How Rita Moreno found dignity and strength in her ‘West Side Story’ role
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“Interestingly, the character of Anita became my role model after all those years,” said the Puerto-Rican actress and Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony recipient.

In the past decade or so, Rita Moreno has received multiple lifetime achievement awards and would probably receive even more — except that she’s too busy working.

The actress, who turns 89 on Dec. 11, is one of the few people to win an EGOT: Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony. She’s also received the 2004 Presidential Medal of Freedom, the 2009 National Medal of Arts, the 2013 SAG Life Achievement Award, Kennedy Center Honors in 2015, and a Peabody Career Achievement in 2019, to name a few.

                                                                                                                              (Image credit – Herbert Dorfma/NBC News)

But she has no intention of resting on her laurels. In “Rita Moreno: A Memoir,” she expresses frustration at not working more. “I still feel that way!” she told Variety shortly after the book came out in 2013. She is always busy; if it’s not film, “I do theater, I do television, concerts, I do talks, lectures I do a lot of fundraising as a performer.”

Her 70-year career covers the spectrum of entertainment, including radio, theater, basic-cable, movies (both under the studio system and in the indie world), and now streaming.

Read the full article at NBC News.

Eva Longoria’s Flamin’ Hot Cheetos movie is finally a go
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Eva Longoria poses on the red carpet

By Lillian Stone, Yahoo! Life

The world’s been waiting with bated breath since 2018, when Fox Searchlight announced a biopic about Richard Montañez, the creator of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos. Now, Flamin’ Hot is moving forward with Eva Longoria set to direct and actors Jesse Garcia and Annie Gonzalez slated for the lead roles.

Longoria is an experienced TV director, with credits including Devious Maids, Black-ish, The Mick, and Telenovela. Now, she’s entering a feature directorial era with the Searchlight project, focusing on the story of Richard Montañez. Variety explains that Montañez, the son of Mexican immigrant farm workers, started as a janitor at the Frito-Lay factory in Rancho Cucamonga, California, before inventing the wildly popular snack food.

As Newsweek explains, Montañez invented the Flamin’ Hot Cheeto after a broken machine on the Cheetos assembly line produced a batch of plain, undusted Cheeto puffs. Montañez took the Cheetos home and dusted them with chili powder, an idea inspired by elotes street vendors. He then pitched the recipe to Roger Enrico, the company’s CEO at the time. Now, Flamin’ Hot Cheetos are a junk food staple.

Longoria told Variety that it was her “biggest priority to make sure we are telling Richard Montañez’s story authentically.” She went on to comment on the actors, saying: “I am so happy to have two extremely talented and fellow Mexican Americans on board in these pivotal roles. Jesse and Annie have a deep understanding of our community and will be able to help tell this story of great importance for our culture.”

Click here to read the full article on Yahoo! Life.

Latin music star Prince Royce on early roots and returning to the Bronx for a show highlighting Hispanic culture
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Prince Royce pictures holding a six pack of Presidente beet in front of a brewery bar

By , BX Times

Latin pop superstar Prince Royce recently returned to his native Bronx for a live (and live streamed) show.

Born and raised in the Bronx, Royce says that he got his start by singing in the shower. Both of Royce’s parents were born and raised in the Dominican Republic, and growing up Royce became no stranger to the music of his cultural background.

“My mom would encourage me a lot in my singing,” said Royce. “In the Bronx and Washington Heights, we’d listen to a lot of bachata, merengue, especially in my household. That drew me into getting into the rhythm, giving it my own little New York American Dominican style into the genre.”

Royce started to record his own music when he was 16 years old out of a friend’s studio in the Bronx. He started to develop his own style of music based off of what he heard growing up but put his own New York City twist to the performance.

“When I go to school or am talking to friends or brothers and sisters, we talk Spanglish. In my concerts, I sing in Spanish and talk to them in English. That was really how my music is, sometimes I sprinkle a little English in,” said Royce. “That’s who I sing for, I sing for people kind of like me that grew up in the states and love Latin music. I love Latin music but I also listen to hip hop, stuff like Usher and Jay Z. I think that’s what my music is. I’m singing mostly in Spanish but I sprinkle in a little New York flavor, and I think that with the Dominican style works.”

Now, with six albums under his belt and multiple #1 hits, Royce has certainly made a name for himself in the genre. However, Royce admits that it didn’t click for him that music was going to be sustainable for him until he was well into his career.

