How did you know you wanted to get into radio/hosting?
I always, ALWAYS had the radio or TV on as a kid. I got a little pink boombox for Christmas one year and it was the greatest gift I could've ever received. I remember putting it right next to me on my bed, pulling out the antenna and recording shows from Cleveland or Akron, Ohio if i positioned it just right. I would listen to those tapes over and over and study the radio personalities, how they introduced songs, what they talked about and would share my knowledge with my siblings, trying to impress them. On Sundays before we left for church, I would record Casey Kasem's "American Top 40" because I had to know what the number 1 song was in the country. I was obsessed! Something that made a really big impact was seeing Daisy Fuentes on MTV; I remember watching her and thinking wow! She is Latina like me and if she can do it, maybe I can too! That's how I decided I would find a way to make it happen. I had such a fascination with music, radio and television. I even recorded over home movies (much to my parents dismay) so I could practice being a reporter "on the scene". How they put up with me, I'll never know!
You have a lot on your plate. How do you balance it all? Any tips?
Truthfully, there's no such thing as balance in my life as much as I would like for there to be! I think organization, keeping a schedule and prioritizing is key. Sundays are prep days for me; I gather my kids clothes for the week, pack their snacks and do a meal plan based on what we have so I don't even have to think about it during the week. I hate scrambling for things and having anxiety that I "forgot something". Any items that need to be picked up from the store go on a list so I only go once- that includes kids projects, birthday presents, missing ingredients for recipes that week, etc. It's almost like taking inventory constantly except it's for your own family. I used to be so forgetful, but I came to the realization that if I didn't want to have negative feelings, I would have to help myself! So I'm a big fan of notes and reminders in my calendar to remind me of everything!
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
JUST. BE. YOURSELF. IT IS ENOUGH! I work in an industry where people are constantly coming and going, reimagining or reinventing themselves and one of the first mentors I had in radio told me that the microphone was like a lie detector. People will know when you are being phony or fake so just be yourself and build your brand around that. I definitely adopted that theory and have truly given myself to our audience. Whether its my horrible dating stories when I was single, finding my true love, parenting challenges, maintaining friendships and relationships, etc. I have always pulled back the curtain to show my reality as scary or as vulnerable as it may be. I have always been my authentic, true self and while it may not resonate with everyone, it allows me to sleep peacefully at night knowing that I have been truly honest.
What are some of your self-care rituals?
This is terrible because I realized I don't do much and I need to change that! We have a steam shower and I have never appreciated it as much as I have this year! I love taking a good steam after a workout and having some quiet time where I am alone. I just feel so much better and more relaxed after. I am pretty disciplined about my skincare routine and have started experimenting with gua sha so that's exciting for me. Other than that, I love yoga and a good book; reading for pleasure is a huge luxury for me because I don't get to do it a whole lot!
What’s something you’ve been obsessed with lately and can’t get enough of?
Making reels on IG has become so much fun, I was definitely intimidated by it at first and then said screw it, I'm not going to overthink it, I'll just have a good time! I am super obsessed with two accounts on IG that I check several times a day, DeuxMoi and Notskinnybutnotfat. I feel like they both speak in my voice and they're so ahead of the game when it comes to celeb gossip!
What’s your latest binge watch?
BRIDGERTON (Rege- Jean Page is the greatest gift of 2021 and I will fight anyone who says otherwise! LOL) I also loved Emily in Paris and Temptation Island is like my guilty, GUILTY pleasure.
Go-to words of motivation?
You only get one shot. It's from an Eminem song, but I feel like it can apply to everything and it keeps me on my “A” game. You only get one shot at this thing called life so take chances, don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone, say yes to yourself. I have had to take so many risks in my own life (moving away from my super close, tight knit family at 19 to go to a school where I didn't know one person, moving to LA by myself, starting a job in Miami and moving to NYC to work for Z100 etc.) But because I was willing to take chances, it helped me realize my potential and the things that I dreamed of actually came true!
