Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Tricia Cruz: The Sexy Latina Comedian




Stand-up Comedian Tricia Cruz has been a familiar face and voice coast-to-coast working as a TV Host, Entertainment Correspondent and Actress, as well as a Disc Jockey for the IE's number one for hip hop Wild 96.1.

She cut her teeth at "LATV Live", as a host for four years. "LATV" is a ground breaking Los Angeles-based music show which is the first prime time English show in the L.A. market that features Latino music videos.

Tricia Cruz has also worked as the West Coast Correspondent for ABC's Urban Latino. A national informational variety show covering the celebrities, the diversity and the lifestyle that makes the young, American Latino experience unique. Tricia has skillfully interviewed scores of entertainers, going behind the scenes with some of Hollywood's heaviest hitters.

As an actress, Tricia has been on stage in the critically acclaimed "Latinologues" at the Coronet Theatre in Los Angeles for two years and now available on DVD. "LATV Live", "Urban Latino" and "Latinologues" all received an Imagen Award. The Imagen Awards are given to encourage and recognize the positive portrayal of Latinos in all media.

As an actress Tricia's film credits include "Free Enterprise" with Eric McCormick and William Schatner. "Blasphemy" starring Carlos Leon. "Blasphemy" has just been released on MTV Pictures and in this Dark Comedy, the talented Los Angeles native plays the romantic starring role as Barbara. Tricia's debut was in "A Letter to Rachel" where she played the title role of Rachel.

Tricia also did voice over work for the film "Flightplan" starring Jodie Foster. Tricia's Television co-starring credits include "ER", "90210" and "Lizzie McGuire".

Tricia also has been the face in over 50 national and international commercials including Chili's, Kmart, Honda, and Quaker.

Born in Covina, California, a suburb East of Los Angeles, Tricia Cruz is the youngest of three siblings from a single parent family. Like many extraordinary women, her mother Maria fled her native Mexico to give the family freedom and opportunity. Of her upbringing, Tricia says, "I am very lucky and proud to have been brought up in America with my rich Mexican culture". Tricia's upbringing in America, dual cultural background, and rich Mexican heritage, enables her to identify with both cultures and positions Tricia as a host and actress of the new millennium .

Tricia received an Associates Art Degree from Santa Monica College and studied Journalism at UCLA.

I met Tricia Cruz eight years ago when she was starring in 'Latinologues' and on 'LATV.' I photographed her at that time and now again. She has a lot of stage presence and talent...and as you can see...real beauty



AM: Well Tricia, can you believe it's been eight years?

TC: Can you believe how times flies? It seems like yesterday.

AM: I remember you were working on LATV at the time.

TC: Yes I was on LATV Live for four years producing, hosting and writing.

AM: You were so great on that!

TC: Thank you. Right after LATV I went to work at a radio station wild 96.1 IE's number one FM for hip hop. I did that for three years.

AM: Were you a DJ?

TC: I was a DJ. I got into the DJ world and started doing private parties. I got hired to do a lot of shows in Mexico City and Acapulco because of LATV. There would be ten thousand people at these events. It was amazing. I felt like a rock star!

AM: So did one day you say to yourself, "I think I can do stand up?"

TC: Well doing the radio program showed me that I was funny. It was all improv. In radio no one gives you a script. I started realizing I was pretty funny. The callers telling me how funny I was and how I helped them wake up and keep them going. I thought Wow maybe I should be a stand up comic. This was something I was always really afraid of.

AM: Why?

TC: I didn't think I was smart enough or charismatic enough, but I knew I had half the struggle beat because of LATV and performing in front of a live audience. I knew that part wouldn't find me afraid to get up and do it.

AM: What was your biggest challenge then?

TC: It was the writing that I had to conquer and I finally did.

AM: How did you conquer writing?

TC: I took a writing class with Judy Carter. She is the number one comic writing teacher in town. I did a lot of research and asked my comedian friends and their publicists or agents who was good? They all referred me to Judy Carter. It was the best thing that ever happened to me. Once I learned the formula for how to write a joke, because there is a formula, the sky was the limit.

AM: Why does everyone tell me that stand up comedian is the hardest part of show business?

TC: Yes it is. I think this is because you have to be right up in front of a live audience. As an actor you go up in front of the casting agents, the producer and the director. You might even have twenty people but a comedy audience is ready to snap back at you. You have to be ready with come backs. That takes years and years of training.

All Photos:  Alan Mercer

AM: You seem to be a more upbeat and positive person in general. What do you think about the other comedian stereotype?

TC: That we have problems...you know what? We do! (we are laughing) This is just the persona I let you see. When you come to my show you will be amazed at what I've been through and you will laugh at it. A lot of people have gone through the same stuff I've gone through. Comedy is my platform to get it out. It's kind of like me going to a psychiatrist. It feels good to get it all out. It really does. I think I would be crazy if I didn't take it out in comedy.

AM: So for you comedy is your therapy?

TC: It is therapy for me. It's a release.