“I think it was late in because in the beginning when I was on the radio and making money from music, there’s still an uncertainty. You start to think, one if this is a one-hit-wonder kind of thing? What if after 2-3 years I’m still not here?” said Royce. “I think like 7 years in, I was like, ‘Man i’m still here!’ I’m still connecting with the people, it’s another #1 hit, 14-15 platinum hits. I think, ‘Man, this is dope, I could do this another 10 years.’ That’s when I felt really good about myself and really confident and solid.”

Royce recently partnered with Presidente beer to participate in Reventón de Verano (hosted by Anheuser-Busch), a one-day music festival that took place over livestream with artists across the globe. For the first time in over a year and a half, Royce hit the stage for an intimate show in the Bronx to celebrate Hispanic culture.

For Royce, the partnership with Presidente was a no-brainer — in addition to having worked with the brand in the past, Presidente is something that Royce says is very close to his Dominican culture.

“El Presidente is a Dominican beer that kind of was there in my upbringing and when I go to the Dominican Republic,” said Royce. “When they approached me about doing this show, I liked it because it’s something that culturally, every Dominican knows about this beer, growing up it’s a brand that we know always look for. It’s close to my family and upbringing.”

More importantly to Royce, he wanted to do something for his fans, and Presidente was the perfect partner for him to get it done.

“It’s about the fans as well. I haven’t sung in front of a small audience in a year and a half since my tour got canceled,” said Royce. “I think that there’s a bunch of stuff that’s all for the people, and this beer has always felt like it was for the people.”

Royce is currently working on new music, but he looks forward to the days when the pandemic is finally behind us and can perform and hang out with his family without risk.

Click here to read the full article on BX Times.

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ‘Vivo’ Debuts Colorful Teaser Trailer & Announces Move to Netflix
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Vivo star Lin Manuel photographed wearing a black long sleeve t shirt in front of a gray background

Set in Havana, Cuba, the upcoming animated feature film Vivo will give Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights, Hamilton) another stage to play on.

Vivo tells the story of a kinkajou, a tropical rainforest mammal also known as the “honey bear,” who entertains people in Havana Square by playing music alongside his owner Andrés (Juan de Marcos González of the Buena Vista Social Club). When Andrés has to make a trip to Miami, Vivo must get help from a high-spirited tween girl (Ynairaly Simo) to deliver a message to Miami before it’s too late.

In the first teaser trailer for the film, Andrés is seen pushing out a small street organ into the center of Havana and introducing “the one and only Vivo” to the crowd who has gathered there that day.

Vivo, who is voiced by Miranda, hops out from behind the curtains wearing a Fedora-style hat and takes his place atop the cart where a set of percussion instruments await. From there, we watch Vivo do some acrobatic moves as the Cubans in the area dance to the song Andrés is belting out. “Is this thing on?” Vivo asks, using one of his maracas like a microphone.

On Tuesday (April 28), it was announced that Vivo, which was supposed to have a June 4 theatrical release, would now debut on Netflix. A new release date has not been set.

“Bringing Vivo to life has been an incredible artistic journey,” Miranda told Variety. “I’m so excited Vivo will have a home at Netflix, where kids of all ages will be able to enjoy the film’s songs and adventures again and again.”

Click the link here to read the full article on Vivo and Lin-Manuel Miranda on Remezcla.

How to Negotiate A Permanent Work-From-Home Arrangement
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young hispanic woman working using computer laptop concentrated and smiling

By Jillian Kramer

The pandemic changed a lot for workers, including where they work. A study conducted early in the outbreak showed nearly one-third of U.S. workers were working from their homes — and presumably some of those workers won’t want to return to the office when their employers call them back.

“Working from home can provide employees many benefits,” says Ray Luther, executive director of the Partnership for Coaching Excellence and Personal Leadership at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, “including a much shorter commute time, fewer distractions and a sense of freedom that might not come from reporting to an office every day.”

But negotiating a permanent work-from-home arrangement may not be a slam-dunk. Employers have “traditionally worried about employee productivity when working from home,” Luther says, adding some managers may feel they’ll lose control of employees they can’t see in person.

