My fellow World Car Spokesperson, the adorable Raulito Navaira asked me to be his 1st guest for the pilot of his new tv show on Fox! I'm so excited for him. Raulito has a HUGE following because he's one of the Top Tejano music performers, alongside his equally famous brother, Emilio, whom most may remember suffered a tragic near fatal accident while driving his tour bus several years ago. Raulito and I have become the voices for World Car Kia and Hyundai commercials, respectively, on UNIVISION and also do their tv commercials. We had a BLAST a few months ago doing an infomercial together for World Car. If someone can get a hold of it somewhere, please, let me know cuz I've still yet to see it!LOL. I'm pictured, to the right, at Club Tabu in downtown San Antonio with Bobby Lopez the Host of "The Tejano Music Awards" (www.tejanoclassicradioshow.com & www.tejanomusicawards.com) and the announcer of Raul's new tv show. Here I am laughing at one of Raulito's jokes before filming segment with me.
Sunday, June 27, 2010
Thursday, June 24, 2010
I was so happy to get asked to Emcee, for the 2nd year in a row, the Cystic Fibrosis Mixer. Thank you to the Director of the Lone Star Chapter of CFF, Hugh Farr, who's been doing an INCREDIBLE job of raising funds for this organization in his first year. Thank you so much for continuing to include me in the efforts to help, in my small way, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Saturday, June 19, 2010
A couple of years ago, I was asked to participate in a "Celebrity" basketball game as part of a football camp that Priest Holmes (former Kansas City Chiefs), put together. Here I am with the beautiful and super sweet, Karina Smirnoff (Dancing with the Stars)
Slade Smiley (Desperate Housewives of OC) and Adrian Armante (Disney's Suite Life of Zach and Cody).
Through Mr. Rob and Liza Ortega I was introduced to Timothy Klund, Marketing Advisor to many NFL players. Fortunately, TK (as he's affectionately known) remembered me and it's through him that I was invited to go to Dallas to be part of a Dallas Cowboy's "Celebrity" weekend to raise funds for an abused children's foundations: The Promise House. The first evening, we attended a Casino Night.
Left: In the very fancy and HUGE limo they had for us, feeling exquisite, like a always feel when I wear a vintage NIKOLAKI (Nick Verreos..yes, my brother!) gown. Here's my friend, Tim(TK)and Chicago Bear Great, Lemuel Stinson
" Here I am ready to kick some kickball butt..LOL, with Actor, Prodcuer, Director and Writer, Hawthorne James. Some of you may recognize him as the Bus driver w/Sandra Bullock in Speed or may know him as "Big Red" from the "5 Heartbeats"
Dallas Cowboy Pro Bowl TE, Jason Witten.
Mr. Pre-game charmer, Martellus, all about wantin' to know if I was single. During the game,I found he was all about wantin' to "vote me off" hitting me with the kickball. Dallas Cowboy TE, Martellus Bennett, you would be GREAT on SURVIVOR..LOL.
Above, with the Founder of "The Promise House," and organizer of this event, Andre Gurode and?
When I arrived at the kickball game, I found out I was the ONLY female playing. Here I am, LUCKY me..surrounded by players from the current Dallas Cowboys team including Sam Hurd, who, btw, was a fellow "Celebrity Waiter" with me 3 years ago for the foundation that Brent and Erin Barry's help out the Kids Exchange. Sam is a class act.
One of my best childhood friends, Sara Elwood, lives in Dallas. I'm so happy she came out to be with me. Here we are with former NBA star, Mr.Ira Terrell (Phoenix Suns, New Orleans Jazz, Portland Trail Blazers and a very classy gentleman). The last morning, Andre held a brunch where I got to meet other football greats like the only player in NFL history to hold 5 Superbowl rings!, Mr. Charles Haley (SF 49ers..YAY!! I grew up in the Bay Area and still remember THE catch..Go Montana and Dwight Clark..that's what I'm talkin' about! Mr. Haley also played with the Dallas Cowboys)Here I am with another Dallas Cowboy great, Everson Walls.Last, but not least, I wan't to give a special thanks to 2 very classy and beautiful ladies, Ms. Sophia Parker (pictured here with me) and Ms. Chris Amos, who did an OUTSTANDING/IMPRESSIVE job with the Public Relations/Marketing of this event helping to make the Casino Night and Kickball Game turnout a big success!
Thursday, June 17, 2010
Mr. Hugh Farr, Director of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Lone Star Chapter recommended me to the Producers of a fashion show who's funds were going to go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It was an elegant show featuring designs from current students and alum of IADT San Antonio. Produced by Designer, Ms. Angelica Sandoval (Geisha Inc.) and Mandi Gallegos ( of Mikailee Alton) . A special treat for me was to have my parents and kids in the audience! I'm wearing a vintage (20 yrs. old!) NIKOLAKI design.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
My son is a huge football fan so, a couple of months ago, Ms. Liza Ortega told me they were at an event at the San Antonio event center. I took my son and we got a chance to meet some of the players. Here's my son with Keith Brooking.
