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Friday, November 9, 2012

Kikey Performs in "8 Ways To Say I Love My Life"

Dates: November 3 - November 18, 2012

Times: Fri & Sat at 8pm, Sun two shows at 2pm &  7pm

Tickets: $20 General, $17 Seniors/Students, $15 Groups of 10+

The 2009 Imagen Award-winning show returns to CASA 0101 in celebration of the publication of the book by the same name. Featuring a collection of 8 life-affirming monologues written by 8 women.

The Book

The amazing book that launched the play.
A must read and a great gift for men and women alike.
To buy a copy click here:  Amazon

I am thrilled to be working on this phenomenal all women (acted, written, directed) monologue show at new Casa 0101.  And we are just rocking the house each and every performance.   

We were reviewed by Abel Salas from Brooklyn & Boyle, here's what he said about my performance.
"Kikey Castillo appears first as the embodiment of Margo De Leon, a former Toastmaster’s club officer, in De Leon’s “Pillar of Strength” and then as a hopeful optimist in a piece entitled “Believing in Happiness” by Joanna Ilizaliturri Diaz. A petite performance dynamo, Castillo has collaborated with L√≥pez for years in numerous and wide-ranging productions at Casa 0101. Of the three performers, she is thus the most at home here. That familiarity gives her characterizations a subtle authenticity that underscores the sadness and tragedy in both monologues and fuels the triumphant resolutions in both."

*Check out the Photo Blog*

Pre-show ritual, review lines and listen to IZ's 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow'.  Really gets me in the right mood for my two beautiful monologues

Getting ready to go on! 

Kikey performing Margo's monologue 
Photo by: Patricia De La Rosa

Yvonne performing Susan's monologue
Photo by: Patricia De La Rosa

Getting silly and having fun.  Check this out, we have an Ivonne a Yvonne a Karina and a Kikey, must have been fate!

Karina performing Bel's monologue...this is the one I did in 2009
Photo by: Patricia De La Rosa

Ivonne performing Nancy's monologue
Photo by: Patricia De La Rosa

Kikey performing Joanna's monologue
Photo by: Patricia De La Rosa

The four wonderful actresses bringing the audience to its feet
Photo by: Patricia De La Rosa

Opening night post show introductions - The writers with their actresses.  LtoR: Laura, Bel, Karina, Nancy, Ivonne, Joanna, Kikey, Margo, Josefina, Yvonne and Susan (not pictured Rita)

My family coming out to support me :) awww.  My cousin Daniel and his wife Elba

Industry guest coming out to support - Casting Director and friend, Blanca Valdez

Industry guest coming out to support - James E. Blancarte Entertainment Lawyer and his client

Industry guests coming out to support - look who was in the audience, that's Gregory Nava in the back!!  Also in the back Ernie T. Gritzewsky front row Dyana Ortelli, Naibe Reynoso, Yvonne DeLaRosa, Kikey Castillo, Lorena Alvarado, Barbara Martinez, and Ivonne Coll

Industry guests coming out to support - the lovely 'Hola! LA' hosts Naibe and Dyana came out to show Bel and I some LOVE

Industry guests keep coming out to support our show - actor Nick Gonzales also was there to get the patrons to sign up for the Bone Marrow Registry to help out his friend Alexandrea Vizcarra read their story here 

Industry guests keep coming out to support our show Jimmy Smits shook my hand and said "Amazing job, you were terrific"  WOW :) 

In honor of the show '8 Ways to Say I Love My Life' we have a whiteboard where we encourage anyone to write why they love their life, here is what I wrote
Photo by: Gustavo Stebner

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Kikey Co-Hosts, 'HOLA! LA' on KCAL9 Los Angeles

The first and only English-language TV talk show with a Latina POV !
HOLA! LA hosts and guest LtoR: Naibe Reynoso, Dyana Ortelli, Esai Morales, Kikey Castillo and Bel Hernandez

A not to miss premiere show 

with VIP guests Esai Morales and John Leguizamo 

Sunday, September 30th at 5pm
KCAL9/CBS Los Angeles 

This is a dream come true!!!  After so, so many YEARS of long hard work to bring our very own sweet show from concept to fruition to our ultimate goal - Network TV, it has finally happened.  

