Multi-award winning film is now helping Sabrina live her own dreams!
Brazilian born actress and producer Sabrina Percario like most immigrants came to the United States with big dreams. She certainly has made great strides realizing her dreams, earning numerous accolades the likes of which define success in Hollywood including an award for Best Leading Actress at UIFF (United International Film Festival), Jury Mention at LAIFFA (L.A Independent Film Festival Awards) and Best Drama Short Film at the Sao Paulo Times Film Festival for her short film “Julia,” which happens to be about realizing one’s own dreams! The lead actress for the upcoming feature film, “In the Search of” (2018), shares with The Immigrant Magazine what her journey as a remarkable immigrant Hollywood star has been.
I believe that the Universe pushed me. What happened is that in 2013, after attending an Acting for Film course at The Barrow Group, I came to Sao Paulo, Brazil, and I did an audition at NYFA (New York Film Academy). My monologues were so well prepared that I earned a scholarship! From that moment on, I decided to improve my knowledge and go to where the movie business was born: Los Angeles California. And I also decided that I didn’t want to have the “what if” feeling, so I decided to go ahead and take the chance!
TIM: What inspired you to become an actress? Who inspires you?
I always wanted to be an actress, ever since I was a teenager, but I never had the courage and maturity to pursue it. I graduated in Biomedicine in 2003, and for almost ten years I worked with Chinese Traditional Medicine. I did a lot of seminars for big audiences, but I was very shy, so in 2009 one of my friends encouraged me to take some acting classes so I could have more stage presence. I fell in love with acting! I learned about human behavior, and I learned more about myself and who I am. I now have a better understanding of why people act the way they do, because when you study a character, you have to put yourself in their place, and you can’t judge. For me, all of it became an opportunity to evolve. I had to act, and I discovered that I could express all my feelings through the characters, as an art form.
My biggest inspiration, someone who I admire very much, is Meryl Streep. Her authenticity, versatility and honesty when she plays a character just fascinates me.
TIM: You star in the short film “Open Borders” directed and produced by Thales Correa, is there an underlying message you would like to get across?
My message is: I believe in a world where everyone is welcome. Like the title, let’s Open Borders and respect everyone, no matter where they are from. We as human beings have to respect and support each other.
TIM: In the wake of the recent elections and issues plaguing immigrants, do you think that Americans understand immigrants and their impact in American society and culture?
I have only been living in Los Angeles California for two years, and since I got here everyone who I met was supportive and understanding about immigrants. I always feel I have a space here to grow and I feel welcome. But this is just a small perspective I don’t know about others cities in USA. And to be honest I don’t know much about whether all of the information from media is manipulated or not, I would rather make my own conclusions from my own life experiences.
TIM: Your recent film Julia seems to be catapulting you to Hollywood greatness where you have been nominated for six festival awards, and won three including three Best Leading Actress from the United International Film Festival, USA, 2016, Jury Mention at Los Angeles Independent Film Festival Awards, USA, 2015 and Best Drama Short Film, Sao Paulo Times Film Festival, Brazil, 2016; why do you think it is resonating so well?
I believe it resonated so well because it came from a personal subject, it was based on true events and also, the theme was Follow Your Dreams. I think the audience can connect to that subject regardless of their background. I was also dealing with grief, and anyone who has ever lost someone in their life can connect to what I was feeling.
TIM: Why is Julia an important story to tell?
Julia is an important story to tell because it brings a different perspective on how to deal with loss. As an artist, I want to share my point of view on how to deal with loss. The reason I want to share that is because I lost my mom in 2014 and for me it was really hard to accept that she was gone. Once I accepted that she was gone I understood more about life and how she wanted me to pursue and live my dreams. For me it was really hard to leave my family and move to a foreign country, then living along and start working in Los Angeles. What I want to say with this movie is: Follow your dreams! It is important to grieve and to accept death, but once you do that you are free to live your life and to follow your dreams!
TIM: You seem well on your way to breaking barriers and making headway in the industry, what do you think it takes to break through in Hollywood?
First of all be professional! Even when I was a student at NYFA, I always had a professional behavior on set: I was always on time, I collaborate with my friends’ projects, and I was always curious about the whole process of making a film, from pre-production until post-production. Another thing that I did a lot was to connect with people. I cast my actor friends, and cast crew members into others’ projects. My mentality is: we are in the same boat, we have to help each other, so whenever someone asked me to be in a film and I wasn’t available, instead of just saying I can’t, I asked, “What do you need? How can I help you?” After my graduation, my attitude didn’t change. And now, I receive people’s resumes, and headshots, because they know I can help them. One of the reasons I’m also a producer, personality wise, is that I’m super organized and I now know a lot of good people. It’s a great combination for being a competent producer. Right now I’m producing a feature film with Amy Williams, called Nobody’s Home. We’re shooting first week of January, 2017. We cast Lily Knight, Dylan Rourke, and Blake Sheldon, and I’ll also be acting in it too. Another feature film that I’ll be acting in, and working as a production manager is called Subliminal. We’re planning to shoot during the first semester of 2017. As a proactive person, I’m also writing my first feature film In the Search Of in which I’ll be playing an immigrant trying to work in the movie business in LA, inspired by my own life!
TIM: Has your time in the USA been all what you had hoped for?
It’s been more than what I was hoping for, I could not be more grateful and happy for everything that has happened in my life since I arrived here. In two years I have worked on over twenty-five short films, I’ve been attending Festivals, receiving awards, and working in feature films! I can say that I’m living my dreams! That’s because I have a family who always believed in me and supported me. And that’s why in turn I enjoy helping other people, because I have received all kinds of help in my own life, I have so much to be grateful for! I like to say that I’m an Actress / Producer / Director / Writer . . . etc…
I consider myself a filmmaker, a storyteller. I love being on set, I love to tell a good story especially if it comes from a personal place, or if it speaks from the heart.
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