One of the reasons I LOVE to travel is that I'm a people person and travelling, you often meet very interesting people. Returning from one of my HSN shows in Tampa, I ran into the News Anchor, Mr. Sam Donaldson. It was such an honor to meet him, quite the elegant, eloquent gentleman.
Nothing's coincidental! On my way to Memphis, back in November, as I'm walking through the security check point at SA airport, I hear cheering, clapping, befittingly so, for a HUGE group of wounded soldiers. I was fortunate to have been at the gate next to theirs. Immediately, I went over to thank them for their service to our nation. American Airlines and the Spurs, were also thanking them, flying them VIP on a Special American Airlines plane, pictured below, to Dallas giving them courtside seats to a game against the Dallas Mavericks. I'm so happy to have gotten this chance to meet such TRUE Heroes and Survivors!:)
Tuesday, June 15, 2010
One of my "guardian angels," Eugene Williams (Host of the Sports Talk Radio show, Longhorn Live) asked me attend this event. I'm friend's with Eddie and Chris Canales who are the Founders of the "Grid Iron Heroes" Foundation which helps, specifically, football players who have gotten spinal chord injuries as a result of their playing football. While attending Red McComb's 1st Annual Golf Tournament (also invited by Mr. Williams..see why I refer to him as my Guardian Angel?) to show my support of Mr. Mc Combs and his effort to help raise funds for Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer foundation (www.mccombstoyota.com)I met Ms. Keely Klein (Director of Management and Marketing) and Shelly Kirk (Executive Director) of "Pressing On" a foundation that also helps those with Spinal Chord injuries (www.pressingontexas.com). They were at the Red Mc Combs Golf Tournament to promote this event on Longhorn Live, which was broadcasting live that afternoon at Olympic Hills Golf Course). It was a nice event and I was surprised to get a special introduction on stage from the Emcee of the event that night at "Floore's Country Store," Mr. Jesse James of 100.3 fm. When I heard my name called out, I thought I was getting voted off again...I'm no traumatized or anything..LOL. Here's Country Music singer, Lee Brice, the headliner that night at "Floore's Contry Store." Here I am with Jesse James, Madeline Lozano and Eugene.
Ms. Delisi Duarte, who has a heart of gold, asked me to help her, help a dear friend, Thomas Trudzinski, who's aunt was recently diagnosed with breast cancer. Delisi put together this wonderful event to help raise funds for her treatment. I, recently lost my best childhood girlfriend, Diedra and another friend and fellow SURVIVOR Castaway, Jenn Lyon, to breast cancer so I will do ANYTHING to help this cause. Here I am with some of Thomas' friends family members.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Fellow Latina, Sandra Diaz Twine wins SURVIVOR Villains vs. Heroes. Que viva Puerto Rico! I was so happy and fortunate to be able to attend this season's SURVIVOR Villains vs. Heroes finale. As it always is when I get together with my Survivor family, it's a fun time. Every night, we would meet up at some "in" bar or other in NY. Here we are the first night we arrived at "The Cellar" across the street from the very famous NY Fashion week, Bryant Park.
Here I am with "Coach"(Benjamin Wade)who was branded as a Villain, but showed his Heroic side this second time around.
To my left, undisputably, the BIGGEST Villain in SURVIVOR History, Russell Hantz, to my right, his brother, Willie.
Here I am with someone who, for a while, was making a career out of appearing on Mark Burnett Reality shows, “Boston Rob”.. of Rob and Amber who fell in love on SURVIVOR All Stars, then, got married, then, did the AMAZING RACE, then, did AMAZING RACE All Stars!
At "Pop Burger" (which is where the Finale for my Season of Survivor (Fiji) that I was on was held. Here I am w/the Survivor Samoa boys: Russell Hantz and John Fincher & Stephen Fishback.
Thanks to one of our fans, affectionately know to us as "Zig," we received an invite that, to me was a once in lifetime chance to go and watch the NY Yankees play in Yankee stadium. At the entrance of the new Yankee stadium while I wait for my Survivor peeps to arrive:). Here they are! From left to right, infamous for his lie about his "dead" grandmother, Jonny Fairplay, Stacy (Fiji), Russell (Villains vs. Heroes), Nicole (Pearl Islands), myself & Boo (Fiji).One of the highlights of the game...dancing the YMCA dance for Yankee Stadium to see..LOL.
This visit to Manhattan, wouldn't have been possible without the generosity of someone I have the privilege of calling friend, Sharif, who allowed me to stay in his beautiful Manhattan apartment. Sharif is also one of my bosses as he is the ultra talented designer of the exquisite handbags (Sharif designs, Mariposa )that I had the privilege of being a Spokesperson for on HSN. Here I am with him at the loft which is the showroom of SHARIF DESIGNS. Coincidentally, a fellow Survivor colleague, Brian Corridan, lives in an apartment building across the street!Till the next SURVIVOR event..I bid you farewell in my Vintage Moschino leather shorts (I got them 20 yrs. ago at Macy's Union Square and more them when I sang back up vocals on Peter Gabriel's 1st South American tour!)