How we got started with a goldmine of a show:
It started with a handful of talented people in a friends casting office in LA to brainstorm on realizing a talk show that included Latina women, because none of the shows anywhere on network TV were including the Latino voice and perspective.  This lead to 'Let's Talk!' and we launched a successful run on the Internet for a few years winning over male and female fans all over the nation.

What the "Little Show That Could" did next:
We always had our sights set on TV, so we jumped onto KJLA a digital local cable station with a limited reach within the LA market.  But no matter, we were finally on TV and our loyal fans continued their enthusiasm and support for our show.  After a season run on KJLA we went into hiatus and bless our lucky was during this break that the BIG TV Dogs came a callin'.

My, how far we have come - Network TV: 
We were elated beyond belief when we found out we had a meeting with CBS to talk about bringing on the show.  In sports terms it would be like, "being called up to the majors" was a BIG DEAL. The meeting went like a dream, CBS was IN and 'HOLA! LA' was born.  Same great hosts, same great chemistry, same great type of content just elevated because hello it's CBS.  I am personally so greatfull to CBS and everyone there who helped make 'HOLA! LA' possible.    

Right after our very first meeting with CBS

And here we are the 'HOLA! LA' hosts LtoR: Naibe Reynoso, Dyana Ortelli, Kikey Castillo and Bel Hernandez

What's next for 'HOLA! LA':
We hope to keep brining you many more great 'HOLA! LA' shows, but it's really in the hands of the viewers, our awesome fans and the TV gods.  It's just the way the TV industry works, so if I could ask for my Christmas present early :)  I would ask for our fans to please support our show by:

  • spreading the word about our premier show, Sun 9/30 @5pm on KCAL9 (LA Only)
  • watching our premier show (you can even set your DVRs)
  • and finally writing/emailing CBS letting them know that you want to see more of our show - believe it or not letter campaigns to keep a show on the air work

We hope to keep bringing you more great shows!  

Friday, August 17, 2012

Moi? A Cover Girl?

Easy breezy beautiful COVERGIRL®

well I may not be a Maybelline cover girl just yettttt...and yes, would that be nice!  But I have shown up at your doorstep, in your mail and even on your computer.  Yes, indeed I am a COVERGIRL...of sorts....LOL but HEY I'm getting closer right??  I worked various modeling jobs this year and have happily been showing up in campaigns around the nation!  

Knock Knock! Who's There? Why it's Kikey open your door and let me in.

I shot a national print campaign for Frito Lay snacks (for the English and Spanish market products). This one is for the Spanish market snacks of Frito Lay and was published in Hoy newspaper which is the second largest Spanish language daily newspaper in the United States.  

behind the scenes: the short haired girl really was telling a good story, I think about her dog.  We could not eat or drink the food as they are carefully displayed and positioned.  

"Neither rain, nor snow, nor sleet, nor hair shall keep the postmen from their appointed rounds"  

Isn't that the United States Postal Service motto?  Well thank goodness for those hard working men and women otherwise how on earth can I possible show up in your mail???  Yep, on your kitchen table is where you'll find me smiling right at you.  This time I'm wanting you to buy Farmers Insurance.  

behind the scenes: This job was a stock photo shoot so I'll never know where it will show up (what's up with the hair...geeze, comb please).  My HS friend Kim, from Oregon, posted this photo on FB saying I just arrived in her mail :) 

Hey! You look athletic, outdoosy and in good shape!  Wanna buy some shoes?  

Sure you do and I recommend Keen shoes!  Just look at me, I'm having a grand ole time!  Keen shoes hired me to promote their 2012 women's spring and summer line.  And the shoes felt fantastic to boot. You can see this add in real time on Keen's website by clicking here

behind the scenes: this was nearing sunset on a cold Los Angles day.  You can't see my goose bumps but they're there! It was a fun day of shooting as we were told to just have fun and be playful.

behind the scenes: snapped during a wardrobe change...which happened in the car, behind a towel, behind the of a model LOL

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Latino's sing their American Patriotic Pride

David Damian Figueroa

I'm so proud of my friend David Damian Figueroa!  Not only is he MALDEF's Vice President of Strategic Development and Communications, and darn good at it darn it, he is also Eva Longoria's BFF (hello?? who wouldn't want to be in his shoes!!) but now he's singing (who knew he could sing!)  Phew!  You tired yet David Damian? 

