"I am so excited to be included in such a beautiful portrait. Michael was an amazing person who taught me so much about how to entertain the masses. He would always tell us that it was important to give it your all every single time because the fans deserved it."
As a child, Eddie Garcia was not unlike other kids his age, that is to say, when it came to his affection and adoration for the enormously talented Michael Jackson. But what did separate Eddie from so many of his peers, was the chain of events that ultimately had him touring and dancing with his idol on stages from Tulsa to Tokyo.
It all began when Eddie Garcia was cast in the film Captain Eo for Disney Pictures. Eddie was just 14 years of age at the time and one of only two performers hired for the project who were under the age of 18. Although the studio had Eddie on hold for several months, it was determined that the production schedule had become so far behind that they needed to make up for it with longer shooting schedules. Regretfully, this meant that the strict child-acting performer laws would prevent the two minors from participating in the grueling schedule. Eddie was terribly disappointed that he was unable to work for his idol. While that may have deterred some, Eddie knew that with a little faith and a lot of hard work, if he remained focused, his dream to one day work with Michael Jackson might still await him.
After returning to his studies at Dupree Dance Academy (where he was on scholarship), it wasn't long before Eddie was spotted in class by Paula Abdul. Abdul was Janet Jackson's choreographer at the time, and after seeing Eddie dance, she encouraged him to audition for Janet. Eddie was such a natural fit for Janet Jackson's music videos, he was immediately cast in "What Have You Done for Me Lately."
All the pieces of the puzzle were starting to come together, and by the age of 16, Eddie Garcia became emancipated and finished school early so he could tour with Janet Jackson. Along with performances which included the American Music Awards and the GRAMMY Awards, Eddie became a regular performing in Janet Jackson's music videos. Janet and Paula we so impressed with Eddie, he was featured in the "Nasty" video in a segment which had him performing nine pirouettes on a raked driveway! That's when Eddie was spotted by Michael Jackson.
Michael asked Janet how they edited the "boy doing all the turns," because he was unable to spot "the cut." Janet told her brother, "That's Eddie Garcia!" Almost right away, Eddie was auditioning for Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" and just as quickly, he got the part. Not unlike his sister Janet, Michael Jackson continued working with Eddie on several videos. By the time Eddie Garcia was 17 years old (less than three years from Eddie's disappointing cut from Captain EO) Michael Jackson had him auditioning dancers along with helping to cast and rehearse them, for both the Bad and Dangerous world tours.
For the next seven years, Eddie Garcia was working alongside Michael Jackson on numerous notable occasions, like the legendary Superbowl Performance and the GRAMMY Awards performance of "The Way You Make Me Feel," as well as the video of the same title and the video "Speed Demon."
Eddie Garcia's association with the Jackson family has been a rewarding and enriching experience, but it was under the genius of Michael Jackson where Eddie was truly able to live in his dreams. To this day, one of Eddie's personal favorite career moments was being immortalized in a comic book along side his idol, Michael Jackson.
Along with his lengthy history and intrinsic love for the artist that was and continues to be Michael Jackson, Eddie Garcia remains one of the few privileged professionals who is truly capable of bringing his wealth of knowledge to [any] Michael Jackson project.
We met Eddie at Courtney Miller Jr.'s Choreo Show in April 2011. Click here for photos.
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