AM: So do you think that because you come from the truth you have the ability to help other people?

TC: Exactly. I talk about my boob job and how women should think twice before they get one. I go into that and the divorce and being a single woman in LA. The men are either from Brokeback Mountain or Broke Ass Mountain! It's very difficult. I talk about all those things in my act.

AM: Would you be happy doing stand up for the rest of your life?

TC: Yes. I've found my new calling. I feel it deeply. I love it. I can't wait to get on stage and make people laugh. I wish I would have discovered this years ago. A lot of comedians say the same thing.

AM: You have to be ready or it can be ugly I'm sure.

TC: For me it was the nerves and being scared because it is the hardest part of the business.

AM: And let's talk about the fact that you are a sexy and attractive woman.

TC: And Latina! I got a lot of things and I think that's what's making my name known so fast. I do stand out as one of the only Latina's, one of the only women and one of the only women that looks good and talks about boob jobs. That is my niche' and I'm riding it all the way.

AM: What are your goals for television exposure?

TC: I want to take over the Chelsea Lately show. I want to end up on the round table first and then I'll take over the show. Something like that. I would like to get into my own show. Chelsea inspires me. She is an amazing woman. This business was hard for her too, but she stood out and made a name for herself.

AM: Do you think all good comedy stems from the truth?

TC: Yes all good comedy comes from truth. If it's not real then it hasn't happened to anybody else so nobody will relate and find it funny.

AM: Do you see other comedians try to do that?

TC: Yes and that's what we call a 'hack.' They just steal jokes and copy other performers. If it doesn't come from your truth it isn't funny. You have to ask yourself what happened to me today and go from there. I can just go on a rant and in the rant I will find something funny about it. You lead the audience to think you're going right and then all of a sudden make a left turn! That's where the funny is.

AM: What do you say to young girls who want to be a comedian?

TC: Definitely start doing it now. Get Judy Carter's book and read it. Go on YouTube and see what everybody else is doing. Just get up in front of people. Once I took the class I said I was going to open mikes every night. I'm just going to get up there regardless. Even if I didn't have a joke.

AM: Did you have times when you got up on stage and it was hard!

TC: Yes but I have been lucky to always have good audiences. It was my first booked job at the John Lovitz club. I went in thinking I was it! No one's booed me off yet. I was on fire. I was first comedian up and that's always the worst spot. I went up and it was a ghost town. You could have heard a pin drop. I've never been so shocked in my life! It was a big learning experience for me. At that point I didn't know how to handle nobody laughing. It was my first booked gig ever and I flopped bad.

AM: How did that make you feel?

TC: It made me almost not want to do it ever again. But then again that's what I got because I was tooting my own horn so much. You need to work at this all the time. It's a constant learning experience. So now I'm ready. Every time I get up on stage now I am ready for that to happen. I know how I'll handle it now. That's where one-liners come in.

AM: How do you memorize an act? That seems so hard.

TC: That's the easiest part. It's like you are a rock star and you have a set list. You pick out one word that stands out from each joke and that is your set list. Like anything else it becomes second nature. I do forget some jokes but I have so many that every show is different.

AM: Do some jokes hit one night and miss another?

TC: You know it's always the same ones that hit. You work that out in your open mike nights. There you are doing comedy for other comedians. What better audience than that?


To learn more about Tricia Cruz visit her web site http://www.triciacruz.com/live/

5 comments:

  1. Alan. I love your blogs so much! i look forward to each one because I know it will be high quality work! This is no exception. You are amazing! The photos are beautiful! The interview is wonderful. Thank you for brighting our weeks with your amazing work!

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  2. Geez!! I loved each blog I read I'll reread again this weekend as I tend to miss a few wordsbut I say I could Never be as brave as Tricia and stand up as a comedy act deep inside we all I am sure want too lol great she uses her comedy as also a platform to get things out and off her chest good for her!!!Getting over her nerves was the thing to do or people will devour you as she found on her first flop but not now shes rocking!!..Im pleased she found her calling coz One is here for such a short time Best you make what does you happy in Life not what is expected. She is a Lovely Lady very Pretty. Now Alan i know You hear this alot I know BUT from the bottom of my heart- I love ya coz your such a kind and ole soul - you bring out the best in people through your photos and interviews I am proud to be able to say your my f/b friend!! Smiles always

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  3. What an amazing lady! Now I am going to have to watch "Latinologues" !!!

    I love when Tricia says- "all good comedy comes from truth. If it's not real then it hasn't happened to anybody else so nobody will relate and find it funny." I think this is sooo true in all forms of Artistic Creativity!

    I will now be checking Tricia's website to find out some more about her!

    Thanks Alan.

    As always Fabulous Photo's of a beautiful woman! Loved this!

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  4. living outside of LA has prevented me from having any previous knowledge of Tricia Cruz. thanks you you Alan, I will have to find some of her work now. cool beans! she seems very entertaining and easy on the eyes.
    thanks for yet another great read complete with your always great photos.

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