Album Cover

This go-getter is a featured vocalist on  "America, Our Home" by the group Ronstadt Generations, who released their album earlier this month.

Here's the COOL skinny on the album -  "AMERICA, OUR HOME" is a collection of patriotic songs expressing Latino pride in America, with part of the proceeds to benefit MALDEF. 

All the songs are all performed in English and infused with Mexican musical styles such as bolero, cumbia and son jarocho.  Sounds fun huh?  Maybe you'll want to shake your bon bon and take a listen to excerpts here!audio/cemg.

But why just listen to the excerpts when you can buuuuy the album via digital download here and remember a portion of the proceeds benefit MALDEF.  Sounds like a twofer to me!

Ronstadt Generations

What I personally like is that Ronstadt Generations wanted to express the ongoing pride of the Latino community in the United States, which is something I am completely on board with and something you don't usually hear much about on the news or elsewhere.

Another cool tid bit is that the song arrangements were developed under the musical leadership of Michael J. Ronstadt, the younger brother of famed recording artist Linda Ronstadt.  Remember her??  Oh yeah you's like 'You're No Good', 'Blue Bayou' (one of my favs), 'Don't Know Much'.  So you know this is album is gonna be good, heck all those genius musical genes run in the family!


Thursday, May 17, 2012

I was bad, I cheated on LA with NYC!

I cheated on Livin' la Vida LA! and had a brief yet smoking hot escaped with New York City.   

My racy indiscretion with the Big Apple had my heart pulsing with excitement and I didn't want it to end.  I felt naughty, I felt adventurous, I even brought along a list of sexy things I wanted “TO DO” with my unexplored city lover.   Oohh yeah...some of my "to do's" I did, some I just couldn't fit in and some things were completely improvised, which were my most titillating memories of all.

**My photo journal of my escapade with the city of New York**

I got off the airplane and headed straight to a New York Yankees game! Totally impromptu (awesome memory) and that hat I'm putting on, I just bought it as I was exiting that very subway for $5.00!!!

I think I'm busted!  Nooo, not for the hat...I think that cop totally knows I'm with Livin' la Vida LA! Maybe I'll just sign an autograph for him and he'll forget I was even here LOL.

Saw the Broadway play, 'Magic Bird', which I knew nothing about - I thought it was a play about an Enchanted Parrot or something.  It turned out to be a sweet story of two basketball legends and I really liked it.

Look I'm on Broadway too (I'm a Triple Threat ha ha!) and Times Square...ahhhhhhhhhhh So thrilling.

Oh yes, then there was my glorious morning jog in Central Park here's where I fell in love.  The early morning energy of the big city, the hustle and bustle of New Yorkers going about their lives and the serenity and beauty of this park...I thought...Yeah, I could live here.

My view as I jogged around the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir in Central Park.  I kept thinking that Charlotte from Sex and the City always ran this in the show and I was like hehehe now I am too!  I'm just like one of the women on 'Sex and the City'....but which one am I most like? Hmmmmmmm??

The famous and beautiful cherry trees were blooming their beautiful pink flowers...ahh, just majestic.

A tour of the financial district...That's right, WALL STREET, (pointing to the sign).  I remember back in 2nd grade drawing a picture of me working in NY...there might still be a chance...for the right role of course.

I HAD to go to Serendipity!!!  I'm about to totally enjoy their signature dessert, the famous Frozen Hot Chocolate - sooo good.


You know what else is MMMMMMmmm MMMM Good?  A good love story and 'Ghost' on Broadway did not disappoint. Hold on, before you say anything, I too thought it was going to be super lame and cheesy but, I was wrong, it was surprisingly really good!

A little shopping in SoHo, feeling oh so very chic - - wait, who's that girl with the iPhone? Is she gonna mug me??

Phew!  She didn't take my Dean and Deluca Iced coffee.  Now where is that boutique Digs?

Ha Ha! Found you Digs...a kick ass trendy SoHo boutique which came highly recommended.  They threw in the black nail polish which I immediately put on, feeling sooo New York and ready to go out tonight!

Ditched all the tourist trap night spots and partied with local New Yorkers in the Upper East Side. 

New York come to Mami Chula!  I think I LOVE YOU!

