Yovanka Sanchez – Part II

YOVANKA SANCHEZ

 THE STORYTELLER PART II

{Writer’s Note: When we last left Yovanka Sanchez, she had convinced her parents to send her to Paris as a reward for garnering straight A’s in her senior year of high-school. Her folks obliged, perhaps more motivated by the pressure her boyfriend was putting on her to get married—Bon Voyage, Yovanka…}  

The wanderlust wonder was drawn to the “City of Lights” like a moth to a lamp.  

“Paris represented everything—freedom, self-expression, amore—it was my coming of age!”  

Yovanka had traveled with two of her high-school friends and moved into a manse owned by a “grand madam” with the best view in town, right in front of the Arc de Triomphe (15 other girls, from around the world, also occupied the premises). “You can just imagine all of us organizing dinner parties for French men, bonsoir monsieur as in hello sir”.   

Yovanka soon found another interest, a French lad, which allowed her a deeper and intimate understanding of the culture. She learned the language and mœurs, studied at the famed Sorbonne University and traveled by train throughout the continent.  

 “I immersed myself in the experience—hopping from art galleries, to cafes to night clubs. Mikhail Baryshinkov asked me to dance at one of Paris’ most chic nightspots! This definitely was what I call a “Kodak moment” for me.  

 Our Gigi blossomed…  

 Upon her return to the States, Yovanka enrolled at Miami Dade, soon switching to the University of Miami, where she majored in Communications and Film.  

 “While I was at Miami Dade, my parents moved back to Mexico—for business reasons. And more profoundly, my father wanted to reconnect with his literature circle and cultural roots.”  

After graduating from UM, Yovanka sought her next step. Her father suggested that she apply for work at the Mexican Consulate in Miami, reckoning her daughter’s mastery of language and culture might tip the scales.  

 She applied and was hired.  

I am a big believer that we should never stop learning and polishing ourselves

“I worked in the Consulate for about three-years, all-the-while continuing my education through workshops, seminars etc. I am a big believer that we should never stop learning and polishing ourselves”.  

 Feeling the need to return to Mexico for a reconnect and aware of the booming Televisa communications conglomerate, Yovanka moved to Mexico City where she hunkered down with her family.  

 “In short order I was hired by a cable channel which belonged to Televisa. I found myself in front of the cameras, hosting an MTV type of show.”  

 One gig lead to another and before long Yovanka was the on-air face of a host of beauty pageants (aired in both Spanish and English), which allowed her the opportunity to travel throughout Mexico.  

 “From the big cities to the small towns—I savored the regional nuances and the traditions, foods, colors, smells and the amazing people of my magical country.”  

 As fate would have it Univision (a subsidiary of Televisa) was just starting upon the scene. Yovanka was offered a gig, which allowed her the opportunity to become a producer, writer, director as well as on-air talent (while continuing her beauty pageant shtick).  

 “I was among only a handful of folks within Univision which were handed so much responsibility. I quickly realized this was what I wanted—the myriad tasks involved in television production. I utilized the many heavyweight connections I’d developed (such as La India Maria, Vicente Fernandez, Julio Iglesias and so many others).  

 “By utilizing these contacts, I garnered more and more responsibility with Univision. I began writing entertainment type documentary stories…”  

 After couple of years working from Mexico, Yovanka decided to move back to Miami (where Univision was based).  

 “I felt right at home and quickly ascended the creative ladder.”  

 Yovanka soon found herself producing, writing, directing, reporting and hosting Primer Impacto. 

 The go-getter began to diversify, utilizing all her media skills. Her off-the-cuff abilities (editing on a bus, on a plane—in a restaurant booth) gained her enormous respect and a leg up.  

 “By this time, I was getting lots of exclusive interviews, sort of a South of the Border Barbara Walters (Richard Gere, George Clooney, Joaquin Cortes, P Diddy and the list goes on). It wasn’t long until I was doing prime time specials.”  

 Never satisfied, Yovanka sought more challenge and continued growth. She began producing projects she knew the network wouldn’t buy but remained undaunted in her artistic integrity.  

 “I produced a pilot, Entre Mujeres (Between Women), something of a before its time, The View.”  

 And then Yovanka had a “Jesus” moment, as in “Jesus Enrique”.

