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Beyond the set: After years on screen, teen actor shifts his focus to college

Christopher Garcia grew up in the film industry. Now he’s 17 and looking forward to college. (Courtesy of Christopher Garcia)

Christopher Garcia continues to chase his dreams.

In recent years, his goals have changed.

At 17, he’s focused on applying for colleges and scholarships during his senior year in high school.

One to always be busy, the days of going on auditions or being on a film set are long gone.

“I’ve been doing well,” he says. “I’ve been focused on schoolwork and football practice. It’s quite a long way from being on set.”

Garcia found his love for acting in kindergarten. By the time he was 9, his mother supported him and began to submit him for his first background role.

She had hoped that he would take the experience and move on – she was wrong.

On the set of the AMC series “Preacher.” (Courtesy of Christopher Garcia)

From 2013 until 2019, Garcia had roles in more than 25 projects in film and TV.

During that time, film was the only goal.

“I realize now that whether or not I’m not passionate about being an actor, the groundwork has already been put in place for me to work hard,” he says. “The film industry has helped me with my confidence and public speaking. I’m now able to talk during class.”

The pilot of “Roswell, New Mexico” was his last project.

He hasn’t done much acting in school either.

On the set of “Hell or High Water” for the scene at the end of the movie. (Courtesy of Christopher Garcia)

“I’ve taken one class, and it consisted of a small role,” he says. “I haven’t been seeking out anything.”

His focus is on graduation in the spring, and he’s been busy applying to various schools.

“I’m definitely wanting to pursue engineering, but that can change,” he says. “I was thinking about joining the Naval Academy. Then I won’t have to worry about student debt.”

Garcia looks back at his time in the film industry as a time for learning and having fun.

He recalls being on set in 2013’s “Larson’s Field.”

“All the main stars were kids and my age,” he says. “It was fun to be in the atmosphere.”

Christopher Garcia and Ron Weisberg during a panel for the film “Descanso.” (Courtesy of Christopher Garcia)

Being in the film community taught him that dedication is needed in everyday tasks.

“You have to put in a lot of work,” he says. “I learned a lot and found a sense of dedication that is still with me today. I continue to push myself with every goal I set for myself. Who knows? I may return to the industry after I get finished with college.”

Here are a few things you probably didn’t know about Garcia:

1 “I tried to teach myself guitar during quarantine. It worked.”

2 “I was on the set of ‘A Million Ways to Die in the West’ with Seth MacFarlane and Charlize Theron. I was an extra, and they were cursing in between takes. They turned around and saw me, and said, ‘We didn’t mean to curse in front of you.’ It was really funny.”

3 “I’m playing varsity football now. This has taken over my life the way acting did.”

4 “My fondest memory of acting was when I was filming ‘Hell or High Water’ in 2016. I played Chris Pine’s son. Jeff Bridges came up to me in between takes and was talking to me. He was asking what I wanted to do in life. He is such a genuine guy.”

5 “My SAT score was higher than I expected. I’m going to retake them and there was one part on the English part that needs to get better. It would help out.”

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