Friday, June 11, 2010
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I've been so busy, thankfully, since returning from the "cattle call" auditions for the TV Land show: She's Got The Look, that I hadn't had time to blog about this till now. So, last November, I got an email from the entertainment news reporter for the San Antonio Express News, Jeanne Jakle, suggested that I go to this audition for she felt it had my name written ALL over it. I was so thankful to her for thinking of me and tend to take things like these, things I don't look for myself, as signs, so I looked in to it. Mind you, the ONLY part of this that I did't want because I already got that on SURVIVOR was the "Reality Show" experience. Those who know my story, know that SURVIVOR also was an opportunity that I didn't go after, but that I truly feel, God sent to me at a time where my will was so weak as I was recently divorced found myself having to provide for my children with no financial help from their father. It was a test that I needed to go through so that I could come back and go after my goal, one that I had already started as a Tv Spokesperson for HEB PLus! on "Great Day SA," the cbs morning show in San Antonio. How I was on Survivor shows that it was never my intentino to be on a "Realyt Show" as I went about my experience very much under the radar. I purposely didn't want to become identified as the "whatever" one on Survivor because I knew that would hurt the credibility I was trying to establish as a TV Host. So, my "strategy" was always a long term one not one of 15 minutes of fame. Thankfully, it seems to have worked for me as immediately after my participation on Survivor, I began hosting a show on Telemundo as well as filling in for the Traffic Anchor on the cbs morning news in San Antonio. More importantly, it has given me a venue to give back to others as I'm so very blessed to donate my services as Emcee for charitable events such as: The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer and the City of Hope. I never get tired of saying, indeed, what a God send it has been for me as it's been the gift that keeps on giving to me and I use it as much as I can to give back to others. Alrighty then, after looking carefully into "Shes' Got the Look," I found it could develop the modeling part of my career, which I've been doing, on and off, for the past 25 yrs. So, off I went to my 1st "cattle call" type audition in Memphis, Tennessee. It was my 1st visit there so lot's of 1st's for me on this trip. After an ALL day, standing in line type wait and very brief 3 minute interview type audition, I received an email telling me that I had made it to the Finals round! Yipee! During my final interview, I saw the faces of the Producer's go from big smiles when they began their interview with a very excited greeting. First question:"Rita, have you ever been on this type of audition before and if so, how far did you make it?" "Kinda, I said, I'd never been on a "cattle call" type audition, but I went through something similar and was picked for the show." "Oh, what show?" they asked. "SURVIVOR FIJI," I replied. I could almost hear the "wah, wah, wah :( debbie downer type sound" as I saw the instant sad expressions on their faces. "Wow, Rita, that's huge!" they said, but it's a conflict of interest w/the newtworks involved:((" Thankfully, I'm a firm believer in that God has a plan for me and indeed He does. As I mentioned in the beginning of this paragraph, I've stayed busy since my return from Memphis with so many wonderful opportunities for my career including being Spokeperson for HSN and doing the World Car Hyundai commericals. In b/t my HSN shows, I'm working on productions for UNIVISION, Freedomdebt.com, The Texas Dept. of Agriculture and the Dept. of Health.
My trip to Memphis, nevertheless, was very worthwhile. I had an AMAZING time, unexpectedly running into one of my dearest friends, Mrs. Suzy Bootz (Mrs. International 2007) and meeting news ones like Michelle Colon-Johson (to my right)
I couldn't leave Memphis w/o a tour which started w/a visit to the famous recording studio where Elvis lay(omgoodness, get your minds out of the gutter!) his 1st track:) "Sun Studios"
as well as saw his gorgeous private jet the "Hound Dog." and the commercial plane he bought his little girl and appropriate named the "Lisa Marie,"
the hotel where he was found dead
(the orignial car he was driving is parked in the very same place he left it) This is where Elvis lived with his mother BEFORE he became the "King" of Rock and Roll and then he bought.. this little ole home..."Graceland,"
Mrs. Priscilla Presley has done an amazing and very intelligent job of decorating the house and turning into another million dollar business for her family...because we all know Elvis Presley didn't leave them enough as it was..LOL. Also went to the Hospital founded by Danny Thomas "St. Jude's," which was a promise Danny made St. Jude if he helped his dream come true of becoming a famous actor/comedian.St. Jude's a very powerful intercessor w/God. He helped my father through a very difficult time in his life:)
Mr. & Mrs. Danny Thomas' final resting place, on the grounds of St. Jude's Hospital
Here's one of the exquisite homes built w/the old school money that was made from the lucrative cotton harvests. They are in an area known as "Cotton Row."
When I was told that I was had made the "Finals" Round for"She's Got the Look," I had to make some copies of some of my modeling photos. Someone told me the "Peabody" Hotel, nearby, had a Fed Ex office in the lobby so I ran over there. I got my copies and also a delightful treat: watch a world famous Red Carpet walk done by ducks!! Yes, you read correctly, duckies! They live like celebrities on the Penthouse of the Peabody Hotel. A couple of times a day, they do their Red Carpet walk to the fountain of the hotel where they, then bathe before going back up to their Penthouse!!
Here I am standing in front of the SPECTACULAR Christmas tree in the lobby of the Peabody Hotel
and now, for the highlight of my visit to Memphis, trying to grab Elvis' butt! LOL