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In the Booth

The last month and a half or so, I’ve been looking at television from another angle – the producer’s chair. Around the end of March/beginning of April, I started filling in as the 4:30 a.m. producer for KHOU’s morning newscast.  Up until that point, I’d only produced the show in emergency situations. Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to produce it on a regular basis, and it’s been quite the ride!
In the short time, (although sometimes it feels long!) that I’ve been producing the first half-hour of the newscast, I’ve taken live reporters, put together my first hour-long show for extended weather coverage and handled breaking news events.
I had experience producing in my previous position at Houston Community College in terms of writing the scripts, booking guests and putting together segments — similar to what I do now only this time the show is live and typically has to be turned around and ready for air within a few hours. Of course, even though the rundown is all set, anyone in news will tell you it can get thrown out very quickly.
For the time being, I’ll be producing the 4:30 a.m. every Monday but other days might be added on an as-needed basis.
If you’re up that early, tune in! Just make sure you stick around until 7 a.m. when the newscast ends — or even better keep it on Ch.11 all day! 😉 Yes, I just put a plug in there!
You can see a short clip from the show below. I look forward to adding this and many more to my demo reel!

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Beauty Collaboration

I’m working with beauty blogger Nicole Kestenbaum to produce beauty videos for her lifestyle blog Lipstick and Brunch. We just finished her first video featuring a beauty recap of Nicole meeting celebrity make-up artist Charlotte Tilbury, a look at her favorite lip color picks for spring and her review of the jewelry loan program, Rocksbox.

I’m excited to be part of this opportunity as an editor and videographer! We plan on producing more videos that include interviews, beauty event coverage, tutorials and product reviews.

Check out the first one below. I’m always open to feedback!

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FH5: Southern Roots, Breaking Barriers and Jadakiss

The next designer to take the stage on opening night at Fashion Houston was New York-based brand, Tibi. But before she settled on the East coast, company founder Amy Smilovic grew up in the South on St. Simon’s Island, Georgia. She was incredibly sweet and a gracious person to interview. Smilovic is also a huge fan of culottes (saying before they have the ease of trousers but look like a beautiful skirt) and presented a collection that was classic, laid-back and breezy for Spring.

Tibi founder Amy Smilovic and me
Tibi founder Amy Smilovic and me

Another favorite took the stage, following Tibi, Jonathan Blake. The man behind the brand is actually named Jonathan Tinkle, and he’s another designer who proudly keeps production of his garments local. He was also the youngest member of The Houston Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Class of 2013.

But FH5 wasn’t just for designers who have established themselves as powerhouses in the industry (or at least are on the way there). It was also about touting the upcoming generation of designers who proved they deserved to be on the catwalk, too. That’s where Little Black Dress Designer came in — a competition that gives students the opportunity to create their own version of the iconic LBD and win thousands in scholarship money. LBDD was the brainchild of Neal Hamil Agency director Jeff Shell.

At the initial LBDD presentation back in May at the House of Blues, students were paired with mentors and muses. Their assignment was to create a LBD based on their muse. What they came up with was finally unveiled at FH5.

I also had the chance to interview Sameera Faridi. Originally a native of Pakistan, she’s brought the beautiful traditional wear of South Asia and blended it with Western culture to create a stunning line of bridal wear, gowns, formal wear and menswear. Faridi also told me — don’t think sarees are just for special occasions. She wants people to know they can be worn for any event. This is her way of breaking barriers. Proving that cultures can co-exist and bringing them to life for anyone to wear through fashion. Have nothing to wear for date night? No problem. Grab a saree! And you’ll definitely want to grab hers. They’re all hand-embroidered.

Faridi is the first South Asian female designer to debut her new collection at Fashion Houston.

Wrapping up the night was New York based, Grungy Gentleman. Contrary to the name, this line was anything but grunge. The collection brought to Houston was actually the same one debuted at New York Fashion Week and mixed traditional tailored menswear with luxe fabrics like suede and rich colors like oxblood.

But perhaps the biggest surprise in the whole line was who came out with the models. Jadakiss started rapping on stage, upping the “it” factor of the line and showing that Fashion Houston wants to step out of the “Houston-isn’t-a-fashion-capital” shadow.

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FH5: Hollywood Drama Comes to Houston

Fashion Houston turned five years old this year, and I was on deck for the celebration. It returned to the Wortham Theater Center downtown and featured 21 emerging and legendary designers in its’ most diverse year yet.

I had the opportunity to cover the show as part of the first-ever Fashion Houston TV, where I met and interviewed the talented designers of opening night. I also worked with a great production team, Michael Allendorf & Company, that specializes in high fashion photography and video production.

661Fashion Houston founder Jared Lang and KHOU 11 News Morning Anchor Lily Jang kicked off the night as emcees and introduced the lineup.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABut before the models wowed us with each designer’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection, I sat down with Alexis Monsanto, a designer originally from the Philippines. Monsanto first made headlines in 2011 as the first designer in the U.S. to be part of a fashion show using 3D effects. He’s also known for adding dance routines to the runway (which one designer did this year, but more on that later in an upcoming post!).

667While there wasn’t any dancing in Monsanto’s FH5 show, it was multi-dimensional, complete with masks, feathered headpieces and four buff men carrying a model like she was a queen.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAs Monsanto told me during our interview, “I’m bringing the high drama of Hollywood to Houston!” And he delivered on that promise. See pictures from his show below. I’ll post the interview as soon as it’s available!

 

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Changes for the New Year

Happy New Year! Albeit, a few weeks late. I’m excited for the new year and hoping it ends where 2013 left off. For starters, I’m officially a University of Houston alum, graduating Summa Cum Laude in December. It was a tough semester working and going to school full-time, but I’m thankful to say I finally made it. Now, the next step is finding an opportunity where I can continue to grow and learn in my TV career. I’ve made a few changes to the site, including adding my demo reel to the Video menu. You can also see it just below.

Also under the videos page is a tab called Packages where you can find my story from Fashion Houston, a premier fashion event (think New York Fashion Week meets southern hospitality) held downtown at the Wortham Theater last November. I spotlighted Jo’se Reyes – a designer who ended up selling several pieces from the collection he showcased at FH. The next story I’ve added is about Paper Floral Artistry, a company run by Khrystyna Balushka. The Russian native has been featured in the Houston Chronicle and literally makes paper flowers for all types of events. I went to her warehouse to see how she does it.

The next change is the resume page. The biggest adjustment there is, of course, graduation! Woohoo!

I’ll be updating more regularly, so stay tuned!