Rick Najera at Casa 0101


Latinologues Alive and Well in Boyle Heights

Rick Najera opened at CASA 0101 in Boyle Heights on Friday, April 11, 2014  to a full house of eager theatre goers who were excited about seeing this one man show–and he did deliver– to a standing ovation, as only Rick could. In this beautiful gem hidden away in Boyle Heights amid the stunning artwork of Rick Ortega, Rick delivered a Broadway quality performance in the ‘hood. Not the Latinologues of Buford Gomez, but Almost White by Rick Najera.

He read from his book, told stories from his childhood, his past, and his present. He took us on a walk down memory lane, that was both funny, moving, theatrical, and lyrical. As Rick got into storytelling mode, he  not only regaled us with his voice, his mannerisms, and his way of connecting with the audience, but also with a series of technological sound effects, videos, pictures, and visuals that made his stories come alive.

We were there with him in the recovery room when he was in a coma, we were there when he received a phone call from the madrina of Latinas in Hollywood called to wish him well, we were there when he began opening his eyes, first coming to, and then making a recovery. We were there In Living Color with Eddie Olmos, we were there when the baseball broke the window.

The show is a beautifully orchestrated cacophony of sights, sounds, laughter, tears, and moments of silence and reflection. What Rick does so well is use comedy to make a “punto de reflexion” for the audience and he has the delivery down, masterfully using this technique to give one pause. One minute you are laughing at a joke about speaking Spanish and the next, wondering how could a whole generations have been so easily and quickly stripped of their language? The show will make you think…about what it means to be Latino, Mexican-American, Cubano-Americano, Puerto Rican, African-American and “almost white, but not quite…in these United States today.

The show is family friendly and Rick is doing a Q&A after the show, giving audiences a chance to ask him questions about the show, his life, Hollywood, and what happens to Latinos in Hollywood. He can answer the age old question, “Why do not see more Latinos in Hollywood portrayed as doctors, lawyers, engineers? Why don’t we see powerful and courageous role models among the Latinos in Hollywood?

Overall, this is a must see show that has a lot to offer. It will be playing:

  • Friday, April 25 at 8pm /Saturday, April 26 at 8pm /Sunday, April 27 at 5pm

Tickets $19.99 and are available HERE.

Do yourself a favor, grab a comadre or compadre or two, or three or four and go treat yourself to a night at the theatre. You will not be disappointed. Rick delivers as he has always done and makes Latinos in Hollywood proud!!!

Con un pan y cafecito
Seguimos Adelante,
Zulmara Maria


Zulmara Maria

Almost White: Forced Confessions of a Latino in Hollywood

Let’s Buy Rick and Gina Linn a Cup of Coffee or a Drink

In this critically acclaimed comedic memoir, Rick Najera tells the story of being a Latino in Hollywood and what it takes to be Latino, a hyphenated American, and to make it in Hollywood. With humor, with candor, and with an honesty that comes from those who have stared death in the eye and beaten it, Rick’s book is a raw look at growing up Almost White, not quite brown, and not black in America. He recalls his stories, his childhood, his ancestors, and his experiences growing up in La Mesa, California. He recalls what is expected of you in terms of compromises, selling your soul, holding onto your soul, and in the end, being who you are.

Rick shares with us how to make it in Hollywood as a Latino and still keep your Latinidad, still keep your spirit, still make your grandfather proud. This book is a must read for all Latinos searching for identity, searching for who they are, and wondering about how to make a difference. In these pages, Rick lets us see how he chose to make a difference, stand up for himself, and be the person his parents and grandparents could be fiercely proud of.

This now AWESOME book is being made into a stage production by Gina Linn Espinoza. As the founder and UpLatino, she is dedicated to bringing the Latino/a story to life and weaving them into mainstream American life. She wants others to know and understand what it means to be Latino in the United States today. She wants to tell our stories for other Latinos/as to see themselves on stage and on the big screen and for mainstream America to see who we are and understand our history as well.

When Gina Linn asked Rick to be her “first” project and to take this event nationwide, he replied,  “…when a Latina asks you to do something, you better do it.”

