Friday, August 22, 2008

My work as Official Coach for Miss California USA 06-present

With Tamiko Nash, Miss CA 06 and Jessica, Miss Teen CA 06

With Tamiko Nash, Miss CA 06

With Megan Tandy, Miss CA 07

With the Directors of Miss CA USA, Keylee Sanders and Keith Lewis

This video was made by a wonderful Producer, Angela Shin, from Videojug as she chronicles, very quickly! my work as Coach for Miss CA USA last year...another controversial year for us!

How To Walk Like A Beauty Queen I became a Beauty Queen Coach is kinda a long story so...go grab a glass of wine and have a seat! So...I'm gonna have to take you back to 1988...yes, I can't believe I just wrote that...some of you reading this were probably born on that year! was that year that I became Miss Municipio Vargas..and entered the prestigious Miss Venezuela finishing school headed by the Master, Osmel Sousa. One side note- how I ended up there is, coincidentally, very similar to how I ended up on SURVIVOR...I was "spotted" at the Venezuelan consulate. This seems to be a running theme in my life, btw. In spite of my and my brother seeing me as an ugly duckling! I went forward w/running for Miss Venezuela because it was more a dream of my fabulous brother, Nick (of Project Runway fame). Now, fast forward to when I moved from Mexico City to SA. My then husband had been laid off and his plans of starting his own Ad Agency in SA, fell through. I saw it as an opportunity to re-start my career...well, I kinda had to!! My brother suggested that I contact the Miss USA organization. I did so and almost immediately, I received an email from the wonderful Gail and Al Clark, Directors of the Miss Texas USA pageant, inviting me to be a judge that year. Crystle Stewart ran that year & was my choice, but didn't win. I remember her coming up to me after the pageant to ask me for suggestions that could help her to win. I remember her giving her advice about how she had worn her hair..and urged her to get a public speaking Coach. She did so..She's the current Miss Texas USA.:-) There, I also met, Keith Lewis (pictured above) owner of The Morgan Talent Agecy in LA. Several months later, he became the Director of the Miss California USA pageant and when he did...he hired me to Coach his girls. My first one: Ms. Tamiko Nash. To the surprise to many at that pageant, it seems controversy wants to follow our Miss CA Tamiko was first runner up to Tara Conner..yes, the one who ended up in rehab, yet still kept her crown. Yes, I was very upset about this, cuz Tamiko came so close, TWICE, to becoming Miss USA..and I just don't agree with allowing someone who's brooken the rules to retain her title..what are the rules for then? Tamiko is a winner, regardless. In fact, you can catch her as one of the Price Is Right models!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Spokesperson for TAHITIAN NONI

This is something that came about in my efforts to look for sponsors for the Miss California Organization. It's a long story so sit tight. Believe it or not, I like to write more than I like to talk...that's a LOT, honey. It's not by accident that I am a literature major (from UCLA..gotta give a shout out to my alma matter). Alright, back to Tahitian Noni. Right before getting "discovered" to go on SURVIVOR FIJI, a wonderful Sales Rep. for Tahitian Noni came to me when I was working as Advertising Executive for a Spanish Language tv station here in San Antonio. He left me with some samples and I started taking the juice. I've always been really anal about taking care of my body.:-) My divorce left me starting from ZERO..having to figure out what the heck to do to provide for my children on my own. The Ad Executive job was SOO not me, but I had to do something so there I was doing that, along w/a bunch of other "jobs." One I had come up with is within the beauty pageant world. Tapping into my experience and training as a contestant for the Miss Venezuela pagaent..back in 1988..huney, I know I am givin' away my age, big time! Anyhow, one of the by products from this was that I was asked to judge the Miss Texas pageant in 2004. There I met a man who's since become one of my dearest friends as well as the Director of the Miss California pageant. He hired me as the Official Coach of the Miss California pageant which I've been doing for the past 3 years. Looking for sponsors for the pageant, I also found that Tahitian Noni has AMAZING beauty products so I started communicating with one of the Directors of the company. I had to put all this on hold when I was suddenly recruited and had to leave to play the game of SURVIVOR. Upon my return, I received a call from the Director that I had been communicating with, asking me if I would be interested in becoming a Spokesperson for the company. Coincidentally, I found Noni on my deserted island in Fiji and thanks to the information I had already read about it, I knew of all it's medicinal value. When my hipbones were scraped to the bone, and I gashed below my knee pretty deeply in one of the physical challenges, I rubbed Noni on the wounds. They healed soo completely that now NO ONE believes that I suffered those wounds on the show!! :-( Although I was happy to wear those scars as my Survivor Fiji battle scars, I am truly amazed at how this Noni fruit, which you can find here in their juice, cured my wounds, which, by the way, when our Survivor Dr. saw my wound, said I needed stitches! Noni was all I needed.

Go Army!

With Lt. Col. Rene Brown (Head of the # 1 Recruiting Battalion in The United States) and his wife, Carol, at the Induction of Honorores to The Sports Hall of Fame,at The Alamodome, SA, TX 07

This was an event that I did to help with a Blood Drive for our soldiers at Cowboys Dance Hall.