Editor’s Note:
To find more information about La Mariposa Films
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Their relationship consumed like wildfire. But a situation soon arose. Jesus had a business opportunity in New York. He suggested marriage. Yovanka suggested they purchase plane tickets (a year’s worth so they could continue a long-distance relationship). The lovebirds scripted out their calendar for the entire year, planning their get-together sessions in advance.  

“Our hot romance blossomed between the high-rise buildings of New York, to dinners under palm trees in the beaches of Miami”.  

 9/11 changed the landscape significantly. Many of Jesus’ friends perished in the catastrophe and he decided to return to Miami.  

 {Writer’s Note: The couple married shortly after his return—they remain happily wed to this day and are the proud parents to both a daughter and a son.} 

 “I left Univision shortly after our marriage and jumped to Telemundo, which offered me even more creative freedom—I loved the energy and synergy of the team and people.”  

 Utilizing her tome sized book of contacts and good will, Yovanka began creating her show—Las Comadreswas born. 

 “I’d done all the perquisite work— with a group of amazing people from the network who until today are still goods friends. We sold the show at the Up-Front New York (where Telemundo was based at the time). We had a pilot in the can and we were ready for production.”  

 Ah, but the best laid plans of mice and muchachas. It was at the time of the show’s roll-out that Telemundo went through a major restructuring. The new powers-that-be no longer had interest in Yovanka’s project (or many others for that matter). And while the show had been sold it was scrubbed by the new regime.  

 “I stuck with it until I became pregnant with our son. Baby on the way was a complete surprise. My priorities changed overnight. Motherhood trumped my professional passions. I dedicated myself to motherhood, but never abandoned my creative spark, working instead from my home.”  

 The following year brought Yovanka and Jesus’ daughter onto the scene.  

 Eventually the hunger to get back in the game percolated, bubbles brewing mightily for creativity beyond the maternal orbit.  

 “I was well aware of my skill-set and the ability on how to get back into the traditional media flow. However, I desired to balance my passions.”  

 As a result, Yovanka began working on independent projects, free-agent stuff (she began taking meetings).  

 “The digital world was taking off and taking over—the platform for story-telling was breaking—the medium consuming consumers and media outlets alike.” And this was the opportunity Yovanka had always wanted to pursuit her true “dream” getting behind the camera and telling stories.   

 Yovanka created La Mariposa Films (www.lamariposafilms.com).  

 “My initial focus was on stories and storytelling. It was time to toss aside the old school way of creating content, commercials and advertising in general. It was an uphill climb. People were not apt to embracing new changes and producing content that will connect emotionally instead of the traditional ways.   

 “I didn’t care. I was confident, convinced breaking tradition and being a storyteller trumped all—the organic growth of the butterfly (from caterpillar, to cocoon to chrysalis to fluttering beautiful flying butterfly).  

 “Despite the hurdles, I have fared on. I embraced being a woman and refused to sacrifice this hegemony to the powers in place—my mission is to bring the stories of my sisters to the forefront. And that’s what La Mariposa Films is all about.  

Latinarrific salutes Yovanka Sanchez…  

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At this time we are only asking you to join our sisterhood and participate in the development of our family.

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Kent Wallace
Senior Correspondent at Latinarrific
Kent Wallace has worked in the mainstream media for over 30 years. He has been a journalist, publisher, performer, art critic and marketing strategist. He has written for such magazines as Esquire, Source, Ear, ArtSpeak and Notorious (to name a few).

Wallace was a contributing writer for “High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max's Kansas City,” he co-authored and authored several published books.

Wallace has hosted radio shows on ESPN (Reno) and KPLY (Reno). Wallace has appeared on Montel, The Tyra Banks Show, The John Walsh Show and the Rikki Lake show. Wallace also served as a consultant on an HBO’s hit series.
Kent Wallace
Senior Correspondent
Kent Wallace has worked in the mainstream media for over 30 years. He has been a journalist, publisher, performer, art critic and marketing strategist. He has written for such magazines as Esquire, Source, Ear, ArtSpeak and Notorious (to name a few). Wallace was a contributing writer for “High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max's Kansas City,” he co-authored and authored several published books. Wallace has hosted radio shows on ESPN (Reno) and KPLY (Reno). Wallace has appeared on Montel, The Tyra Banks Show, The John Walsh Show and the Rikki Lake show. Wallace also served as a consultant on an HBO’s hit series.

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