My "Naughty" NY To Do List:
- Eat a slice of NY Pizza - did it!
- Eat a NY Bagel - did it!
- Eat a black and white cookie - did it!
- Go to Serendipity - did it!
- Go to MOMA or The Met Museum - next time
- See the Brooklyn Bridge - next time
- Go to the New York Botanical Garden - next time
- See a Broadway Play - did it!
- Go to SoHo - did it!
- Go to Financial District - did it!
- Walk through Central Park - did it!
- Go to the High Line - next time
- Meet up with NY friends - did it!

New York, you were magnificent and I'll never forget you, we had a fun tryst you and I - but I must return to my true love, Los Angeles.  I'll never forget you New York and who knows...there might even be a "next time" but for now adios you juicy Big Apple (as I affectionately called you)  Je T'aime.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

White Hot Impact Awards

The 2012 Impact Awards were one for the record books this year.  It’s already been a month since they happened and I’m still enthused about all the positive energy and forward thinking that was abound that evening. 

The National Hispanic Media Coalition (NHMC) Impact Awards recognizes outstanding contributions to the positive portrayal of Latinos in media.  And I was there along with many other Latino leaders who came together to commemorate the achievements of the 2012 Local Impact Awards recipients:  

Actress, Michelle Rodriguez (Avatar, Fast and Furious movies)
TV Personality, Cesar Millan (the Dog Whisperer)
Actor, Benjamin Bratt (Miss Congeniality, Traffic)
Actor, Efren Ramirez (Napolean Dynamite, Crank)
Actress, Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation)
Music artist, Taboo (Black Eye Peas) and 
Director, Chris Weitz. (The Golden Compass, New Moon, A Better Life)

Sounds awesome right?  And I started this very cool evening on the red carpet.  You would think I’m quite adept at doing the pomp and circumstance of this grand old Hollywood tradition but truth be told, I had butterflies in my stomach this night...not sure why but...I kinda liked it.  

I realized that the nerves in my stomach, as I was about to step out on the red carpet to get photographed and interviewed, were a subtle reminder that this could never get old for me and that I would never take these opportunities for granted.  When the flash bulbs started going off taking pictures of me and the interviews that followed...Gosh, I felt alive and my head was swimming in the realization that not long ago, I used to daydream about being at these types of Hollywood parties, doing their red carpets and mingling with these types of Hollywood people!  Butterflies in my, never felt so good! 

Actress & Host Kikey Castillo styled by: Steve Galindo photo by: Angela Maria Ortiz S.

friend and actor Dante Acosta and actress Kikey Castillo photo by: Angela Maria Ortiz S.

actress Kikey Castillo being interviewed by media

And get this, As soon as I walked off the red carpet I was greeted by a silver platter filled with sparking flutes of Moet & Chandon champagne and these beautiful woman holding giant sized Moet & Chandon bottles...had to take a pic, oh and Yes, I will take one, thank you...Wow! Now this is Celeb style!!  

After my friend and I basked in the VIP treatment for a bit we headed downstairs to the reception area to mingle before the gala.  

On my way there, I had to descended the grand stairs at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel (the hotel Julia Roberts stayed in the movie Pretty Women) that opened up into an opulent setting where the reception vibe was buzzing with energy.  As I was taking each descending step I had this brief surreal moment where I felt like the Belle of the Ball gliding gracefully down the majestic grand staircase making my entrance to the ball, I know, it's silly and obviously I watch too many movies and TV!!!  But it really felt special so I tucked away the warm fuzzy feeling in my memory to relish at a later time.  

Stairs that opened up to the reception area photo by: Jose Vargas Ulloa

After my whimsical thought passed and I set my two feet solidly on ground (and out of the clouds) I was greeted by many of my friends in the "biz" including my friends at MALDEF - David Damian Figueroa, Thomas A. Saenz, Cynthia Gutierrez and actor Jordi Vilasuso, it had been awhile since I saw them last...since the 2010 LA MALDEF Gala where I was the Mistress of Ceremonies.  After some fun mingling with them and meeting new people it was off to our seats for the main program.

