I recently got a chance to chat with longtime TV and Radio Entertainment personality, Rocsi Diaz. Who most of you may remember as co-host of BET’s very popular music video countdown show, 106 & Park. Or for some of you who are fellow Chicago-area natives like myself, may even remember way back to when she did radio here in Chicago on Power 92. We talk about Rocsi’s brief time here in Chicago, how she’s been dealing with the pandemic. As well as her new competition show on USA Network, Cannonball. Among several things we dive into.
Nello for TheHipHopDemocrat.com: Hey Rocsi, my name is Nello Rubio with TheHipHopDemocrat.com. Before we fully dive into your new show, Cannonball. I have a few other questions I would like to get to first. You’ve been around the entertainment industry for nearly two decades. Working in both radio and TV. From working here in Chicago at Power 92 to co-hosting, 106 & Park. What do you think has contributed to you having such a long and pretty solid career as an entertainment personality?
Rocsi Diaz: I would like to believe that my hard work and tenacity has been the biggest attributes to my success. But also my professionalism and kindness to everyone I work with. I believe that when co-workers have a great working experience with you that news travels to future people who would like to work with you as well.
Nello: Kind of playing off that last question. What do you remember most about your time here in Chicago at Power 92 and do you think your time here at Power 92 helped you in getting your big break as co-host of 106 & Park?
Rocsi Diaz: Yeah, I think my radio experience in general helped me get my role at 106 & Park. Because you learn a lot about live television. You learn a lot about live timing. Definitely I always attribute my time in Chicago and my time in Boston and Dallas on radio. As a part of the stepping stone that has helped me in my TV career.
Photo of Rocsi Diaz and Julissa Bermúdez hiking from a recent trip at the world-famous Zion National Park. Photo courtesy of Rocsi's own Instagram
Nello: I noticed from your Instagram. Since the pandemic hit. You have been taking a lot of nature and hiking trips either by yoursef or more times than not with your very good friend and fellow former BET personality, Julissa Bermudez. What has that been like and what other new things have you explored or done in all of this new free time you have had?
Rocsi Diaz: We have really got into hiking. We enjoy it a lot. We just took an epic trip to Zion National Park. It has been something to keep us busy. It’s been a lot of fun. So we have been spending time doing that and spending time with my close friends. But still social distancing.
Nello: Your new show, Cannonball. It’s a competition series you co-host with Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. The chemistry you guys have together is so seamless. Just like how you and Terrence J used to have. What do you think it’s that makes that chemistry for you so great with others?
Rocsi Diaz: You just know good people when you meet them. You just hit it off. Some people you kind of just hit it off with and some people you don’t. You don’t always get lucky. But I was really fortunate with, The Miz. He is an awesome personality. We hit it off from the very beginning and with our sideline reporter, Simon Gibson. He’s equally hilarious and it was a lot of fun.
Nello: Talking about Cannonball. It’s a competition show. Which you have done competition shows you have hosted before. But not really like with the intestity and competition Cannonball brings. What do you think the difference is hosting this compared to other gigs you have hosted before?
Rocsi Diaz: While I never hosted a big competition show like Cannonball before ever. So this is completely different. It’s kind of like being in Sports in a way too, but we have a lot of humor and fun. It’s everyday people. All walks of life. That come on the show and we have a blast. You know it kind of seems unfair to have so much fun. Cause it is not like work, work.
Nello: Watching it like you said. It seems like it’s something that is kind of fun and something that I think everyone can use right now with everything that’s going on. Having something to laugh and enjoy with others. Would you agree the timing for this right now is perfect?
Rocsi Diaz: Oh totally. I think that this is perfect timing. With the temperature of the world right now. Especially. We have a great time and I think you can sit around with your family and watch. Every Thursday, every Monday. On NBC and USA Network. You know you don’t have to worry about having to change the channel. Cause it’s a family show. We have fun and we laugh. Everybody loves and enjoys it. So you can’t help but to laugh and smile when you are watching Cannonball.
Nello: Working with, The Miz, being a wrestler and athlete, himself. What was that like working with somebody in that capacity? In a Sports and competition show like this.
