When Christina Floriza appeared in a commercial for the NBC4 Washington news station on Jan. 15, she had no idea that it would be airing on TV before the 2015 Super Bowl halftime show only a few weeks later.
“It was intense, but I had no idea it was because of that,” Floriza said. “I thought that maybe this was just the high energy type of production that they do.”
Floriza, who received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in philosophy from AU, currently works in the AU Library creating educational technology pieces to supplement classes as the Technology Coordinator for the Division of Research, Teaching, and Learning. She returned to acting just a few years ago when she started studying at the Washington Improv Theater.
From there, Floriza started to take more serious acting classes while also searching for work. Ever since she was a child, she has participated in some form of performing art, she said, and now acts part-time.
There has been an increase in the availability of acting roles in the D.C. area over the past several years. The popularity of shows like “House of Cards” and “Veep” has opened up many acting opportunities in Washington D.C. In fact, Floriza has appeared in background roles on both shows.
“There wasn’t that big of that kind of a performing arts presence for film and television until relatively recently,” Floriza said.
She acted in her first commercial last April for a Maryland car dealership. Floriza said she met numerous casting directors and learned the ropes of production over the years, landing her the chance to audition for the NBC ad, her first speaking role.
The ad, now featured on NBC4’s website, features news anchors and regular viewers talking about the station.
Floriza recalls watching the commercial on TV in her apartment with her boyfriend the night it aired. Even though she had already seen the advertisement online, she was still shocked to see her own face on the big screen.
“[It was] totally weird, so super weird,” she said.
After the premiere, Floriza found her Facebook wall inundated with messages of congratulations that she responded to while watching the Katy Perry perform on the halftime show.
Looking towards the future, Floriza said the NBC Washington ad made her eligible to join the Screen Actor’s Guild.
“If I join the union then that I think will open some doors to get more substantive work,” she said.