When we hear of an artist (or actually any Filipino) to get recognition in any field abroad, we automatically get this sense of being proud because we really can’t help it. We have had Lea Salonga and even Rachel Ann Go join the ranks of musical theater performers abroad, and believe me there is so much more to this list.
One of the latest addition of people we are immensely proud of is Karla Garcia—say what? Who is she, you ask? Karla knew early on that she will be a professional dancer. So early in fact that she started dancing at the age of three and pursued this career growing up. She has been part of numerous shows in Broadway and in TV. Remember So You Think You Can Dance in 2009 and the second season of Smash? Yup, she was part of it.
But there is one achievement that got us all too excited for this lady and we heard she pretty much lost her cool when she found out she was part of the cast. “You’d think I’d be cool as a cucumber because I’ve gotten jobs before. But I was freaking out like it was the first show I’ve ever gotten,” she shares with NBC News. As you may or may not know, she is the very first Filipina to be part of the Pulitzer prize-winning musical Hamilton on Broadway. We’ll let that sink in for a little bit.
Karla holds a swing role in the musical, that’s someone who knows multiple parts in the show and that includes dance moves, props, lines, and even most, if not all, the songs. Phew! It sounds intense. She even shared that it was hard doing at first, but as rehearsals went by, it definitely got easier!
“I’m not in Hamilton because I’m the first Filipino,” she continued. “They didn’t hire me because I’m Filipino. I audition. I put in the work. I know I’m good at my job. I’m secure enough that I’m just here as a dancer. And anything else like ‘Oh you’re Asian’ or ‘You’re Filipino,’ [I say] ‘Yes thank you.’ I’m proud of that, too. I’m happy to represent the Filipino community and have a family-oriented background and parents who raised me to follow my dream. But that’s the cherry on top.”
One thing is for sure, this girl literally worked her ass to get to where she is and because of that, we couldn’t help but be more proud than we already were.
Photo courtesy of Karla Garcia’s Instagram account