Lilian Garcia prides herself on the connection she has with her fans. It's why she continues to build a bridge with them through social media including Instagram Live posts. Whether the longtime WWE announcer is posting a workout with her husband or musical session with her vocal coach, Garcia wants to give people something to look forward to each day.
The regular activity is also a welcome distraction from the uncertainty in the world we live in due to the coronavirus. Garcia finds it especially hard knowing she lives five minutes from her mom but isn't able to see her.
"She moved to California with my father in 2016. That was all in hopes to get my dad well when he was suffering from cancer. Unfortunately, he didn't make it. We ended up moving mom here. They told us she would be best suited living in an assisted living place. So we thought, 'Okay, only five minutes away. We'll have someone to take care of her because my husband and I work and are traveling so much.' I got to see her all the time though. All of a sudden when this happened the facility said, 'Please, no outside family members," Garcia explained.
"Thank goodness she knows how to FaceTime, so we've been doing that. It has been a lifesaver. I will say just yesterday they had their first case for one of the people who live there getting coronavirus. I hardly slept last night. My sister and I are very concerned. She is a trooper. She is somebody who is taking this so well. I think that is where I get my optimism from. She really has stayed optimistic, doing word puzzles, FaceTime with me. Keeping up with the news and different shows. My sister and I were with her in a three-way yesterday. I think that is what is important. Just keep in touch with your loved ones. Keep the spirits up as much as possible."
If there is a silver lining with the whole situation, Garcia believes we've found varying ways of communication in a big way. That and the hope people will stop taking certain things for granted.
"Let me hope this is what people get out of this," she said. "When we do get the opportunity to come back together again, we're going to have a whole new appreciation. It's sad sometimes it takes this to create that appreciation. We're human beings. Until it's gone and then given back, that's when we see it's a true honor we get to do certain things. For me, I've always loved performing in front of a live audience. I've cherished it, but it will be even sweeter now."
Garcia was able to sing for the WWE Universe on "The Bump" hours before WrestleMania aired. She was pitched the idea by WWE as celebrities have been bringing music to the masses from the comfort of their own home.
"I told them I would do it, and they can use it wherever they want to. That was up to them," Garcia said, on WWE's decision to put it on "The Bump" and not WrestleMania.
Garcia was initially surprised when she found out the "Show of Shows" was moving forward. Then she remembered this was WWE.
"We went forward with 9/11 and look what that turned into. It was just one of those events you'll just never forget," Garcia said. "We just went live two days after the 9/11 attacks.' It was exactly what the fans needed. Vince usually has his pulse on that. I'm sure him and everyone else who decided to go for it felt this is exactly what the country needs. Yes, it was different. A, it shows what the fans mean to the show. I think the fans, I hope they see what they provide for the superstars. B, for the superstars to perform in an empty arena like that. Kudos to them because you could still see they were all into what they did and were there to provide entertainment."
She feels the unconventional environment of WrestleMania opened the door for further creativity.
"Had there been a regular WrestleMania, you'd probably not have matches like the Boneyard Match and the Firefly Funhouse. That mind-blowing match that was so awesome. Even the last man standing match. The fact they went all over the place, which they could have done, but the people in the stadium would have been like, 'Hey, we want the action in front of us.' We got to have things we wouldn't have had at a regular WrestleMania.' I even told Drew [McIntyre] when he won, 'Look, I know this is not the way you would have imagined it. Pictured it. I'm sure you wanted that moment like Daniel Bryan and Kofi Kingston. But nobody will forget how you won. Nobody will forget this WrestleMania.' I think for that there is something special in it."
Lilian's full interview with Wrestling Inc aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.