Confession: I’m a bit of a reality TV junkie for years, probably ever since gems like Puck graced our TV sets during the 90s. However, my viewing is actually pretty limited. Since I have very basic proper cable, I watch what I can on regular network TV, the web, or at my parents’ house. I also limit my shows to those that are creative and not dramatic. (I still read gossip sites to get my fix on the Real Housewives, though. I just can’t quit them entirely.)
So imagine how excited I was to learn of a reality TV star that hails from my fair city? One day, a Facebook friend posted about Maya Ramirez, a teen fashion designer from Maumee who’s currently a contestant on Project Runway: Junior. As a reality TV junkie and journalist, I was geeked! I located her mother on Facebook and asked if we could interview for the Toledo City Paper’s Style Sense column. The paper loved her story too, and agreed that I should also do a write-up about her experience on the show and as a designer.
The first time we met, I was nervous and starstruck! I admitted this to Maya when we first met, and she humbly replied that she wasn’t a star. OK, but when I have to contact your PR rep at Lifetime to get approval for our interviews, you’re kind of a star. Not to mention getting to work with fashion heavyweights like Tim Gunn and Christian Siriano? Definitely a star. 🙂
Maya is really down-to-earth, though. Having interviewed her twice, one for Style Sense and another about Project Runway, I really got to see how mature she is—you easily forget that she’s only 14 years old. She possesses a level of awareness of her experience and confidence that’s no doubt helped her through this journey.
She has a great support team helping her through this experience as well. Her mother, Traci, was wonderful at following up with me while we set up interviews and has kept me posted on events Maya participates in, like the viewing parties each week. Her school, Toledo School for the Arts, was very accommodating when she had to take a small break to film. She’s been very blessed to have all of this, and she knows it.
I’m happy to report that Maya is still in the running on the show! Project Runway: Junior airs Thursdays at 9PM EST on Lifetime, plus you can watch previous episodes here.