EDINBURG, Texas (KVEO) — One marketing manager turned actress is proving that the Rio Grande Valley has a lot of artistic value to offer.
In a normal week, Brenda Garza works as the marketing manager for the Sylvan Learning Center in McAllen but starting Friday, her talents as an actress will be available for the world to see on Netflix.
Garza stars as “Luisa” in the film You Are My Home. The film follows the story of an immigrant girl who lost her daughter at the border meeting a woman and forming a bond around Christmas time.
Although Garza had no professional acting credits before the film, she was able to audition for it due to a majority of filming taking place in the RGV.
“I actually auditioned for it locally. There were so many people auditioning,” said Garza. “A whole year passes by and you get the call that they’re gonna start filming and I’m just like what?!?! What reality is this!”
Filming for the movie took place in Harlingen and McAllen and Garza got to travel through these cities that she grew up in to contribute to a high budget film.
Garza noted that the film’s star actress Alyssa Milano and production crew enjoyed their time in the area and were fascinated by the proximity to the U.S./Mexico border.
“They absolutely loved the environment, the people, the generosity, the food,” described Garza. “They were pretty pleased with everything they saw.”
The experience was a dream come true for Garza, who described herself as a “closet actress” her whole life, and she was blessed to be chosen for the role.
She hopes that opportunities like these can open the door for more people to see the RGV as a serious hub for artistic creation.
“A platform like this is to help the community. There’s so many talented artists in the valley,” said Garza. “A lot of them don’t have that voice or that representation, if I am to be one of them then by all means use me for that!”
She stated that eliminating negative stigma about the RGV is possible with projects like these.
“We’re always 10 years behind and let’s not be 10 years behind anymore,” demanded Garza. “Let’s seize the moment. This is a great thing that’s happening to the RGV.”
With this movie now on her resume, Garza plans to work on several film projects and attend UTRGV for her second Bachelor’s degree. This time she’ll be going for a degree in TV/Film to learn more about the industry.
You Are My Home is streaming on Netflix and is rated G.