Camera Ready: GCU’s ‘Little Miss Everything’ Discovers Focus Through TV Show
By Joy Soto
Special to GCU Today Magazine
In a pink room full of tiaras, a makeup artist is hard at work perfecting a young face. Meanwhile, a star in the making is anxiously waiting for the countdown: 1, 2 and a silent 3.
At that mark, the cameras roll. GCU freshman Dorybell Gonzalez smiles brightly and launches into her enthusiastic “Welcome and BIENVENIDOS!”
Gonzalez is one of four Latina teen hosts of “Quinces Princess,” a bilingual reality show that airs Saturdays at noon on Spanish-language Azteca America. The role requires her to interview 15-year-old girls in Phoenix after their quinceañera, the Latin American version of a Sweet 16 party.
The quinceañera marks the transition from childhood to womanhood. Azteca America’s show portrays quinceañeras as a meaningful element of Hispanic culture and highlights how the events draw communities together. Episodes focus primarily on love, honor and respect for parents, according to “Quinces Princess” producers.
However, “Quinces Princess” also details the colorful and often decadent nature of the quinceañera. In one episode, a girl enters her wedding-like ballroom locked stoically into a giant, gliding Barbie box as if she were a life-size doll. The expensive cakes, gowns and jewelry are part of what make the show so intriguing to Hispanic viewers and also to a wider audience.
Gonzalez, a dark-haired business management major known for her creative spirit and outgoing nature, said she was inspired to go into show business by watching Latina actresses such as the singer Selena and Demi Lovato on TV. But Gonzalez is so confident in herself that she avoids emulating anyone who came before her.
“I always told myself that if I made it big I wouldn’t take their examples, that I would be a good example,” said Gonzalez, who was born in Mexico and raised in south Phoenix, where many neighborhoods remain proudly and predominantly Mexican-American.
“Ever since I was a little girl, I always dreamed about it, and I’m still working on getting there — getting to the top,” Gonzalez said. “I love the fact that I can always be myself in front of the camera. I don’t have to act like anyone else.”
Gonzalez, 18, sings and plays guitar at GCU campus events such as the popular Java Jam open-mic performances. While many students are sleeping in on Sunday, she wakes early to get to the Azteca studio.
Gonzalez graduated from Cesar Chavez High School in south Phoenix. She served four years in student government while balancing roles as a cheerleader, softball and tennis player, theatre student and choir president. The constant dedication and 9 a.m.-to-10 p.m. schedules earned her the nickname “Little Miss Everything.”
“Dory, she’s very mature,” said “Quinces Princess” director Edgar Rojas. “Believe me, she’s the one who’s easier to work with. Whenever I say, ‘We’re rolling,’ she is one of the first ones to get ready. She’s always on time. She always does what we ask her to do.”
As on the Azteca TV set, Gonzalez has found a home at GCU. The Phoenix campus has become a place where she can cultivate her Christian values, grow her talents and inspire others with her confidence.
“I love learning new things, and here at GCU they have so many opportunities for me …,” she said. “I want to let people know that if you set your mind to something, you can do it.”