s perfect for beginners but excellent for intermediate and advanced actors who need or want to freshen up on the foundations of acting. It’s only a $29.99 a month subscription, which is dirt cheap compared to what most group and private acting classes cost. I did that on purpose so that if someone needs to hang onto the course for a few months due to life getting in the way of studying the course, it won’t break the bank.
Also, a decade ago, I did a web series called “Fixing Paco,” where we shot ten episodes in English and ten episodes in Spanish. The project creator is bringing to light a remake, and I was asked to come back as the “older” version of my previous character. We start filming in April. It's called “Linked By Love.” I don’t know where it will play, but it will be fun to be on set with old friends!
To keep up with Gloria Garayua and her career, you can follow her on the following social media platforms: