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'I am living my dream right now': Actress inspiring other immigrants to follow their dreams

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A former Fort McMurray resident is showing off her skills on the small and big screen alongside celebrities like Jason Momoa.

Humberly González has acted in commercials, films, TV shows and done voice work and motion capture for video games. Recently she appeared in the Netflix show Slumberland as Graciela.

"Every new project, I am like, 'this is surreal, I can't believe I am here,'" said González.

"I am living my dream right now. I am doing exactly what I hoped for. I never thought it could become real and then it did."

González was born in Venezuela, a "lively and very performance-forward" country. Due to the political turmoil in Venezuela, her family left and moved to Aruba before eventually settling in Fort McMurray.

"I had never seen snow or felt cold weather in my life," said González. "I was trying to imagine what it would be like and I was like, 'is it like living in a fridge?' Like, what does snow feel like? Is it like a snow cone?"

Moving to Canada was a shock, but it also provided opportunities.

"I got into drama right away, I always loved performing and I used to do little theatre shows and things like that and Westwood had such a great arts community," she said.

"I remember booking like my first lead in a musical in high school, which was Urinetown, and I remember that moment on stage, I just felt connected to myself."

The passion for the arts was something that didn't go unnoticed by her drama teacher.

"I could see this immense desire to be an actor and she was still absorbing English and so forth and she was just a quick study," said Terri Mort.

González attended college in Fort McMurray and originally thought of acting as just a hobby, not a career path.

"Being the daughter of immigrants, especially with everything my dad had to sacrifice to bring us here, I always felt like I had to do something 'real and significant' to make him proud, but… honestly, it was my parents who supported my arts in the first place," González said.

Eventually, she went to school for theatre and film, moved to Toronto, got an agent and has appeared on all the major Canadian networks.

"I would never have thought I'd be here now working with Netflix, working with Sony Pictures, working with these incredible and huge production companies you can only dream about," she said.

González hopes her story will inspire other immigrants and show them that dreams can come true.

"If I can do it, then anyone else can," she added. "If you have a dream, what is literally the worst thing that could happen? You get told 'no,' or maybe you try again or go a different way, but there was just no way that I wasn't going to try."

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