VIVA Latino!

I decided to start this page as a diary, journal, of our filming days.  They don't happen all that often, not yet at least, but it's entertaining when they do.  I'd like to share little stories here and there about what we film, or what happens on set.  Sort of a behinds the scenes.

I'm sure this might evolve into a blog site on it's own one day, but right now I'll combine it with mine.
Hope you enjoy reading about our crazy sibling like days on set.

Spy Kids 4D: All The Time In The World Premiere: August 13, 2011

Our crew was lucky enough to be a part of the Rodriquez experience and film elements of the premiere.  Rodriquez has done a lot for Texas Film, but even more for Austin Film.  With him being such a pillar of this industry, and for Latinos, is was a perfect match for Viva Latino to cover the event.

We started our day off at the Dell's Children Center.
This children's hospital is a beautiful facility.  The inside makes it seem like a home more than a hospital.  I felt comfortable there, and I can imagine how the kids must feel.  It's a wonderful part of our city, and if you have time to donate or volunteer, I highly recommend it.

The Spy Kids, Alexa Vega and Daryl Sabara as well as Rowan Blanchard and Mason Cook, from the movies paid a visit and got to talk to some of the kids that were there.  You could tell how happy the kids were to have these special guests, and be a part of something bigger.  I can't even tell you how awesome the actors were.  They took time to meet everyone who was there and connect with the children.  It's really nice when celebrities take time to participate in events around town.

For our part, we had a former patient, one who was just released the day before, conduct the interview of the stars of the film.  She did a fantastic job!  (I teased our host that he better watch it cause I already had a replacement for him.  See, siblings.)  For this being the first time she had ever done something like that, it was amazing.  Who knows, maybe she'll eventually find her calling in the industry.

After that, it was off to the premiere.
On a personal note, it was fun to be there this time as part of the media.  I was a part of the media circus, and had a blast.  We had our spot on the red carpet and got some amazing interviews with all those that are involved.  (Go to the Viva Latino Facebook page to see all the pictures.)  The actors and crew that were there were more than happy to stop by for a chat, and were so friendly.

The red carpet wasn't where our participate ended.  We were able to see the movie as well.
I enjoyed it.  The beauty about the movie was that it was a kids movie.  It wasn't focusing on keeping the adults entertained, it was all about the kids.  In a time period where movies try to balance between the adult and kids worlds, its nice to find a movie that doesn't care about that. I did enjoy it, I had a good time with the Aroma-Vision, but I know I didn't have as much fun as the kids in the audience.  Frankly, that's how it should be.

The Aroma-Vision was something new to me.  I've heard of it before, and remember the fascination, but had never experienced it.  It was fun to be a part of something that was going on in front of you.  It's just like the Wiis or Kinects, but appealing to another sense, a forgotten sense.  It's unconventional, sure, but that's what makes it fun.  Watching a film, being apart of the theater experience is about losing yourself in what's in front of you.  Why not bring your sense of smell along for the ride too.

It's always a big event when Rodriquez hosts a children's film premiere.  This time, like in the past, the movie was accompanied by a carnival outside the venue.  Not only where there rides and games, but there were also Spy games to see if they could become a part of OSS.  It was interactive, and all the kids around were having a blast.

Overall, it was a fun and exciting day.  I wanted to be a kid again to fully enjoy all that was offered around me.  Especially the Bouncy Slide.  I do love the bouncy houses and slides.


Misc. Interview: August 15-17, 2011

One of the cool things about my position on Viva Latino is the access to some very talented and inspirational people in and around Austin.  Yes, we want to interview people in the industries of food, style, music, film, fitness; but we also want to connect with the Latinos (and non-Latinos) that are pushing the envelope of our society and culture.

With these last round of interviews we went above and beyond what we have done before.  I believe we got some amazing interviews with some wonderful people.  People who not only try to help others based on their experiences but those who want to change the future and help shape our world into something better.  We spend 3 days interviewing some amazing people, and to get all the information on all of these guests you must watch the show... CW Austin at 11:30am on Sundays.
I will tell you about a few of them, one from each day to give you a taste of what to expect in the coming weeks on Viva Latino.

On Monday we interviewed Jason Cox.  I had actually met him almost a year ago when I was working on another project with JVS

This foundation has a huge 'library' of marrow donors that can be used to save lives of those who need matches.  In our society it's hard to find someone who has the general make-up/background as you besides your family.  Most of your friends are equally blended with different cultures and backgrounds that finding a donor in your inner circle is hard, Marrow Match helps with this.

Hearing Jason's story and the way he talks about his foundation, I immediately wanted to become apart of something bigger.  Sure, the first thing that comes to mind about marrow donation is the pain.  The outcome of the pain is so much bigger than a few hours or discomfort, the outcome being saving a life.  Besides, the way Jason described it, the pain is only a small amount.

If you want more information about this project and how you can become involved, please go to for more details.

Tuesday was our fun day.  On Tuesday our crew was treated to a fun and interesting interview with Tim Kennedy.  For those who aren't in the loop yet about who Tim Kennedy is, he is an up and coming UFC fighter who fights for Strikeforce.

