‘La Bella Vida’ talks beauty of
Texas State life on YouTube
By Catherine Harper
For the past three years, Texas State electronic media student Cristina Ochoa says she’s been taking care of her “baby” — a student-run television show called “La Bella Vida.”
“The show has saved me and it’s been my joy,” Ochoa says. “It has a special place in my heart because it’s helped me so much as a Texas State student.”
“La Bella Vida” — which means “The Beautiful Life” in Spanish — is currently in its seventh semester on-air as a variety talk show directed toward Texas State students. The show is posted on YouTube every Wednesday night.
As a former executive producer and co-host on the show, Ochoa’s vision for the show has been to impact current and future Texas State audiences.
“We try to be the voice of Texas State,” Ochoa says. “The show appeals to the perspective of what a Texas State student would want to hear and what they do.”
Created by Texas State alumnae Ashley Flores and Laura Coria in 2009 to expand Latino representation in the media and on campus, “La Bella Vida” has evolved from a Spanish-language show to a bilingual program directed toward the entirety of Texas State students.
“When they put me in charge, I thought to make it a bilingual show to try and get the people who don’t speak Spanish to come onto the show and be a part of it,” Ochoa says. ”We still have the Hispanics but we now have the angle of the majority of Texas State.”
In keeping with the creators’ original focus, Ochoa says that Texas State’s status as a Hispanic Serving Institution has helped in their quest to expand the show to a wider Texas State audience.
“In the beginning, it was really targeting Hispanics,” Ochoa says. “Now we try to get a lot of different organizations and guests involved so that students can watch and know what Texas State is about.”
Working with student organizations such as the Student Association for Campus Activities and others around campus, “La Bella Vida” targets the diversity of Texas State with varying topics ranging from fashion shows to dating games and cooking lessons, as well as events around campus such as Bobcat Build and Homecoming.
With filming done in Studio B of Texas State’s Alkek Library and at locations around campus, students produce, write and edit the entirety of the show with the help of advisors and two Texas State professors, Drs. Ray Niekamp and Federico Subervi. Subervi helped create the show through his work with Texas State’s National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2009.
While the show is aimed more toward incoming freshmen to show them what Texas State has to offer, Ochoa says that the show also targets sophomores, juniors and seniors as viewers and, more importantly, as participants in the show’s production.
“Even though we try to appeal to freshmen, we wanted more upperclassmen to do the show because they’re the ones that are going to be graduating,” Ochoa says. “The show is great because it gives students the chance to work in a television environment early on. When you go out and look for a job, any hands-on experience you have is extremely valuable.”
According to Ochoa, her involvement with “La Bella Vida” has led her to discover her passion in variety television through hands-on experience both with the show and through her internship with the San Antonio Living segment of San Antonio’s WOAI News.
“For me, ‘La Bella Vida’ helped me to get where I needed to be in my internship,” Ochoa says. “What I’ve learned at my internship, I’ll take with me. But it was that three years with the show that pushed it to the limit … I feel like variety television is my angle; I love it. I’m all about broadcasting and television. It’s definitely my passion.”
With her graduation set for December, Ochoa says “La Bella Vida” has been a great experience that she will always remember at Texas State.
“Being involved with ‘La Bella Vida’ has been a big reason why I love coming to Texas State,” Ochoa says. “It helped me so much in the long run with everything I needed to know.”
According to Ochoa, “La Bella Vida” has much to offer to the community at Texas State. In the future, she hopes that the show can expand to a broader base of students by raising its status among campus media.
“I hope that in the next five years ‘La Bella Vida’ will continue growing and possibly become an actual media organization like KTSW and The University Star,” Ochoa says. “I feel that if you make it an actual media organization, more kids are going to want to get involved and learn about television the way we got to experience it. I hope that in the next five to 10 years I can hear that it’s still going on and what they’re up to because I’ll be so proud of it no matter where I am.”
Update: This story was modified on 4/26/12 to correct the name of one of the original creators Laura Coria, originally reported as Laura Padilla.