OGAC Founder and Coach Crystal Martinez has been acting professionally for over 19 years.
But before she became a professional actor she was a single mother, recently divorced and knew she had to make a decision to provide for her son. She knew the most important thing was to sacrifice whatever was necessary in order to provide a good life for her 2 year old son and for his future so she made the decision to return to school and begin to work toward an eventual law degree. As a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and that God would lead her in the right direction as long as she worked hard to do what was right, she applied for a job at a reputable personal injury law firm in the Galleria area and was offered an interview and eventually a position as a receptionist. After her training, she was given a start date in two weeks. She enrolled back at HCC & it looked liked the future had been set.
Crystal had always wanted to be an actress. She grew up in a small town called Marble Falls and used to love to watch black and white movies with Shirley Temple thinking, because the little girl had curls just like she had and loved to sing and dance, one day she would be able to do it too. Her love for acting, music and dance began then. Being raised on the classics her love of old Hollywood films only grew and she watched her childhood favorites go on to variety shows and tv comedies where her wit and sense of humor developed into a desire to follow in their footsteps.
While at O'Henry Middle School in Austin Texas she and several other girls in her grade were given the opportunity to audition for a musical variety show that was being produced at Austin High School. She was cast along with several classmates and they performed "Hard Knock Life" from Annie in the high school production. There began her love of performing and she enrolled in Drama once she came to Lamar High School, 1 year later. Over the next few years her respect and appreciation for classic films deepened and her love for theater turned to film and tv. But there were not yet as many opportunities to enter the acting world at that time and as she got older and her life took her in a different direction she gave up on her dream of becoming an actress.
A few days after she was hired at the law firm she received a call from her brother Ernest Martinez who told her that he had just booked a production job on an ITT commercial and they needed someone to work craft services. The pay was fantastic and as fate would have it, the job lasted a few days less than 2 weeks.Naturally, she said yes!
On the first day of the job, the director put her into the commercial because she spoke fluent Spanish. She was in heaven and more importantly, she was hooked! She asked the director if he thought she could do it and he not only encouraged her but referred her to several other people who also worked on the production for advice. Nelly Gonzales, (who eventually became a great friend and mentor) was incredibly gracious and took the time to advise her and suggest that she reach out to PB Talent.
Suddenly the future was uncertain.
A few days before the production was over she was offered a job at a production company named Rio Bravo productions by Producer Lynn Birdwell & working with director Rodrigo Rodriguez.
Everything happens for a reason.
She accepted the job, applied to PB Talent and 1 month later was signed by Jenny Bosby, & a few months after the she shot her first principal role in a national Spanish commercial for Western Union, then a national Payless Shoes commercial, and for the next 5 years worked commercially in hundreds of English and Spanish commercials, voice overs, print ads, billboards and more.
A firm believer in the idea that no one can stop what God has planned for you, when the opportunity to work on the ITT commercial came and she was put in to the commercial based on her look and the fact that she spoke fluent Spanish, Crystal quickly realized that opportunity had come full circle. She began asking questions on how to get an agent and who to submit to, and just before she was going to finish the job she was offered a position at a local production company. She took the position, and 1 month later she signed with PB Talent and 1 month after that she booked her first national Spanish speaking national commercial.
Although it seems like her professional acting career was a breeze. The reality was that as a single mother with no degree or profession, when the opportunity came, everyone in her life advised her against it. Some even went so far as to say that she would never make it. That there were thousands of girls who looked just like her, and she would never stand a chance.
Roughly 6 years and lots of hard work later she booked her first role on an episodic in New Mexico called In Plain Sight. She began booking film/tv roles off of taped auditions and fellow actors kept asking her what her approach was. Her agent and other actor friends suggested she teach classes or hold a workshop and 7 years ago she began OGAC Actor's Studio.
Since then Crystal has enjoyed the dual success of seeing many of her students go on to build their own careers in film & tv after learning the ropes in her classes.
Crystal's strong relationship with area agents has earned her the privilege of enjoying their confidence and hosting them for visits where students she feels are ready, are able to perform scenes for professional feedback. These visits though not interviews, auditions OR job interviews, have provided her students exposure to professional agents and many have been given the opportunity to come in for interviews.
Still today Crystal enjoys the confidence of local and national industry professionals and has provided her students with multiple opportunities through productions seeking talent who reach out to her with the confidence that her students are among the most professional and well trained in Houston, as well as resources through her various industry connections in photography, editing, website development, and more.
OGAC has become a leader in providing Houston and the Texas area with professional training, informative workshops, guest speakers, and is most recently developing a department that will provide actors with the resources necessary to shoot high quality scenes for use in demo reels. These scenes will be produced and/or directed through OGAC with Crystal involved at every step to help bring the best quality product to the new actor's demo reel! Keep checking back to our website for more information on when this service will be available and how to register!
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