Rising star Erika De La Cruz talks to TVGrapevine.
Tell me a bit about yourself and career.
Sure, well, I’m a first generation Mexican American. I went to San Diego State University right at the beginning of the first economic crash, so plans of “hanging out” through college were quickly turned into 2 part time jobs when my family lost their business and our home of about 15 years. WIth really nothing to lose, I started going for these huge internships in entertainment, hosting, volunteering, that sort of thing. It paid off as I graduated college with a full-time job at a well known broadcasting company as their Promotions Director and part time On-Air Personality. Though the job was considered “cushy” (my own office/health benefits,) I was really called to share my story of getting myself through the crash and overcoming obstacles with others who needed to hear that message, so I began speaking to various organizations, and as a quite young Director in my company, people were much more open to taking in what I had to say and learning from me. The publishers from the Chicken Soup For The Soul book series saw one of my talks and we began a friendship and conversation to start a “girlboss-type” book of the same nature. I left my full time job, with a part time job at a late night show and host of Fashion Week San Diego. That was followed by a move to LA, the book publishing, which did become a best-seller (thank you god,) holding various jobs in media as well as starting my now company- Passion to Paycheck, an annual event and online membership fostering entrepreneurship & mindset coaching for boss babes everywhere.
How would you describe Dream Life?
The show is a blend of a bunch of “Bosses” in their fields of media and entertainment, coming together to build a business & run a talk show with our fearless Aussie leader, but also experience life surrounding that too. It’s a combo of team building, twists, turns and fun!!
What attracted you to the project?
The opportunity to work under an established boss babe like Serena De Comarmond was really enticing to me! If you want to get great at anything, you should always be asking yourself, who can I learn from today?
What do you hope people like about it ?
I hope people see a bit of themselves in the cast and their stories. The best thing in the world is for someone else to be able to say “I felt like that too” or “that reminds me of something I had to go through.” I think people feeling less alone, especially when it comes to what they’re seeing on television or in the media, is really important.
What was it like working with such great people?
It was fabulous. The cool thing was that on this project each cast member had a different role, but outside of it, they’re each masters of their own craft too. I spent a bunch of time with my “set bae” Chris Aaron, he manages Serena on the show, but was full of stories from his adventures with other A-List clients, he manages beauty icon Tokyo Stylez and hustles as a CEO in real life. It’s the kind of company I loved to be around, business & branding bosses! Everyone spans so much further than “doing a job.” For example, our girl Alyssa on the show owns one of the biggest PR companies in LA. They’re all Founders, owners of their own companies or crafts, so everyone was serving up greatness on set!
What were some challenges of doing the show?
Definitely time. Devoting so much time was a balancing act for sure! I run my personal brand and business full time, so we’d have a break and I’d run to get on a call to close a brand deal or answer questions from our Passion to Paycheck new members. It was actually really fun, playing boss on my breaks and “assistant,” or “mini boss” as I like to call it while on set for the project. I got to be both teacher & learner everyday, it was pretty great.
What are some of your favorite memories from working on the show?
Honestly, the people! The crew was just fabulous. You build a bit of a community while you’re on a project and little things like waiting around or eating lunch were really special. I also loved watching our show runner, Marisa Lloreda run around at work each day, she’s a powerful female of latin heritage and it felt really great to watch such a boss and women of color who reflected back to me nostalgia of where I come from and excitement for where I’m going. There were really great examples of female leadership all around us.
What else are you working on?
Well, we’re working on a fabulous platform internally with business partners (an offshoot of Passion to Paycheck) combining Television, Fashion & Fabulous, Diverse Passionistas. Stay tuned, I’m biased, but…. I’m super excited to connect with women everywhere in an entertaining way!
Tell me a fun fact about yourself.
Let’s see, I color?? Like with real coloring books! I love them. It’s my leisure activity at night or when I want to relax. And I don’t get those “adult coloring books” they advertise either, I LOVE a good traditional one with pages full of ponies! (Guilty.)
What are you watching on TV these days?
Honestly, re-runs! I’m at the point where I’ve pretty much been through all 40 seasons of Survivor, or close to it! I can’t get enough.
Connect with Erika HERE