Now, let’s do this and help Gina Linn and Rick raise the funds they need for this AWESOME opportunity. They open Friday, April 11, 2014 at CASA 101. Here is their Indiegogo Campaign link for a donation. They are asking that we buy them a cup or coffee or a drink!!!

Con un pan y cafecito,Gina Linn
Seguimos Adelante,
Zulmara Maria


Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series

Reclaiming Your Divinity: Zulmara Maria Teixeira de Lima

We had a great day with many take-aways. First and foremost, we became aware of the lives we have already touched, just by being us..YES, because you loved me…I am AWESOME!!!

Then, we chanted our Divinity Affirmations!!!

Then, we practiced becoming aware of our “yeah but’s” and increasing our “yes, and…!

Then, we got rid of our I can’ts to be torn up and thrown away forever!1012549_1390121894590755_837360531_n

Then, we made our DIVA wine glasses…que cool are we!!

Then, we started calling our millions to us…as we thought about

  • Supporting
  • Paying it forward
  • Giving back, and
  • Having too much fun with our millions

Then, we toasted to our great RiseUp Leadership Series

Then, we had an AWESOME Closure by Joe Baca. It was a great day and we did have a lot of FUN Learning!!!

Hope to see some of you join us next time!!!

Con un pan y cafecito,
Seguimos Adelante,
Zulmara Maria1897804_1390121857924092_1442301554_n

Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series: Reclaiming Your Divinity

Reclaiming Your Divinity: Zulmara Maria


Chapter 5 Photo

Who are you hanging out with? How do they help you get your DIVA on?

Chapter 4 Photo

Who is your motivation? Who is your inspiration?

Chapter 1 Photo

Embracing your divinity is not all about you, it is about empowering others to new heights!!!

Con un pan y cafecito
Seguimos adelante
Zulmara Maria

Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series: Reclaiming Your Divinity

Reclaiming Your Divinity: las posibilidades son infinitas: Zulmara Maria Teixeira de Lima

Divinity Chant Photo

Affirm your divinity, today and everyday!!!

Chapter 1 Photo

Embrace your divinity, know you are AWESOME!!!

Chapter 3 Photo

We are LATINAS!!! We are COMADRES!!!

Con un pan y cafecito,
Seguimos adelante,
Zulmara Maria

Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series: Vision Board Playshop

Deborah Deras: Vision Board Playshop: How to Create the Life You Love

Vision and Life Goals We had an amazing day of getting clarity, visioning our best lives, and manifesting the change we want to see. Some gems from the day:

  • Get to in in alignment, to serve your best purpose
  • You have to be lazer clear about why you are here
  • Adrenaline addict, being constantly in action to make sure you are always doing something…to prove that you are enough…
  • Go to stillness…In this stillness, you can blossom
  • When you get still, you tune into your intuition
  • Right brain thinks in images and symbols and pictures…what images are coming to mind? What do they mean to you?
  • It just takes one moment to flip the switch. We all have something that is our unique talent–we all have something that is our soul’s contract…you have to have a conversation with your soul
  • It is all about letting go, so you can be available to allow your vision to come through you
  • When you let go, it is a place of surrender, and we do not have to go it alone, we have each other, we have a community that will allow us to move forward
  • Helping others get the tools to go faster at a slower pace…that is my joy and gift…

Then the RiseUp Leaders set their intentions for the day…

  • clarity
  • greater focus
  • a path to clarity
  • to have an intention, what do I want to do with myself
  • not sure
  • find myself
  • let go of the past and start new
  • bring balance to my life
  • understanding my brain–synergizing
  • why I stop moving forward
  • complete consistent focus to move forward
  • family harmony
  • trying to figure out how to balance work and life
  • celebrating life
  • getting this show on the road – RiseUp on the road

And Deborah then led us through how we were going to manifest our heart’s desires  by anchoring the highest vibration by being in gratitude and love…and getting out of your head and into your heart. Mil gracias Deborah, you are a true inspirational visionary!!!


Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series: The Social Media Connection

Alex Marie Marnriquez: Social Media Connection

Alex ManriquezHappy Valentine’s Day!! today is a perfect day for this post because it is all about building relationships…online and off, based on the 3rd session of the RiseUp Leadership Series.

Alex is the founder and CEO of My Social Calling, a business designed to help people understand social media and how to use it beneficially to increase and enhance your business. Her presentation answered the question: Why it is important and how we can make it work for us?

  • Use social media for sales, networking? promoting events, marketing services? promoting ourselves? branding ourselves…
  • The Customer is the biggest part of social media…we post for other people, not for us…that is where many miss the mark…they are trying to post for themselves and for what fulfills their needs…it will not get others to buy your services…
  • It is important to look at social media as how we fulfill customer needs…
  • Look at it like a small town…the milkman, the butler who knew what my mom wanted…it helps us to connect even greater and we make deeper connections…
  • Social Media shrinks our worlds and we need to capitalize on how we connect…
  • People want to do business with people they like…you take this tool and utilize it to expand your social network…things you use to your advantage to gain the trust of your future customers.
  • Social media is a relationship, you have to get to know someone over time…before you can have a business relationship with them…
  • The next step after you connect is to take a step to remind others that you care about them: I can’t wait to talk to you some more, I remember this link and this reminds me of you…
  • It is about building the relationship: Do what you say you are going to do? Do you keep the connection going? Do you build the relationship?
  • You want them to become a customer for life…you want them to love your business, how you talk to them, how you make them feel, the services you provide.
  • Think of my tia and the butcher…he had a customer for life…he knew her cuts, how she would pay…etc…
  • It is all about how to connect and how to personally make a difference…we do not connect on products and things…we connect on who we know and who we are and how we can make a difference to why they are and what they need
  • Social Media is not a passive activity, it is active and proactive, you have to make sure that you are reading and taking actual interest in others…
  • No one else really cares what you are doing, if it is not going to help them…you have to help them see how what you have can be a connection for them
  • Relationships are key to connecting… you have to have build a relationship whether you meet somebody in person or online…
  • I don’t know all the people I follow or who follow me…but each one is a potential customer.

You can find Alex at My Social Calling for more information and to see the services she offers.

Con un pan y cafecito,leadership series 047
Seguimos adelante,
Zulmara Maria

Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series: The Art of Networking

Olivia E Rios: The Art of NetworkingOlivia Rios

Olivia E. Rios gave an AWESOME presentation at the RiseUp Leadership Series. She provided tips for networking before, during, and after you attend an event.

Before the Event:

  • Overcome the fears of networking through preparation, conversation tips and nurturing relationship
  • Have an action plan before the event
  • Use the event as an opportunity to meet those who can help build your business
  • Research who is putting on the event and who will be there
  • Call a comadre to go with you
  • Decide who you want to meet, find out who can help you in your business, and who can help you make an introduction
  • If you are going for the first time or going alone, volunteer and work the registration desk
  • Ask questions and after registration, follow up with individuals
  • Prepare and practice your elevator speech…and tailor your 30 second speech to the audience
  • Better to be overdressed rather than underdressed—research and dress appropriately

Here are a few gems to keep in mind during a networking event:

  • Be impactful, be memorable, think of the event as yours…own it, and work it
  • Get introduced to those you want to meet
  • Know about the organization that is putting on the event and act as if…you are the event planner
  • Be present…stay off your phone, except to take pictures
  • Introduce yourself with a smile and give your quick elevator speech
  • Ask the person what they do…and what they know about the organization and their relationship with them…
  • Make the conversation about them and how you can HELP THEM…
  • Try to find something in common with everyone you meet…
  • Always regroup with friends…check in and ask who they met…
  • Introduce the new people you have met…to the comadres you have come with
  • Wear a statement piece…the last piece of jewelry that my daddy bought me…something nice and bold…to make you stand out…
  • Give a personal compliment…Comment on their name, Ask what they do and why…
  • Make good eye contact–when you greet people, look in their eyes…the eyes are the window into the soul…
  • Engage in active listening…listen to what people are telling you…no interrupting…practice being a good listener
  • Do NOT monopolize the conversation…it is not about you…it is about networking
  • Engage in a genuine exchange of information and opinions…
  • Avoid conversation killers and taboo topics…
  • Avoid yes and no questions
  • Avoid gossip…whatever you put out there, will come back to you…

If you don’t have anything nice to say…don’t say anything at all.

