Made in the 956: Valley native develops passion for acting
After high school, Jorge Chapa wanted to play football, but fate had different plans for him. On this week's Made in the 956, find out how Jorge went from the field to the small screen.
"I tore my shoulder my senior year," Chapa said. "I was kind of like… lost. Like I didn't know what to do after high school. I hadn't given it a lot of thought and I thought maybe I wanted to be a doctor. So I went to Pan Am, now UTRGV."
But he quickly realized that wasn't his thing.
"And so I did the immature thing and I dropped out without doing any proper paperwork," Chapa said.
Eventually, Chapa decided to go back to school, but he needed to get his GPA up.
"And this is the most meat head, jock thing to say, but I went back into to memory bank and I was like, 'What classes can I take to give me a higher grade?'" Chapa said.
That class was acting. But little did he know that it would turn into so much more.
"The competitive side in me fell in love with acting," Chapa said. "That was like 2006. I fell in love with it, so I tried to do more and then in 2009, at Pan Am, there was a production Of Mice and Men and that was my first big ah-ha moment where I knew this was the decision that I wanted to do this forever."
Jorge moved to New York, enrolled and graduated from grad school and then started landing parts in TV and film.
"I have to preface this by saying that I am very fortunate in this career," Chapa said. "More so than most. I started out late. I graduated May 23 of 2014 and then by June 7, 2014, so two weeks later, I got my first big commercial with AT&T and the Yankees."
But like many, Chapa has seen his ups and downs — but he's focused and setting new goals.
"The first goal I had, like I said that 5-year plan, was to see if I was even going to audition," Chapa said. "Well, it ended up becoming to where now we pay our bills with my acting. That was the big goal, right? To continue paying the bills through acting. Now, it's getting onto productions that change and move culture. It's really nice to have these things where you have Made in the 956 and you're making it possible for people to see that is possible to do these things. You know somewhere, some kid is watching that show and realize, 'Oh, they're from the Valley? I can do that too.' And I've run into several people that have confirmed that for me, and I would like to be that for someone else and keep that circle going because I got to tell you, the Valley is just full of talent."
"The end goal, what I would love, is to have a studio down there and do work down there," Chapa continued. "That's the end goal."
And we can't wait to see that studio.
Jorge Chapa: Made in the 956.