Rocsi Diaz: Miz is a ball of energy. He is so much fun. He makes me keep my energy up. So that’s what is a lot of fun working with Mike. He is also really gracious and the nicest guy in the world. You know. Sometimes he would bring me smoothies to work. Because his chef would make them. So he would bring me one. He was a really cool guy.
Nello: Was there any times during the show that you would say were kind of memorable? That others wouldn’t really think would happen. Off set, on-air or when you guys were working together. That kind of just stuck with you.
Rocsi Diaz: There was different people that stood out to us all of the time. Tim Willy was a big character for us. He was hilarious. To see with his antics. I’m actually kind of getting to know a lot of our contestants as I watch the show. Because I didn’t get to see their packages when we were making the show. We have pineapple enthusiasts. We had a girl who believed in aliens. You know we had chefs. It was just a lot of fun to see. Every show has a character that is going to standout and make you fall in love with them.
Nello: Going back to you working with, The Miz. Obviously him being a wrestler. Did you ever used to watch when he wrestled or used to ever at all watch wrestling?
Rocsi Diaz: I never watched Miz prior to. I started watching him after I met him. Cause I used to watch wrestling back in the day. When it was Hulk Hogan, The Rock, “Macho Man” Randy Savage, 1,2, 3 Kids. The Undertaker. So I used to be a big wrestling fan growing up. Not so much during my adult years. But I did watch, The Miz, when he was on, The Real World. So that was kind of cool to see him in person and meeting, and working with him.
Nello: That’s kind of interesting you bring up about watching wrestling more so when you were younger and not so much now or in your adult years. Like The Rock and The Undertaker cause I think that’s something kind of with our generation. We were all like that. I was like that myself growing up watching wrestling and a lot of those wrestlers you named. But not so much in my adult years too. I think that goes back to certain things you grow up on and as you grow older. You grow out of them. What is some things you grew up on that you think others wouldn’t know or be surprised about yourself?
Rocsi Diaz: I grew up kind being a, “tomboy.” Always going outside. So it’s kind of funny that people now see me doing my hikes and stuff. Cause I was always very very active. As far as fishing and camping growing up as a kid. So it is not really far-fetched as far as my real life now. So yeah that’s like now being able to do things. Like watching wrestling and watching, The Miz. Cause I watch it as a kid. So now I am kind of resisting it. Even with Cannonball. I used to go to water parks all the time and try to get on the biggest slide. And Cannonball has a hundred foot mega slide, if you haven’t seen it yet. It makes you feel like a big kid cause you just want to get on the biggest slide. And we have that on Cannonball.
Nello: Going back to what you said about doing a lot of those activities. Like hiking and kind of just being like a, “tomboy”, when you were younger. I think that is another thing that is kind of different for the generations. Kind of our generation to the generation now. Where we used to do a lot of activities outside, no matter what it was. You see a lot of kids now with this generation. They get more so stuck with the Internet and all of these things to do with technology and that. Do you think that is good or bad?
Rocsi Diaz: I think that it’s just a different generation. But I think that a lot of us should get out and explore some more. Spend less time always on our phones and on social media. Actually go out and enjoy life. I think like how, Cannonball. Is like a huge water park. Which is our big water competition show. People have now even been trying to do that in their own backyards. And creating their own cannonball obstacle course. In their own backyard. Which I think is really, really cool. To be able to see families spending time together.
Nello: Being in the entertainment industry for so long. Kind of going back to what I said earlier. What advice would you give to others now, who are trying to maybe now get in the entertainment industry. Whether it be as a media personality or journalist or any other type of medium like that?
Rocsi Diaz: I would say continue striving. Share your work with as many people as you can. I would say be active on social media. Stick to your course. Reach out to the bigger outlets, to try and correspond. To try and be apart of their organizations. So you can get as much credit as you can on bigger outlets. Create your fan base and your audience. So you can keep on going. That would be my biggest advice.
Nello: I think that’s the perfect note to end off on and thanks for your time.
Rocsi Diaz: No problem and thanks for having me.
You can watch, Cannonball, tonight and every Thursday at 8/7c on USA Network. As well as on Sunday’s on NBC based on your local area listings