We got to talk to Ayva Severy about her new show as well as how her career is going.
Ayva Severy is an LA based kid actress who is a series regular on the new, original show called, The Garcias, which is currently streaming on HBO Max. She plays Andrea Huh Garcia, the bi-racial, science loving kid, who is the youngest of the Garcia family.
Ayva Severy – Interview with BSC Kids
BSCKids: Tell us a bit about how you got the role on The Garcias and do you feel like you have anything in common with your character?
Ayva Severy: The audition process was really fun. First step was a self tape for the role of Alexa (older sister). Then, at the callback, I auditioned for the part of Alexa and Andrea. The final step was a Callback/Chemistry read and I only read for the part of Andrea. I was teamed up with my set parents (who already booked their roles), Elsha Kim and Jeff Licon. I remember getting called back into the zoom room several times and finding another “Alexa”, as they were trying to cast the “Huh-Garcias” sisters. The coolest part of this process was being told I got the part of Andrea on the zoom with Trinity Bliss (Alexa). They asked us to redo the scene because there was a “tech issue.” I was the only one speaking with Elsha at that time and she was improvising. I was told by my coach, “always stay in character until they say cut.” So I stayed in character and continued my lines, even though she kept saying, “You wanna be part of the cast, you have to go to Mexico!” My zoom & wifi was glitching in and out, and I was only hearing bits and pieces. When I saw Trinity’s face light up, and then Elsha said, “you are going to Mexico,” that was when it hit me, I got the part! I do have some things in common with my character Andrea. She comes from a mixed race family, and so do I. Andrea loves her family a lot and I do too. And I admire how Andrea protects her loved ones, and listens and gives good advice. I would say I do the same too.
Did you watch The Brothers Garcia to prepare for this role?
I watched all the episodes I could find on Youtube. I loved the show! I loved that I got to see the “OG” (original cast) as children, and they were good actors. It is also so cool to see them as adults, all grown up now working with a new generation of Garcias. I also loved how The Garcias brings back story lines from the original Brothers’ Garcias. For example, I love the connection with Larry’s failed space adventure when he was younger, and Andrea’s first failed rocket scene. Do you have any behind the scenes stories you can tell us about while filming. I love filming the big family dinner scenes because that was the time when the whole cast were all together on set. Yes, it takes a long time to film them (sometimes half of a day for one scene because there were so many camera angles to cover for 11-13 actors), but the break times were the best. We were all together: laughing, dancing and sharing stories like a “real” family. The “mordida” scene in episode 1 was loads of fun to film. A mordida is when you or someone smashes your face into a birthday cake. It was Trinity (my set sister) and our birthdays, and we did a mordida and the scene was done in just 1 take. I had cake all over my face, in my nose, and I even opened my mouth to take a big bite. It was so much fun! If you could guest star on any current show, which one would it be and why? I would “super” love to be a guest star on Star Wars saga. I just love the story lines and the different characters. And the set location: OMG, to be able to work on these amazing sets, it would be such a treat! I also love comedy and one of my favorite comedy actors is Will Ferrell. I watch Elf all the time, even if it is not the holidays, and I always am super happy watching it. I would love to work with him.
Who do you feel like has taught you the most in your career?
I think I have learned a great deal from my coach, David Tom. I have a really strong bond with him because I have been working with him since I was 7 years old. He started as a kid actor, so he has walked me through what to expect every step of the way from auditioning, how to prepare for a director’s session and what to expect when I get on set. We work really well together and I am lucky to have him by my side. And, I cannot forget to mention my amazing agents and managers who are always there for me (& my mom) with good advice.
Tell us about why The Garcias is the type of show we need now.
The Garcias is a great family show. The Garcias have loads of experiences together and learn a lot about each other. It’s a great show for the whole family (all ages) that has tons of laughs and a few cries. It’s heartwarming with no violence or drama. It’s a great, wholesome show about an American family. I also think diversity is super important. Like for me, I’m mixed race, and I don’t get to see a lot of kids like me on tv. On The Garcias though, I love playing a kid who is mixed race like me, and hopefully, maybe other kids like me who watch, will be able to relate or be able to see someone like themselves.
This is a great family show, tell us how your family has helped you with your dreams.
My family is everything to me and they help me reach for my dreams. My mom and I get along well and she is a “mom-a-ger” making sure I am always ok. She works with my agents and managers. She takes me to all my auditions, and she’s even learned how to edit my selftapes and voice-over auditions. She also manages my Instagram account, and travels with me when I have to work. My dad and brother are always there for me too! They do loads of behind the scenes work when I have at home auditions. They move furniture, put up the blue screen and lights and fix my “voice over studio” in our hallway closet. My family sacrifices a lot so I can follow my dream and I am so lucky to have them by my side.
Tell us something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I think people will be surprised to learn that I am a good cook. I love to make food like curry, and Filipino dishes, like Arroz Caldo and Adobo. On my days off, I’m in the kitchen learning new recipes from my mom. And, I am a total foodie and love trying out new restaurants. My favorite foods are hand roll sushi and fresh made pasta with marinara sauce, and am always willing to try new foods.
Is there anything else you are working on that you can tell us about?
Look out for me and my mom in our national Walmart Commercial which is out now. I also just booked a voiceover role in an animation pilot, so I’m looking forward to that. And I am keeping my fingers crossed for opportunities to come in the near future.
Special thanks to Ayva Severy and family and go watch The Garcias!