At the Army's Booth at the SA Rodeo, Feb. 08, helping them to inform possible recruits about the Army Advantage Fund

This was what turned out to be the first of MANY events that I was fortunate to be asked to do to help our soldiers. No matter what your viewpoint is about the war, you have to be thankful for these true heroes of our nation. My father is a World War 2 Veteran so this is also my way of thanking him, along w/all our soldiers, for their service to our nation. You can also find a snippet of a tandem parachute jump that I did with the world reknowned Golden Knights Team in January of this year on This I did to help them promote the Army Bowl. My little boy is a HUGE football fan and I was so happy to give him the chance to be a ball boy at the Army Bowl and thus meet the BEST highschool football players in the nation...You can see my 2 kids running up to me at the end of the video.:-) My little girl is a tough cookie, like her mommie! She was really upset that she wasn't allowed to do the tandem jump with me. Alain, well, he likes to cheer mommie on from the sidelines and that's just fine with me too! On another occasion, you'll see the image below, I went to the Army's Recruiting Booth at the famous San Antonio Rodeo in February to help them with their recruiting efforts to inform potential soldiers of an incentive called The Army Advantage Fund. I also wrote an article for the largest Spanish newspaper, La Prensa, helping them to promote this incentive. I will create a section called "articles"...someday, I promise!! where you will find this article.

My introduction to the charitable side of being a SURVIVOR

Many WONDERFUL things have happened in my life thanks to my participation on SURVIVOR FIJI 07. The first WONDERFUL thing, happened right after getting voted off. I'm sure you can ALL guess what that is: I got to EAT food, no more nasty black sea snails and sea cucumbers and unbearable salty sea weed for me..yipee!! Another wonderful thing that happened is that Mark Burnett, generously treated us non-jury members to another unforgettable trip..this time, NOT to a deserted island, but to the amazing city of Sydney! (I will add images from this trip soon, I promise). Right now, I want to let everyone know about one of the MOST wonderful things that happened when the show aired and I returned from my Press Interviews in NY after getting voted off :-( . I received a phone call from an AMAZING fan of the show, Tammy Schuster, in Michigan. She asked if I could come to Michigan to help her raise funds for a placed called The House of Hope where children who had been severely abused emotionally and physically were placed to rehabilitate and, give them the hope and tools they need to re-enter the stream of life once again. This invite was the beginning of what has now become a part of my life, helping charities all over the United States. All thanks to my participation on SURVIVOR FIJI. I am so thankful to all who have invited me to help and I will be naming you ALL as I catch up here. Thanks to my faith in God I have seen first hand how helping others, my own situation of providing for my children on my own, has become so much easier than when I was, paradoxically, selfishly focusing only on helping myself and my children.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

helping a local cause

Last summer, while watching our local morning show "Great Day SA," I saw this family asking for help to raise money for the surgeries needed to help Joshua Anguiano fight a rare brain tumour. I offered to come out and help them one afternoon that they were selling food at a local high school. Unfortunately, a year later, Joshua lost his fight. If you want to continue to help this family with continued expenses. His mother, Sandra, is a single mother, like myself, and is struggling with these expenses. I also did a segment on a tv show I was hosting on TELEMUNDO asking viewers to help. I will post that segment soon. You can email Sandra at:

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Rita's first time as Emcee

My hometown city of San Antonio was very excited about having the first ever person from here on SURVIVOR. As such, the minute I became "available" or as we know it better, was off the very strict "gag-order," I started getting wonderful invitations to do many things from, throwing the first pitch at a Missions baseball game..which, btw, when I practiced to do this with my son and his buddies, I was TERRIBLE. So bad that my little boy, came up with a last minute excuse not to attend the game :-(. His loss..I ended up throwing a nice pitch..right down the middle. I have to be honest, though, I did have a plan B and that's one I learned from my fabulous brother of Project Runway fame..and that was to wear a great outfit. I did have a video of this pitch, but my camcorder was lost on a recent trip to the happiest place on earth..Disneyland :-(. Anyhow, this image is for the very first event I was asked to Emcee locally. I have since become a member of their Advisory Board. It is one of the many causes that I have been helping in this past year.

GFC Commodites Instructional Video 08

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

A year later!!

Better late than never! It's been quite a wild ride since being on CBS's, Survivor Fiji last year. Being a mommie of two small children who has to provide for them on my own. So, even if I didn't get the coveted title of "Sole Survivor," my chidlren have given me the title of "Sole Provider." :-) It's been practically impossible to keep everything I've had the blessing of doing in this past year, up to date. Now. I've got a pile of newspaper articles, magazine interviews, videos and so many photos!
In spite of being, thankfully, non-stop busy, I constantly get asked: "So, what are you up to?" Even though I have a website, it's non very user friendly so I haven't been able to upload everything there. Plus, I just had to finally modernize and start blogging. As much as I like talk, I love to write!! So, finally, here I am.
I am going to start from the beginning, kind of, you'll see, so be patient with me and, hopefully, I'll be up to speed in no time!