It’s not impossible, though. “Employees who want to make working from home permanent would be wise to put themselves in their employers’ shoes,” Luther says. “What would my employer be concerned about, and how can I show them that those concerns are minimal risks? For most employees, if you can demonstrate high-productivity, accessibility and still build productive relationships on your work teams, you will have addressed most managers’ significant concerns.” Here’s exactly how you can negotiate a permanent work-from-home arrangement.

Demonstrate your productivity.

To be allowed to continue to work from home, employers will want proof you’re as productive at home as you are in an office. “Quantify and qualify the work you’ve accomplished on a work-from-home trial or mandate,” says Luther. “How productive have you been on your own? How have you worked with co-workers to learn through the new office systems? Where have you helped develop solutions to the challenges that work from home has potentially caused?” You’ll need concrete answers to those questions to convince your manager you can be trusted at home.

Come prepared with proof of your productivity — and kick off your negotiation with hard facts.

Prepare an action plan.

While you’ve already been working from home, you and your manager may not have collected hard evidence of your ability to do so successfully. If that’s the case, Maureen Farmer, founder and CEO of Westgate Executive Branding & Career Consulting, suggests you develop an action plan that will help your manager assess your ability to work from home over a trial period. Talk to your manager about what milestones he or she would like you to reach during the trial — for example, 90 days — and agree to check-ins during that time to see if you’re on track. “The offer of work-from-home must demonstrate value and benefit to the employer foremost,” Farmer says.

Build trust.

“Once you’ve demonstrated you can be productive, show that your employer can trust you,” says Luther, who adds that most managers’ concerns about employees working from home are rooted in a lack of trust. “How does the employer know they can trust you, and what have you done to demonstrate that trust? Are you accessible when they need you?” Luther asks. “Be prepared to make the case for why they can trust you to deliver even if they can’t see you in the office.”

One way you might demonstrate your trustworthiness is by proposing a communication plan in your negotiation, says Farmer. Such a plan would “lay out the periodic and regular touchpoints with each of [your] colleagues to ensure projects remain on task,” she says. “The communication plan will offer a guarantee that [you] will be available on-demand throughout the day by phone, email, text or message service. The employee must reassure the manager of their availability.”

Show you’re flexible.

It’s important during the negotiation to “listen to your employer’s concerns about working from home and seek to understand any objections,” says Luther. “While these concerns might not be as important to you, they provide clues where you could show flexibility to it doesn’t turn into an all or nothing situation.” For example, perhaps your manager would be more comfortable if you came into the office one day a week or for critical team meetings. “Working from home can provide many benefits for employees, even if it’s only four out of five days per week,” he says.

Source: Glassdoor

Jennifer Lopez was ‘miserable’ with Alex Rodriguez over ‘trust issues’ before SHE ended it… as J.Lo pops up in his birthday tribute to daughter Ella
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Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez posing for the camera at a red carpet event

By BRIAN MARKS, DAILYMAIL

Jennifer Lopez was reportedly wracked by trust issues with her fiancé Alex Rodriguez before she decided to end their relationship for good.

The 51-year-old actress was ‘miserable’ in the final days of their relationship and ‘didn’t think it was in her best interests to stay with Alex,’ People quoted a friend of hers on Wednesday.

Despite the difficult separation, Jennifer was still featured in a tribute video her ex Alex posted to Instagram on the same day celebrating his daughter Ella’s 13th birthday.

According to Jennifer’s friend, she was in the driver’s seat when it came to ending the relationship, which they officially announced on April 15.

‘She insisted on it. There are too many issues that are unresolved,’ they said.

Although Alex, 45, flew to the Dominican Republic — where she is filming the comedy Shotgun Wedding — to try to repair the fissures in their relationship, he couldn’t over her lack of ‘trust.’

‘She has been pretty miserable,’ her friend continued, ‘and didn’t think it was in her best interests to stay with Alex.’

The high-profile couple made a splash when they appeared together at the inauguration, but their loved-up demeanor belied problems that popped up after months of living in close proximity during the pandemic.

‘They both liked spending more time together as a family, but it was difficult to keep that special spark when they saw each other every day,’ another source said of the two.

It didn’t help that the Hustlers star was away in the Dominican Republic on her film set once rumors of A-Rod potential infidelities began to surface.

Although the cheating rumors were not the reason for the breakup, ‘whether or not he has cheated doesn’t matter,’ said an insider connected to Jennifer’s music career. ‘She won’t tolerate the fear of it in the air between them.’