Any habits or hobbies you’ve picked up during quarantine?
Not gonna lie, I can really blow you away with my instant pot skills after quarantine! It's been a great opportunity for me to learn in the kitchen, perfect recipes that my mother used to make and also explore new and fun dishes I wouldn't have had the confidence to try before! I've loved being able to share those recipes on IG and have gotten so much awesome feedback I definitely want to keep it up!
Most challenging part about your job?
You can't turn it off. My job is literally 24/7. I mentioned this to a friend who works in the same field, and we agreed that everything is about content. Whether I'm scrolling on social media or just watching a tv show, I don't watch them the same way that others do. I'm always looking for an angle or how it can relate to our audience. This year has been packed with so many moments that will forever live on in our country's history: Covid-19, BLM, the election, the Capitol riots, etc. Most people can actually turn off the news if it gets to be too much or too draining and I don't get to do that because I have to be informed and relay that information the next day to our listeners. I have to find a way to be unbiased, simply relay the facts and that's not always easy. The upside is I also get to tell everyone about the fun, feel good and trending stories so there's really a whole lot of information to manage and it's a responsibility I take very seriously!
Part of your job is being a pop culture expert. What are some of your personal favorite pop culture phenomenon's?
Tik Tok has been a HUGE discovery for me and literally the world- when something can resonate across generations of people you know it's a hit. I absolutely love Billie Eilish and her whole vibe; she's beyond talented, so smart and has used her leverage to give a powerful voice to her age group. Tiger King was so much fun because it had all the elements of an intriguing story with characters that made you question whether or not it was a true story - it was such a great distraction at the beginning of quarantine! I've also been surprised by "Megxit"- it's like the story that won't go away and continues to unfold. There's always been this fascination with the royal family and as much as Harry & Megan wanted to get away from the spotlight, it looks like they've just made people more interested in their lives.
How do you use your platform to inspire other women?
I absolutely love that I can provide a "safe space" for women to speak about their lives: their wants, their needs and desires. It has been a total game changer for me. Men have dominated radio since its inception, so for a long time, the female opinion/perspective was minimized to cater to the primary listening audience which was believed to be men. But those days are over, there's room for all of us and I love that we have male listeners who say they've learned so much about their loved ones through the show. I say this humbly, but the very fact that I am a female, and that I've been given the opportunity to lead a morning show in NYC is such a huge accomplishment in itself. And the fact that I am a Latina and a mother makes it an even greater achievement. To be included in the small group of women who are making a change in the medium is a huge honor and I hope that in itself serves as a source of inspiration for our listeners. My hope is that women of any age, in any field, may find that motivation from my story and apply it to their own lives to make positive changes for themselves. I find that more often than not, I am inspired by our listeners, their perseverance and how they navigate through the challenges of life- they are the ones that make this job so worth it!
Describe your dream day off?
Ok, hear me out: My kids are with my husband so I know they are happy, safe and content- it's the only way I can relax. I'm on a beach, the waves are crashing and the umbrella is positioned perfectly so my body is warm but my face is in the shade because....retinol. I have a book if I feel like reading and my favorite shows on Bravo are on an endless loop with no commercials. I'm getting massages, facial treatments, mani, pedi. Everything. There's a tray of chicken meximelts from Taco Bell and chilled tequila waiting and ready for me whenever I want. Life is good.
What advice would you give to anyone wanting to get into a similar career path?
If you are looking to get into radio or TV get ready because it's a hell of a bumpy ride. You'll have plenty of people telling you no; you're not the right look, you don't have the right voice, you're too young, you're too old etc. Don’t listen to them. Be humble, respectful and willing to learn from everyone, even if they aren't in the department you're looking to work in. Study the people that you admire. You will most likely work countless hours for very little pay in the beginning. But find a way to push through the bullshit and believe in yourself because if this is truly your passion, it'll be so worth it.