Like Jason, I met Tim through another project.  I was introduced to him as someone I had contacted for the shoot we were doing, and that immediately transitioned into a nerdy conversation.  Any time I have a nerdy conversation I'm happy, but when it's about a subject I'm super nerdy about, I have a friend for life in my eyes.  You can image my shock when I found out he was a MMA fighter.

I have to admit, when I first became aware of MMA I was turned off by it.  I grew up on martial arts and appreciated the beauty and talent of these fighting forms.  To then go and watch something as disorganized (to an untrained eye) as MMA, I wasn't interested.  Tim changed my view of the sport.  Tim wasn't your typical fighter, or one that I expected to be a MMA fighter.  He was interesting, respectful, fun, nice, all those great things you want to find in a person.

His story and journey from a soldier to a fighter is interesting.  Yes, it is becoming more common, but I still think he's story is worth checking out and is different.  He had a lot of interesting things to say during his interview, so I'll just let you experience it through his own words.

On our last day of filming, Wednesday, we got a chance to interview someone that I believe is doing an amazing job for the Latin community.  Efrain Valdez is a motivational speaker from the Valley.  The reason I mention his acting is because his activism crosses into that career as well.

Efrain has an organization in the Valley that helps at risk youth overcome their hardships and push themselves for a better life. It's hard being a Latino, and sometimes people tend to automatically throw you into a stereotyping situation.  For a teenager who has been labeled as such, it's hard to break out of that and become the exception.  Efrain does this, and he has helped to make this a reality for many kids.

Efrain takes the time to help the youth of today become the future of tomorrow.  This is a wonderful organization, and I'm overjoyed to know that someone has spent the time and energy to organize this in the Valley, where at the moment is in need of some great role models. While the organization is in the process of updating their information, please stayed tuned to the show as well as the Viva Latino Facebook for more information.

The perks of my job are pretty fun, if I'm completely honest.  From film premieres, to food tastings from some amazing local chefs, to being able to meet some of the people who are working on changing this world and break down the stereotypes of different groups.  Not only am I lucky to meet these people, but I have the access to spread their message to those around me.


Tribeza Fashion Show

I went to my first official fashion show last night.  Of course I had a huge girl moment before hand trying to figure out what to wear, but once I got there it was fun. 

There, as expected, were tons of people, beautiful people, in stylist clothes and who had style.  It was hard not to evaluate everyone's outfit.  There were a few who I didn't necessarily like, and those that I would of paired with different shoes, but overall interested group of dressed people.
(and a room filled with hot boys, who were either taken or gay. story of my life.)

We had a cameraman so we got some great b-roll of the VIP party (hehe) and the fashion show itself.  Our host, Christian (with SHORT hair!) was making his rounds and doing his thing.  Not only was there a  VL presence, but he also working in this industry on other projects so it was great to see him in his element and mingling up a storm.

As for the fashion show itself, it was nice.  There were some great outfits, and there was so that normal people couldn't wear.  Then, as is a staple of all fashion events, there was a majority of outfits that only thin people could wear.

This critique isn't necessarily for Tribeza, who hosted a wonderful event and one that I'm grateful for having been able to attend, but more for the fashion people out there.
Not everyone has a thin figure, many of us out there have hips and curves.  It's hard enough being a full-figured woman in our society today without having no fashion pieces to help with feeling sexy.  I know that style changes each season, but it seems that only straight styles ever emerge. Where are the designs that show of the hourglasses?  All the sex-pots of the yester-years have an hourglass figure.  I miss those days.

Anyways, back on track.
The event was wonderful and organized well and in my opinion ran smoothly.  It was fun to see a different part of Austin with their fashion element.  Makes me wish I had more money to spend on that flashy outfit.  Guess I always have shoes.


Wizard World Austin Comic-Con, November 11-13

Holy smokes, Batman, that weekend was awesome!  This was my first comic-con attendance, and I had a freaking blast!  I felt at home, and it was awesome to be in the same room as Buffy actors.

I interviewed some influential Latinos in varies mediums.  First up was Electra and Elise Avellan, the twins from the Grindhouse movies.  They were super friendly and we had a great conversation.  Next was Jesse Lopez, and we discussed his hilarious webcomic "This Is Flipside" (and I also bought an amazing picture).  Miguel Aguilar was an amazing artist who has his work around Austin, Dallas, and LA.  Ash Gonzales had some beautiful artwork that he's done with oil on display.  All different mediums, yet all super talented.

There was so much stuff at the con it was easy to get distracted and lost among the memorabilia.  You did need three days to absorb it all.  I was lucky with my press pass, so I took full advantage of it.
I went to a Buffy panel with my favorite Big Bads Drusilla (the beautiful Juliet Landau) and Spike (the talented James Marsters), which was awesome!  We also stayed until the very end of Saturday to watch the costume contest.  Amazing, and it makes me plan my costume for next year.

Yep, I definitely want to come back next year.  Not only as a participant, but also as press.  It would be interesting to follow up with the artists to see how their career has changed since this one, as well as find more emerging Latino talent.

I'm a huge participant of this culture, so I'm aware that so many different types of people work in these fields, but it's nice that I can share to the masses that any one can be a part of this.  All you have to do is follow your heart and do what you love, what does it matter what field it's in, just as long as you are happy.