The split has also been difficult for their children, who had been living together at various points with the couple.

Jennifer shares twins Emme and Max, 13, with her ex-husband Marc Anthony, while Alex has daughters Natasha, 16, and Ella, 13, with his ex Cynthia Scurtis.

‘They’re especially sad for the kids since they are all so close,’ Jennifer’s friend added. ‘It’s not a good situation but inevitable.’

Click here to read the full article on Daily Mail.

Can this Latina law professor tapped by Biden help reform the Supreme Court?
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Cristina M. Rodriguez, a professor at Yale Law School, will co-chair a commission examining the Supreme Cour

By Raul A. Reyes

Cristina M. Rodríguez, a professor at the Yale Law School and co-chair of President Joe Biden’s high court commission, is described as a sophisticated legal thinker.

A Latina law school professor has been tasked with examining the future of one of the country’s three branches of government.

President Joe Biden has signed an executive order creating a presidential commission to study whether the Supreme Court should be overhauled, and he has named Yale Law School professor Cristina M. Rodríguez as its co-chair. Rodríguez and Bob Bauer, a professor at the New York University School of Law, will head the bipartisan commission to examine arguments both for and against a reform.

PHOTO: NBC

Rodríguez’s appointment to the commission earned praised from colleagues. “Cristina Rodríguez is absolutely up for this task. She is a sophisticated legal thinker and a good leader,” Kevin R. Johnson, dean of the University of California, Davis, School of Law, told NBC News. “I think that Biden has great confidence in her, and that his administration wanted somebody who would get the job done well, and in a deliberate and inclusive way.”

Along with Bauer, Rodríguez will preside over the commission that will study topics such as length of service, turnover of justices, membership and case selection. The commission includes some of the nation’s best-known legal scholars and experts: Laurence H. Tribe of the Harvard Law School, Sherrilyn Ifill of the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, and Andrew Crespo, also of the Harvard Law School. Crespo, who is of Puerto Rican heritage, was the first Latino president of the Harvard Law Review.

“She (Rodríguez) is not overly ideological or doctrinaire,” Johnson said. “She is someone who will make sure that we don’t see a politicization of the commission. As co-chair, she will bring a level of calm and thoughtfulness to any discussion she is involved in.”

Rodríguez, whose father is from Cuba and her mother from Puerto Rico, grew up in a bilingual household in San Antonio and attended Yale College and the Yale Law School. She studied at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar, as well.  She became Yale Law’s first tenured Hispanic faculty member in 2013. Prior to that, she served for two years as the deputy assistant attorney general in the Department of Justice, and also clerked for then-Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor.

Rodríguez’s legal background and training make her a member of an elite group. According to a 2018 report by the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), Latinas comprised less than 2 percent of U.S. lawyers, and just 1.3 percent of law professors.

Rodríguez is well-suited for her new role, according to Elia Diaz-Yaeger, national president of the HNBA. “It is a huge job, and it is important to have someone from outside of the political arena,” she said. “Rodríguez is a scholar of the law, she analyzes verbiage and what the Constitution says, and her work has focused on constitutional theory and administrative law.”

Diaz-Yaeger said that she was excited to see the diverse perspectives and backgrounds represented on the commission. In her view, discussions about Supreme Court reform or restructuring could be constructive. “The size of the court has actually fluctuated throughout history – and we want the court to be representative of the people whose lives their decisions are affecting.”

Limited polling suggests that Latinos may be open to the idea of Supreme Court reform. A 2019 Quinnipiac poll found that 63 percent of Hispanics believed that the Supreme Court was mainly motivated by politics, and 61 percent of Hispanics said that it should be restructured to reduce the influence of politics. And this was before the rushed confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett in 2020 made the issue of reform even more contentious.

 

Meet Alice Braga, the Latina Protagonist of ‘Queen of the South’
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Alice Braga pictured in a white top with a white blazer coat posing with her left hand on her hip and her hair in a pony tail

While USA Network’s “Queen of the South” gained the attention of millions of viewers, its leading character, Teresa Mendoza, put Brazilian actress Alice Braga again on the radar.

After five seasons, “Queen of the South” has become one of the top-rated shows in the country, especially for its focus on examining femininity within both narco culture and the Latino community, according to IndieWire.

