100 Creatives 2012: Florence Garvey, Actress

Categories: 100 Creatives

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Photo by Kristine Canterbury.
Check out our Houston Theater Awards and the category that Florence Garvey won.

From a young age, Florence Garvey recalls having a passion for being the center of attention and being onstage, which she feels may be partly attributed to Middle Child Syndrome. The actress, born and raised in Houston, says she had a lot going on in her life and used to entertain herself by pulling up and experimenting with emotions as a young child. This led her to act in elementary school plays, and this continued through middle school. In high school, the hobby became her passion.

Garvey attended Prairie View A&M University, where she studied theater under C. Lee Turner. Upon completing college, she moved to New York City, where she pursued a professional career as an actress. About three years ago, she made the decision to move back to Houston and become part of Houston's theatrical talent pool.

What She Does: Garvey thinks, as an actress, she and her peers onstage and in film "have a chance to take people -- as the actor ourselves and the audience -- out of our own little personal box and into the heart and mind of others, making us more well-rounded individuals." She elaborates that this is possible "because we get to look into someone else's story, and we get to understand why we do the different things we do." Garvey also explains that the power of her craft sometimes allows people to find their "own self-reflection in the situation or in the characters," stating, "You can really understand and appreciate it because it's not really you up there, even though you can really understand and empathize with the character."

Why She Likes It: Garvey doesn't simply like acting; she loves it. There is no denying this is a passion of hers. She says, "On a personal level, I love what I do as a craft because it's always challenging me to be more honest, and vulnerable, and transparent." One of her favorite aspects of acting is that "there's always more to learn," claiming, "my professors used to always tell me that acting is like carving a statue of snow; it never stops." Another aspect of acting Garvey really enjoys is doing the research to be successful in a certain play and role and the problem solving that accompanies being skilled in the profession. She especially enjoys "the constant energy onstage with other performers. It's like life onstage, and sometimes it can be so real and so powerful," which is her "personal love." Garvey says, "Overall, it's amazing because we can do so much with teaching and showing people other people's lives."

What Inspires Her: Garvey is inspired by "personal stories from people in the past and history." She asserts "people that make history" encourage her. However, she is deeply motivated by "really, really fine acting." She says, "I'm inspired by the motivation to just become a really excellent actor, and I know it never stops." Her profession keeps her on her toes, never allowing her to be bored because "it's so challenging to always be on, and to be really good." Garvey is a self-proclaimed perfectionist, saying, "I just know there is always so much more technique, so much more problem solving, and it just inspires me." Garvey is interested in film acting, "with all the glitz and the glam," but she is not willing to sacrifice quality acting to act on film. "I never want to get all showy and glitzy and lose quality acting and always striving to just touch people," says Garvey.

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Photo by Kristine Canterbury.
If Not This, Then What: If she weren't acting, Garvey initially felt she would be teaching or being a counselor for young adults. Then, on second thought, Garvey affirmed, "I'd probably be in psychology because the human psyche amazes me. So, I'd be some kind of psychologist."

If Not Here, Then Where: Having lived in New York, Garvey knows that she doesn't want to live there anymore, even if she does love the work in that city. Instead, Garvey feels that she would want to live in Chicago, "if I could get through the cold weather," she states. Also, she said, "Atlanta seems to be a new popping city right now."

What's Next: Garvey says Houston audiences will next see her in The Ensemble Theatre's production of Pearl Cleage's The Nacirema Society Requests the Honor of Your Presence at a Celebration of Their First One Hundred Years, which is often shortened to The Nacirema Society. The historical romantic comedy kicks off their 2012-2013 season, and will have its preview performance on September 22, "which is my birthday," she adds with a smile. The show officially opens on September 27. In the play, Garvey says, "I'm playing a young medical student, who's in love." She explained that the play "has a really interesting classical farce comedy kind of effect, where there's a lot of different story lines going on all at once, and it's all kind of twirling around each other." She also noted that the play deals with the Civil Rights Movement, debutante balls, social standings, bus boycotts and medical school, all while maintaining thrilling comedic and romantic plots.

More Creatives for 2012
(In order of most recently published; click here for the full page).

Julia Gabriel, artist, designer and backpack maker

Rebecca French, choreographer and FrenetiCore co-founder

Kiki Neumann, found object folk artist
Flynn Prejean, Poster Artist
JoDee Engle, dancer
David Rainey, actor, artistic director and teacher
Geoff Hippenstiel, painter, art instructor
Jessica Janes, actress and musician
Dennis Draper, actor and director

Mat Johnson, novelist and tweeter
Orna Feinstein, printmaker and installation artist

Adriana Soto, jewelry designer
Domokos Benczédi, Noise and Collage Artist
Robert Boswell, Book Author, UH Prof
Patrick Turk, visual artist
Elizabeth Keel, playwright
Bob Martin, designer
Mary Lampe, short film promoter and developer
Nisha Gosar, Indian classical dancer
Jeremy Wells, painter
George Brock, theater teacher
Radu Runcanu, painter
Ariane Roesch, Mixed-Media
Sandie Zilker, art jewelry maker
Philip Hayes, actor

Patrick Palmer, painter
Ana Mae Holmes, Jewelry Designer
John Tyson, actor
Jerry Ochoa, violinist and filmmaker
Raul Gonzalez, painter, sculptor, photographer
Roy Williams, DJ of medieval music
Laura Burlton, photographer
David Peck, fashion designer
Rebecca Udden, theater director
Donae Cangelosi Chramosta, vintage designer handbag dealer
Paul Fredric, author
John Sparagana, photographer
Damon Smith, musician and visual artist
Geoff Winningham, photographer

Johnathon Michael Espinoza, visual artist
Jaemi Blair Loeb, conductor

Katya Horner, photographer
Johnathan Felton, artist
Nicoletta Maranos, cosplayer

Carol Simmons, hair stylist
Joseph "JoeP" Palmore, actor, poet
Greg Carter, director
Kenn McLaughlin, theater director
Justin Whitney, musician
Antone Pham, tattoo artist
Susie Silbert, crafts

Lauralee Capelo, hair designer
Marisol Monasterio, flamenco dancer
Carmina Bell, promoter and DJ
ReShonda Tate Billingsley, writer
Kiki Lucas, choreographer and director
J.J. Johnston, theater director
Mary Margaret Hansen, artist
Richard Tallent, photographer
Viswa Subbaraman, opera director
Emily Sloan, sculptor and performance artist
Sonja Roesch, gallery owner
Enrique Carreón-Robledo, conductor
Sandy Ewen, musician
Camella Clements, puppeteer

Wade Wilson, gallery owner

Magid Salmi, photographer
Carl Williams, playwright

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