I got a call from Univision to fly down to Miami, FL to see if I would be interested in styling 4 episodes of a soap opera that was already airing. I didn’t know what to say or how to react to such yummy offer. “Where did you get my number from?” I asked the woman with the rice-cracker Spanish accent. Hilda was her name. I think she was Dominican.
“Your nephew Christian gave the number to one of our producers, is that a problem?” With a little bit of hesitation in her voice she inquired. “No, not right now. I’ll get him later.” “How may I help you?” I asked the young woman. “I don’t know if you have ever watched any of our telenovelas?” “But we would like you to help us with some styling issues,” “go on” I said to the Univision lady. “We don’t know what to do with some of the actresses; their hair is very 80’s, their drag-queen makeup is revolting and their fashion sense is appallling [yes, that’s “appalling” with 3 l’s].” While she was telling me all of this stuff, my mind was spinning out-of-control. I had to abruptly make a decision and without thinking I told her, “count me in, but with two conditions.” “Whatever you say Mr. Carlo, please come help us,” Hilda the production assistant begged me.
“I’ll do this job, if you allow me to work individually with each actress and I’ll do the job if you tell me that there are no budget restrictions.” For a few seconds, maybe 20 to 30 seconds there was a long pause, silence. “Hello.” “Hello.” “Are you still there?” I asked Hilda. “Si. Yes, I’m still here.” Hilda told me. “Well, did you hear what I said?” “Yes, and that’s totally fine, I’m sure,” again with hesitation and some fear she answered.
|The promotional advertisement for the soap opera/novela Soy Tu Dueña. Univision.com|
Besides asking Hilda for a bottomless budget, I also asked her to lodge me at a great hotel while changing lives at Univision. “Which hotel were you thinking?” Without any hesitation I told her, “the Ritz-Carlton South Beach, if that’s okay with you,” I sort of mumbled. Intentionally so I could get a reaction. “When would you be able to meet with our team? We would like to get you here as soon as possible. Preferably in 2 weeks when we start the new novela,” Hilda went on. Novela is another word in Spanish for soap opera.
“I could be in Miami in three days but I have to check my schedule, so I will have to call you back,” I told Hilda. In my head I was already thinking about what I was going to do. I was breaking down ideas for what it would be a great makeover, which is a word I dislike. I was conceptualizing a monumental assignment, and I knew I could do it.
“This is Lucero.” She reached out to kiss my cheek.
|Carolina Herrera looks are modern and feminine. Yannis Vlamos/Style.com|