The series has looked at human trafficking, sex work, and rape within the confines of the cocaine business but has also cast an eye on the culture of misogyny that often pigeonholes women into being nothing more than obedient, happy wives. As Braga describes her to IndieWire, Teresa is a survivor: a naive girl transformed into the boss she was always meant to be.

Alice Braga began her career in film by starring Angelica in the acclaimed “City of God” (2002). After making a name for herself on the Latin American independent film circuit, Braga rose to international fame after appearing with Will Smith in “I Am Legend” (2007) and has been a familiar face in Hollywood ever since.

Her filmography includes “Repo Men” (2010), “Predators” (2010), “The Rite” (2011), “Elysium” (2013), and “The Shack” (2017).

While her most recent work includes such gems as HBO’s “We Are Who We Are,” it has been “Queen of the South” that has allowed her to explore her performative skills on other levels.

“Lending my way to Teresa’s life and Teresa’s way of being, I’ve never experienced this in my life with any other character,” Braga told IndieWire.

Based on the original novel by Arturo Pérez-Reverte, iconic Spanish war journalist and historical novelist, “The Queen of the South” follows the arc of Teresa Mendoza, a poor woman from the barrio of Jalisco, Mexico, who falls in love with a member of a successful drug cartel.

The ups and downs of love, plus the murder of her boyfriend, force Teresa to flee to the United States, where she ends up setting up her own drug empire and becomes one of the richest women in the world.

Taking on the role in such a powerful story was a priceless opportunity for Braga.

Click here to read the full article on Be Latina.

The Unconventional Hiring Strategy the Smartest Companies Use to Find Superstar Employees
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group shot of professional diverse employees

Sometimes the best path to success is the one few people take. After all, if you do what other people do, you can achieve only what they achieve.

Taking the road less traveled. Turning conventional wisdom on its head. Doing what other people cannot — or, more to the point, will not — do.

Take hiring. Recruiting and hiring superstar employees is tough for small businesses with limited resources. That means looking where others won’t — and taking chances others won’t.

Hold that thought.

In 2018, the job site TalentWorks conducted a survey of nearly 7,000 job applicants across 100 industries.

A key finding: Applicants who were fired, laid off, or quit their previous job within 15 months were nearly half as hirable as applicants who stayed at their previous job for more than 15 months. (Of the “longer term” candidates, 13.4 percent got interviews, compared with only 7.6 percent of the under 15-monthers.)

Why? Since the average hiring manager spends less than 60 seconds scanning a resume, applicants who didn’t spend long at their last job clearly raised a red flag. For many, what appeared to be “job hopping” was a straightforward, time-saving sorting tool.

Granted, that approach makes some sense. Staying at a job for less than a year results in understandable implications. If I was fired, I must not have been capable. If I quit, I must be unreliable. If I got laid off, I must not have been someone the company could better afford to not let go.

Sometimes those things are true.

But sometimes they’re not. Getting fired within 15 minutes definitely raises a red flag. At a minimum, the individual wasn’t a good fit.

As for quitting? Maybe the company wasn’t a good fit — for the employee.

We’ve all hired people who didn’t turn out to be what we thought. The reverse is true for employees. In a competitive hiring landscape, companies often sell themselves — sometimes really hard — to potential employees.

Plenty of people have joined a company only to find out it wasn’t what they thought. The job itself was different than advertised. The culture was different. The responsibility, or autonomy, or opportunities were different.

As for getting laid off? Many companies forced to make cuts simply lay off their least-tenured employees. (If nothing else, that makes it really easy to justify why certain people got laid off.)

All of which creates a pool of potentially great candidates many other companies have ignored.

The next time you have an opening, do what many people do and put all the candidates who stayed in their last job for a short period of time into a separate pile.

But don’t discard that pile. Take the time to look at each applicant closely. The programmer who left her last job after eight months but worked at her second-to-last job for eight years might be perfect.

Maybe she took that job because it seemed like a great opportunity. Maybe she took that job because it was a chance to be one of a startup’s first employees.

Who knows why she left after eight months?

You will, if you look closely — and then ask.

If you can’t with other companies for the best employees, stop trying.

Do what they won’t do. Look where they won’t look.

That way you won’t have to compete.

Jeff Haden is a speaker, Inc. Magazine contributing editor, author of The Motivation Myth, and ghostwriter.

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