Not only was Sara a fan of the show before joining, she says her new coach, played by Stamos, was a household name. She’d watch him in Full House growing up, which made her first encounter with him pretty wild. After a long, 15-hour day, she was covered in sweat and Stamos asked her to make a TikTok. It’s now one of her most viral videos at nearly 7 million views and 1.2 million likes.
While Sara wasn’t playing high school basketball when she got her big shot at TikTok fame, she was studying business in college. It was a back-up plan suggested by her mother if acting didn’t work out. She started posting to TikTok in late 2019 and quickly found an audience for her one-woman reenactments of popular trending sounds and famous TV scenes. She eventually found both her agent and her manager through the app, started to take auditioning seriously, signed up for acting classes, and amassed more than 7.4 million followers and 291.1 million likes (and counting).
Nothing, however, prepared her for the “tremendously different” experience it would be on set. “With TikTok acting, I’m the producer, I’m the director, I’m the actress, I’m the costume designer. Being on set, you have an entire team behind you,” she says. “You’re just the actress at the end of the day. But it is a lot more time consuming, and way more thrilling in my opinion. Seeing all the actors on set with you…it’s just a lot more exhilarating.”
It’s a moment she’d dreamed about since her days as a seventh-grade theater kid playing the lead role in her school’s knock-off Disney play that can best be described as a questionable Descendents prequel. Landing the lead role as Maleficent, Echeagaray fell in love with the craft of acting and eventually abandoned her Hannah Montana-inspired dream to become a singer.
“[It’s] kid of full circle because I work with Disney,” she laughs. “My school back then didn’t want to pay for copyright stuff, so we made our own musical. I think we called it Royalty High, which was like a school where there was a bunch of Disney princesses and villains and the villains were the underdogs.”
While she’s left her riotous theater days behind her, her passion for entertaining people on and off screen has only continued to grow. She moved to Hollywood in August 2021 and has big plans for what her career might look like. She’s also carving a spot for herself in an industry she never saw herself in growing up and had no connections or money to join. “I didn’t see a lot of Hispanic representation in film or television. And when I did, we were often the punchline of a joke,” she says. The Dallas-born Mexican American star hopes to inspire younger generations in her community to go after their dreams, even if they seem unattainable or they don’t see people that look like them in the industry. “[Let’s] show them that we can break through social constructs and rise above the stereotypes. Representation is a hope for the next generation and that anything is going to be possible.”