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It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. Pardon me folks I’ve been quite busy adjusting to a WHOLE new world out west.

On March 26, 2012 I packed my car with whatever I could, kissed my dog and loved ones good bye and headed west. Begging my mind to press pause on all the good, the bad and the ugly that kept me connected to my beloved Austin, Texas for 13 years. It was too painful to look in the rear-view mirror. I just kept looking foward heading west on 1-10 to my hometown of El Paso, ate mom’s famous red enchiladas one more time and said a prayer with my family, asking for guidance and wisdom on my new lonesome journey. Making a couple of more stops along the way until I finally made it to where I never thought I’d end up….Los Angeles.

I couldn’t let tears, memories or ties keep me down. It was going to take every ounce of positive energy to get me to California. And I had to do this, it wasn’t  just another job–it was an opportunity. Big difference. And as I quickly learned during my time in Austin, you always “dance with the one who brung ya to the dance.”  This time my partner was KNBC in Burbank. President and GM, Steve Carlston offered me a weekend anchor/reporter gig that made it hard not to get back into the game. He saw something in me that few saw, and he believed in me in a profound way that made me believe in myself  once again. That sealed the deal.

After KEYE, I spent a good year floating in the unknown, staying open to new adventures and opportunites–really enjoying wearing no make up and letting my hair grow long!

That year off was the best decision I’d made in a long time, giving me introspection and inner-peace to fuel my future. It was a true life-changer for me that reprogrammed my thoughts, attitude and self-confidence.  For that one year I did exactly what I wanted to do: catching up on life, friends, travel, getting to know my pal and dog Emmylou, writing for my long-term book project (key word being LONG),  writing columns for Austin Man Magazine, acting in 3 movies and a real musical, “A Ride With Bob” and not to mention traveling with my right-hand, tall man, Ray and his band Asleep At The Wheel, touring here and there.. golfing with Willie, fun public appearances and dinners with fancy and interesting folk–basically seeing and enjoying the world without the deadlines and pressures of a TV broadcaster. I cherished every day, because I knew “la vida buena” this way wouldn’t go on forever.

2012 came and now it was the season to work. I have had an amazing 7 months reporting and anchoring here at KNBC. It has opened my eyes to more ethnicities, cultures, and new life experiences. I wake up looking forward to going to work. I work with great journalists who inspire me to be better in my craft. I even wanted to spend my birthday at work. Wow–that’s never happened! I must finally really love my job and it feels right.  I report about 5 days a week and anchor two morning newscasts on the weekend at 7am with Ted Chen and Carl Bell. They are like big brothers to me, not to mention I’ve been filling in quite a bit on Today in LA with Michael Brownlee. Some of the big stories I’ve gotten to cover include: Rodney King’s death, Shuttle Endeavour’s 12 mile street  trek thru Crenshaw and MLK–(that 4 hour live coverage was just so fun) not to mention many reports on Lakers, Olympians, celebrities of course, but my favorite topic is getting to report on the people of LA. The rich tapestry of so many different communites can make any reporter in LA want to stay here for life. We’ll see. There is never a dull day here in LA- the best place for TV news, hands down. Life out west is great and out here they dig that Texas charm y’all!  I miss Texas, but everything I learned out there I’m using over here and one is….always dance with the one who brung you.

What do women want in men? Read about the naked truth in my latest Austin Man Magazine article which is just fresh off the press! Hope you enjoy it and get a good laugh or two!

Click here–>“Manning Up”

In January I got a call from Jessica Sloan at Heather Collier Talent Agency asking me if I’d be interested in auditioning for another “reporter” role in the hit teenage drama series, “The Lying Game.”

The answer was yes.

So I called up my acting coach Marco Perella who coincidentally was going to be auditioning for a detective role in the series. I highly recommend Marco if you need some help preparing for film or commercial auditions. I only had 2 days to prepare for this, but as I’ve quickly learned, don’t sweat it. If you are what they are looking for, you will get the part. Plain and simple.

Well thank my lucky stars, I landed the role! Thanks to casting director Beth Sepko and “The Lying Game” director, Bobby Roth. I think it also helped that I wasn’t nervous during my audition. That makes a huge difference!

Filming began on January 16th, (MLK holiday) which meant a lot of the state and city offices in Downtown Austin were closed which decreased traffic and commotion during the filming. The Travis County Courthouse was transformed into Maricopa Court house where we did the filming. I recognized a lot of the extras and production crew and just reveled in the experience.

I arrived at 6am that day to my own little trailer, was treated so wonderfully by the helpful production team, then it was off to hair and makeup. Believe it or not, that still gets some getting used to, because for the last 13 years in TV News, I was responsible for all of that. Only big TV markets provide that to their on-air talent. So to have a pro do it for me was such a treat!

I started thinking to myself, I can really get used to this lifestyle! Sadly, the gig only lasted one day. But I’m sure more will come down the road if it’s meant to be.

This role was easy, I mean not too much of a stretch for me, right? The little bonus is that my scene is with actor Adrian Pasdar.

It was a great experience and I really don’t mind playing a reporter, because hey that’s who I am too!

‘The Lying Game’

8 p.m. Mondays

ABC Family, Time Warner Cable Channel 37

On the Web: abcfamily.com

Read more here about: The Lying Game

Michelle waiting for Santa

Check out my latest article in Austin Man Magazine. I was surprised at the overwhelming response I got from women who said I pretty much nailed it. So LISTEN UP GUYS!!! TAKE HEED!

CLICK HERE  TO READ–>Opposite Sex.

HBO Latino Video

Here is the clip from HBO Latino I did earlier this year. Click on the photo to view the video.

Austin All-Stars

2011 Austin All-Stars Click here to see the list!

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Every year Michael Barnes of the Austin American Statesman has the difficult task of selecting Austin’s Fortunate 500 which recognizes the city’s most social and charitable people. Thank you Michael for recognizing Ray Benson and me.  We believe giving back to our community is an honor, privilege, and basically just the right thing to do. But I will say I’m honored to be on same list as Mack Brown and Willie Nelson

9th Anniversary Panelists. Click here to read my latest feature in Austin Woman Magazine.

A lot happens in 9 years, just ask the founders of Austin Woman Magazine. I had the pleasure of being featured on the cover in June of 2010 and on September 30, 2011 they invited me along with 4 other  former cover women to serve as panelists for their 9 year anniversary celebration.  More than 200 women showed up for the event to hear us “cover-girls” talk about the latest in world news, technology, and many issues facing busy women today in America. Don’t let the topics fool you, we had plenty of laughter too! Thank you Austin Woman magazine for the invite.  After the luncheon, many of us went over to Neiman Marcus to play with clothes and make-up…of course! It was a blast and believe me, next year you DO NOT WANT to miss Austin Woman Magazine’s 10 years anniversary!

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