BAMBI and Olivia


Your actions AFTER the event are just as important as your actions before and during the event to build your networth.

  • Deliver what you promised…it is key
  • Insert your new contact into your database…
  • Research your new contacts on LinkedIn for business possibilities…
  • Send a personal message: It was great meeting you at…let me know how I can help you…
  • Invite them to like your business page…
  • It is about quality and quantity…5 good people who can help you are better than 20 new acquaintances
  • Send random emails to say hello, thinking of you…
  • Pick up the phone and call…give that personal touch…invite them to the next event…
  • The more networking you do, the more social capital you will have in your bank account…
leadership series 046Networking is not
net eat
net drink
net flirt
net pick up
Networking is about growing your networth
Olivia Rios


Con un pan y cafecito,
Seguimos adelante,
Zulmara Maria

Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series: Social & Business Etiquette and Networking

Jules Hirst: Social & Business Etiquette and NetworkingJules Hirst

 Jules Martinez Hirst, a Business Etiquette Expert offered wonderful advice on how to make a good first impression. She also had us practice our elevator pitches in a wonderful activity where all participants were encouraged to share their elevator pitches.

  • You have less than 30 seconds to make a first impression…what does your first 30 seconds say about you?
  • Hard skills are things you can do; Soft skills are the ones that make an impression
  • You need well developed soft skills to get the job…you need the hard skills to get the job done
  • How you walk, talk, eat, dress will all leave an impression…be aware of the impression that you are leaving
  • We network to build relationships, to connect with others who share the same ideals, to increase our net worth
  • A few guidelines for networking:
    • Come prepared…
    • Have business cards
    • A pen and a small notebook to take notes
  • Networking is about building relationships and not making a sale…
  • Try to spend no more than 10 minutes…with each person you meet…
  • Listen more than you speak…
  • Be able to describe your business in one to two sentences…nice and tight
    • Tailor your description for the audience
  • Don’t drink or eat too much
    • This is not the place to have dinner
    • If your plate is too full to hold in your left hand with a drink, you have too much food…
    • Keep your right hand open…for shaking hands
    • Your name badge goes on the right side…line of sight when shaking hands
  • Know how to end a conversation gracefully…
  • Business Card Etiquette
    • Receive the card
    • Read it and say something about it
    • Never, just grab the card and put it in your pocket
    • Before leaving write: Where you met; When you met; What you promised to do; The business issue you are helping with

Jules knows her etiquette and how to help you make a great first impression, one that will allow you to stand above the rest. She can be found here on her website.

Gracias Jules, for a great presentation,leadership series 028

Con un pan y cafecito,
Seguimos adelante,
Zulmara Maria

Gems of Wisdom, joyas de consejos, y nuggets de oro from the RiseUp Leadership Series

RiseUp Leaders LOVE Themselves!!!


My passion for life;leadership series 038

Organizational skills;

Compassion for others;

Past, Present, and Future Successes;

Attitude of Gratitude;

Ability to laugh;

Intelligence, I learn easily;

Perseverance, I never give up;

Matriarch, I keep my family together;

Great boss;Olivia Rios

Awesome friend;

Loved & Lovin;

I’m a dreamer

I live for my family;

I fix things I am not happy with;

I am easily inspired;

I’m creative;

Good taste in music;

I look good without makeup;

I’m fair;Gina Linn

I’m open-minded;

I’m ambitious;

I’m motivated;

I am visionary;

I have potential;

I’m inspiring;

I’m confident;

I’m friendly;


I’m compassionate;

My body;

I’m kind to others;

I’m a Latina!!!!

What are the things you LOVE about yourself??

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Seguimos adelante




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