Photo by Leisa Thompson

On The Diag Summer 2017

Anna Garcia, ’17 | Ready to Combat the World

Our student reporter randomly chats with a fellow student on the Diag.


So what are you up to today? Not much. I just came from Stage Combat.

Stage combat? What’s that? It’s on North Campus. You basically learn to fight on the stage. We’re working with rapier swords right now. It’s very fun.

What’s your major? Screen arts and cultures. I am a senior.

What is screen arts and cultures? It’s film, basically. It’s sort of a “pick your own path,” so I do a lot of writing and directing.

As a senior, do you know where you’re going to end up? Ooooh, what a fun question! Literally everyone I know has asked me that in the past week. I’m a little torn between New York and Los Angeles—the classic performer’s dilemma.

What are the pros and cons of both places? I have a lot of friends in both cities, so that’s good. In terms of breaking into the industry, as a writer or something else, I’m just trying to figure out where it’d be easiest.

Do you think U-M has done a good job preparing you? Oh, yeah. I’ve had a lot of access to cool film shit. Even though most classes don’t specifically teach you “this is how you tackle the real world,” you leave with a lot of connections. I’m ready to get out there and … and … punch people on stage!

Are you already feeling nostalgic? Oh my gosh, yes. I was riding my bike around campus, which is one of my favorite activities, and it was sunny and I was just biking through the Diag and tears literally came to my eyes. I was like “Oh no, it’s ending!”

Bittersweet? Very bittersweet. You know I was in class in the crappy Modern Languages Building and thinking, “Gosh, when am I going to come back here? When am I going to get to complain about the MLB again? When am I going to get lost in the MLB again?” But, you know, I’ve been really busy working on my senior thesis up until this week, so I’m trying to do more senior-like things now, like going to Charley’s and some other bars.

What’s your thesis subject? My thesis is a film called “Anna Garcia Does a One Woman Play.” It’s showing at the Michigan Theater tomorrow. I don’t think this interview will be published today, so you won’t be able to see it, but it’s basically about me attempting to put together a play in three weeks.

And the University gave you the resources for this? Yes! There is a club on campus called M-agination Films where you can submit a script to be accepted. They give you producers, cameras, and help.

Wow. Exciting. Do you feel fulfilled? Yes, definitely. I don’t know what I would’ve done without my thesis this semester. It’s been a good capstone project. You know, if I could go back and do Michigan all over again, I would do a million different things, but I wouldn’t change what I’ve already done. I wish I could do college four more times. There is just so much to do here. Though I’ve loved my experiences.

And just to clarify, not all screen arts and cultures majors take stage combat, right? No.

You just wanted to punch people? Yeah, I’m just a very angry person. I hope that comes across in the interview. I’m joking!


David Newman is a junior acting major in the School of Music, Theatre & Dance and an advancement intern for the Alumni Association.