Eileen Abarrca is an actress, writer, and filmmaker based in Los Angeles. She grew up in the San Francisco bay area and migrated south to pursue a degree in Philosophy from UCLA. After graduating with honors, she traded her books on Aristotle for books on Stanislavski and headed to New York where she received her M.F.A from The Actors Studio. A native Spanish speaker and dual citizen of the U.S and Argentina, Eileen made her directorial debut with the award winning political documentary, Finding Mabel, which explores Argentina's infamous "Dirty War" and her family's connection to the 30,000 Disappeared.
Next up, Eileen is directing the short film GRIT, a dramedy about infertility, choice, and motherhood. The film is committed to inclusion in front of and behind the camera. Joining the production is a stellar cast, award-winning female D.P Judy Phu, award winning director/producer Jordan Auten, and The Greatest Showman, and Straight Outta Compton composer Joseph Trapanese.
Grit’s Seed & Spark campaign is currently live, and she’d be thrilled if you threw some love its way! Eileen is a proud lifetime member of The Actors Studio, Sag-Aftra, Women in Film, and Film Fatales. She lives in Santa Monica with her lovely husband Garrett, his amazing mustache, and their sweet baby boy Emmett.
What do I do best?
I’m good at looking at the bright side of things. Turning a shitty situation into something positive. I’m an ideas person – I have two billion ideas a day for new stories, new business endeavors, new artistic expressions.
What makes me the best version of myself?
I’m shiny, and I possess grit. I don’t let others dull my light, or yuck my yum, or project their stuff onto me. I’m plucky, persistent, and self-motivated.
What are my aspirations?
To inspire others with my stories, and make them feel seen. To provide for my family, and make my loved ones proud. To leave people feeling better after spending time with me.
To own a geodesic dome in the desert where I can sneak away to write. To always be creating. To take good care of my body, and be nicer to myself.
My Biggest Success?
I’m incredibly proud of my documentary film, Finding Mabel. Through the experience of creating it I feel I honored my Argentine heritage, and did right by my family and the woman (Yolanda Mabel Damora) who I was named after. I’m also really proud of having given birth to my son Emmett.
My Most Challenging Moment?
Struggling with infertility was incredibly challenging. The experience often made me feel crazy. The decision to keep going month after month, and be willing to try new things, and be willing to recreate the possibility of a child over and over again and try to stay positive was meaningful. Asking for help was meaningful. The decision to channel that experience into a script and make a film about it (my film Grit) has been meaningful.
“You’re not late, ‘til you’re late.” I don't know why – I’ve just always liked that. Also, “Keep it real.”
My Favorite People/Role Models?
I’m a big fan of Pamela Adlon. Her storytelling is so aligned with my heart – her show ‘Better Things’ makes me cry every dang time! I’m also so inspired by the fact that she is the writer, director, showrunner, and star of her show. My parents are my heroes. They may not be perfect, but they sure as hell are making the world a better place through their activism, and that’s pretty cool!
My Favorite Places/Destinations?
Kauai, Bali, Argentina. I love escaping to Joshua Tree. In Los Angeles, I love spending an entire day at the the Korean spa.
My Favorite Products/Objects?
Currently my favorite object is my son’s “comfort silkie” he sleeps with. I guess that’s his, and not mine, but he doesn’t mind sharing.
My Current Passions?
I love a good sweat session. I love lifting up other women. I love the art of clowning. I love giving Emmett a bath – that’s currently my favorite pastime.
PHOTO CREDIT: D.Lillian Photography