urx unit loader Jorge Garcia Contemplates Life After 'Lost'
Today’s cuppa: coffee from the Tassimo

Below find the full text of my syndicated feature story for today …

early January, and “Lost” star Jorge Garcia is back in Hawaii after spending
Christmas in Wisconsin. He still has a little time before filming begins on the
final group of episodes of the island castaway drama’s last season – which
begins airing on Tuesday, Feb. 2, on ABC – but thoughts that the end is nigh
are creeping in.

feels good still,”
he says. “We know that sadness is on deck, but we’re not
going there just yet. But you’re starting to see the list of lasts. It’s like,
‘This is the last New Year’s on the island.’ “

of course, there’s the packing. Says Garcia, “Now, you’re starting to look
around the house, thinking, ‘How am I going to pack up all I’ve amassed over
six years?’ “

this is true for many of Garcia’s fellow cast members, one wonders if there
might be a “Lost” garage sale.

might definitely be some Craigslist-ing,”
Garcia says. “I don’t know. It’s a
lot. I’m just looking at my bookshelf. We’re talking about possibly a bunch of
us going in on one of those shipping containers. Everyone gets a fraction, and
we all start filling it up.”

“Lost,” Garcia was best known for doing 13 episodes of the CBS series “Becker,”
so his role as unlucky lottery winner Hugo “Hurley” Reyes has not only changed
his career but also his life.

he says. “When I got the pilot, I didn’t even have a script yet to
read. I just knew it was (producer) J.J. Abrams, and it shot in Hawaii. So I
figured, if anything, I’d have a little Hawaiian vacation out of it, and that
was good enough for me.”

the years since, Garcia has also made forays into social media, starting out
with a MySpace page, a move that soon became unmanageable.

just found,”
he says, “with all the personal messages and stuff, that the
workload got really big. I’m still not at a place where I’m comfortable hiring
someone to answer mail and send it for me. So it started getting where I’d
spend two hours answering messages.”

Garcia started a blog called “Dispatches From the Island,” which has included
such gems as photos of the show’s 100th-episode cake; “Nunu’s Advent Calendar
of Stuff She Likes to Chew,” featuring Garcia’s tiny Chihuahua-dachshund mix;
and the epic, seven-part YouTube video series “Jorge and Beth’s Rat Incident,”
featuring a rat and the hysterical reactions to it from Garcia’s girlfriend,

think I’ll have to come up with a new one with a different title,”
Garcia says,
“when I’m not on the island anymore. It’s been fun. I’ll definitely keep doing
it in some way.”

“Lost” became a worldwide hit, Garcia says that remembering that isn’t always
easy far across the sea.

kind of protected shooting in Hawaii, in a way. You can convince yourself that
you’re just doing a little show that you and your friends do, and you don’t
think about the huge phenomenon it’s become worldwide, until you start doing
international press, or if you go to ComicCon or things like that. You begin to
see the level of the fan base.

going to be interesting, because there’s this idea of coming back to Los
Angeles. It’s like you went away to make your fortune, and now you’re returning

course, this wasn’t exactly planned, especially on the part of the show’s

Garcia says, “I remember seeing an old breakdown where Hurley was in his 50s
and wasn’t going to survive the pilot. So I’m glad I was able to change their

had a rough list of some people to put in the show, but when they were
us – and it was late in casting season – they ended up really concentrating on
finding actors they wanted to work with and not worrying too much on how it’s
all going to fit just yet.

they ended up creating the part for me, after they met me. I had read for
Sawyer, and they chatted with me for a little while. They ended up writing
scenes for me, when I actually tested for the role.

in that sense, because I was the only Hurley that they tested, as far as I
know, that makes you feel pretty good.”

what will change immediately after the director calls the final “That’s a
wrap!” Garcia says, “I probably will give a nice close shave. Periodically it’s
just nice to feel real clean in the face.”

to whether co-star Josh Holloway, who plays Sawyer, will also lose the scruff
on his chin, Garcia says, “He said he was going to shave his head when it was
all over. He probably could be talked out of it

UPDATE: To learn more about Garcia’s early days with pal Lana Parrilla (“Swingtown,” “Boomtown” and the upcoming “Miami Medical”), click here.