LtoR: Thomas A. Saenz, actress Kikey Castillo, Cynthia Gutierrez, actor Jordi Vilasuso and David Damian Figueroa

As a guest of Efrain Fuentes, Director of Diversity Programs at Disney, I of course had the honor and pleasure to sit at the Disney sponsored table, Disney was also the dinner sponsor for the event and what a showing!  Usually the food at these events can be a little less than tasty probably due to the mass production of the food but this year - it met my foodie standards!

Director, Diversity Programs at Disney, Efrain Fuentes and actress Kikey Castillo

Disney table up front and to the of the best seats in the house :) photo by: Jose Vargas Ulloa

The Masters of Ceremonies for the evening were actor Rob Schneider and Spanish actress Claudia Bassols - who play Rob and Maggie on CBS's ¡Rob!  Truth be told, I've been a fan of Rob Schneider for a while!  Let's just say I saw 'Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo' and 'The Animal' in the theaters…yep he got my box office money :)  They were both really good and I had the pleasure of meeting them along with other cast members of ¡Rob! during the dinner intermission.  

What is the dinner intermission?  Well, about twenty minutes into the program there's an intermission where you eat and meet the other guests at your table before the program resumes.  But what really ends up happening...everyone jumps out of their seats to mingle and rub elbows with the whole room and for me it was super great fun this year.  

I usually tend to get shy during these moments but not this time, I was in butterfly mode and was very comfortable making new acquaintances.  Of course it didn't hurt that I had some Girl Power behind me...I ran into friend, Olivia Campos-Bergeron from CBS, who introduced me to quite a few people including the cast of ¡Rob! and her friend Alicia, publicist for CBS, also helped me make the rounds (what amazing gals huh?)

LtoR: Oliva Campos-Bergeron, Alicia, actress Claudia Bassols and actress Kikey Castillo

actress Kikey Castillo and actor Rob Scheider

actress Kikey Castillo and actor Cheech Marin

The two Kiki's, Comedienne and wonderful guest of 'Let's Talk!', Kiki Melendez and actress/host Kikey Castillo

Writer, Lemise Rory, and actress Kikey Castillo.  I performed one of her pieces at a CBS showcase 

And it was during the dinner intermission that I was able to steal Alex Nogales away for a slight moment, just long enough to take a picture with him and chat for a few brief moments.  Who's Alex Nogales?  Well to me he is a friend and a fan of my acting work ever since he saw me in the Imagen Award Winning stage production of "8 Ways to Say I Love My Life and Mean It!" and ever since then he's been like a little angel to me.  

But the public knows him as the man behind NHMC, President and CEO of National Hispanic Media coalition (NHMC) and a long time advocate of Latino rights in the entrainment business.  And of course, he is the man responsible for the NHMC Impact Awards... among many other great achievements. 

actress Kikey Castillo with President and CEO of NHMC Alex Nogales

After receiving a super great compliment from him about the future of my acting career, it was back to our seats for the rest of the gala.  Wait, this man believes in my future acting career?!  Holly Cow!!...OK, tucking this one away for a later time too.  

This is where the program really took off - the honorees accepting their awards.  And oh! What a magnificent treat it was!  Each and every one of them were so raw and open with us.  You could feel that they were letting us peek into their personal thoughts, lives, feelings and emotions.  There was a hushed intimacy in the room as they spoke to us with their hearts open as if we were their trusted was pretty darn special.  

A notable moment was when Demian Bichir, (Oscar nominee for Best Actor in 'A Better Life' but probably most well known for playing Esteban Reyes on Showtime's 'Weeds') made a surprise appearance to hand the Impact Award to friend Chris Weitz who was honored for directing 'A Better Life'.

actor Demian Bichir and director Chris Weitz photo by: Jose Vargas Ulloa

I wrapped up this glorious evening at the VIP after party for some more fun then soon after I was whisked away by my gallant white steed...ahem, aka my white SUV.  And as I drove off in stunned silence reminisncing of the fantastical evening where my dreams and reality melted into one ---- a night where I was inspired by the honorees on stage, a night of seeing old friends and meeting new ones, a night where I stepped out of my comfort zone and was embraced with open arms in Hollywood, a night where I secretly had another dream, that one day soon I too would be on that stage to receive an award.  

These are the moments in my life where it feels so pleasantly real that I am here., breathing, working and socializing in Hollywood...WOW, this is certainly my crazy Hollywood Life and as my blog's name aptly captures it ...LIVIN' LA VIDA LA!

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