We had the good fortune of connecting with Patricia Gras and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patricia, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I pursued an artistic and creative career because it made me happier and gave me a greater purpose in life. My background was in international business. I worked a couple of years in that field. I was paid extremely well and stayed in very nice 5 star hotels, but I found that I needed to make a difference in the lives of others. I see nothing wrong with selling products, but for me, I felt I needed to use my creative talents to help others in other ways. I felt a calling, an inner voice that told me I needed to work as a journalist/writer so I began to pursue that possibility. I had always loved writing, acting and singing. I thus followed my passion. I became a broadcast producer /journalist and also a singer/musician. I have worked in TV/Video production sine 1988 and started a band in 1992. I have produced four CD’s, and I am still working as a freelance anchor, producer, and writer. I also still sing in a duo today. I have absolutely no regrets in the choices I made. I loved the few years I worked as an international marketing manager, but my career as a journalist was very fulfilling and I feel what I was meant to do.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art has to do with what moves my soul. When I became a TV journalist, what I loved the most was everything that had to do with my work, the interviews:, the writing, the production, the anchoring, the shooting, the editing. It was as if I was the “zone” The place where we feel most fulfilled, happiest, excited, joyful. Doing my work brings me joy. It makes me feel alive. I feel the same way about singing and playing my instruments. When I perform I am free of worries, pain and despair. I am certain I came to this world to do what I am doing. I feel I have led a purpose driven life because I chose to listen to my inner voice. I am so blessed I found my path. I am most proud and excited about helping others through my production work and my music. I feel I have reached a lot of people with important information that can help them in their every day life. Was it easy? Not at all. When you work in the creative fields, we all have big egos. This is undeniable, therefore we suffer. There is a lot of jealousy, envy, and backstabbing in my field of work. The biggest challenge I faced was office politics, betrayals, and meanness. Life isn’t fair. You learn that very quickly in my business. I made the best of it and I have no regrets. I also feel much as peace with myself with the way I treated others. Even those who hurt me. I still wish them well. What I have learned along the way is that faith helps you overcome big obstacles. I also believe in the power of prayer. I am not a religious person, but I am a woman of faith and that helped me a great deal when things didn’t go my way. I kept my faith and trust. I also learned that there no justification for treating others badly. I am human and I have made mistakes but I did my best to be fair, in integrity and honest. That doesn’t mean I didn’t lose my temper at times, but somehow I had no problem apologize. I learned that working in a toxic environment does not help anyone. I tried to be part of the solution. If I saw something unfair, I spoke up. Life is so short, if you feel you don’t like what you see, start looking to move somewhere else. The philosopher Edmund Burke said “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” Always try to be a “Good Man/Woman.” I want the world to know that just because you worked in television or were once a celebrity does not mean you are better or more important than anyone else. We live in a celebrity culture. We give credit to celebrities they don’t deserve. The real heroes we are finding out are the quiet people who do the best job they possibly can and who are kind, honest, in integrity and fight against all odds to do good for their family, friends and society. Heroes like our front line workers who are risking their lives every day to help others. Through this pandemic we have found that its’ not the president, the actors, the athletes etc necessarily who make the world a better place, it is those who quietly without great recognition or fanfare do their work the best way they can. May I mention our teachers, doctors, nurses, trash collectors, janitors, soldiers, maids, etc. As a journalist I was always trying to find these quiet heroes. When you go through life, remember thanking them. They deserve a fanfare. Sure, I loved interviewing the famous celebrities, but my focus was more on those who quietly did their work to help others. Let’s not forget them. Love Smart Living is the name of my brand. Making smart choices, being prudent, trying to live in integrity, helping others achieve success, being professional and kind is the mission of my company. That is my life mission.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
First of all, Houston is known for its restaurants. We have more diverse restaurants per capita than any other major city in the USA. Let me mention a special day with a friend for a foodie like me. First I would start with a French Cafe Flo which serves an array of breakfast choices. Of course I love their croissants best and their cappucino is to die for. Then I would take my friend to Hermann park which is lovely all year round. We can walk around and say hello to squirrels, ducks, nutria, and turtles. Then we can have a picnic in front of the Grand Gateaway, the historic main entrance to the park. For that I would do take out from one of my favorite sandwich places in the city the Greek restaurant’s Niko Nikos that has some of the best sandwiches and french fries in the city. After that, To burn some of those calories, we should walk for an hour around the park, which is also home to the Japanese Gardens and McGovern Lake. In the evening we should go to a Mexican restaurant. As you probably know Houston is home to some of the best Mexican food in the country. My favorite Mexican restaurant is Hugos. The chef has an interesting story too. He started out as a dishwasher, now he is one of the most imaginative chefs in the country for south of the border cuisine. After that we should go dancing in the wild west. You can’t visit Houston without some country dancing! There are many places to visit around Houston too. I would also spend a day in Galveston. There are plenty of good restaurants there too. We should visit the Strand, the beach, the port and some of the best attractions. Kemah is also close by and spending an afternoon there is worthwhile. In sum, there is a lot of places in Houston to visit. It has incredible museums, parks and restaurants. Then if you want to escape you can try Galveston, Kemah and Lake Travis. COME I’LL SHOW YOU!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My parents who are deceased. I lost them in the past three years. They were always extremely supportive and so a shoutout to heaven. I also have four dear friends who have held me up during the hard times in my career. Sherry, Ricarda, Aurora and Rosemary. These “sisters” by choice of mine have made every step of the ladder easier and possible to climb. There are so many more people who helped me during the years I have worked in these creative fields, so many to mention. May I add that there is no way I could have succeeded in my field without the help of many mentors, family, friends and even guests on my TV shows. I have always said, nothing that I have ever done well was done alone. I always worked with a team, whether it was my co workers, directors, videographers, editors etc or in the case of my music career, other singers and musicians. Success in life I feel is about collaboration, respect and recognition of others who made it possible. A shoutout to all those who helped me along the way. You know who you are!
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