From TV host to actress, to producer, Rocsi Diaz is a model for re-inventing yourself and attracting opportunities. As a coveted talk show host in the entertainment industry, Rocsi remains down to earth and wildly relatable, while still gracefully climbing to the top.
After hosting BET’s beloved 106&Park show, Rocsi Diaz took advantage of hosting opportunities at USA Today, and Entertainment Tonight, expanding her reach to different audiences and earning her a Daytime Emmy Award. With a newly released movie, Always And Forever, and her willingness to jump into fun and exciting projects out of her comfort zone, Rosci proves that authenticity coupled with talent can get you far.
Her Agenda had the chance to speak with Rocsi about her success habits, how she stays resilient and motivated while facing defeat, and also snagged some advice about how to break into the industry in 2020.
Her Agenda: Is there a quote or a routine that you think has played a role in your success?
Rocsi Diaz: As far as a routine, I wake up every morning with scripture, so that’s a part of my routine. I don’t get on Instagram or turn on the TV or anything until I read scripture. It’s all about prioritizing and scheduling. I was [recently] introduced to time blocking, which I suggest everyone looks into. It’s the format that Elon Musk uses where he time blocks his day. So from 9 am-10 am I’m on social media, 10 am-11 am I’m reading and researching scripts. Time blocking and scheduling your day, [makes you] more productive, and putting those things that you dread first in line [helps] so you can get them out of the way and then enjoy the rest of your day. It’s really about prioritizing, scheduling out your plans, scheduling out your goals. And every single day, and I think we learned this with the passing of Chadwick Boseman, doing something toward what you love to do and what your goal is. Every single day dedicating time to my craft.
Her Agenda: Before a business proposition is placed in front of you, what do you ask yourself? Do you make sure that it’s in alignment with your values, do you look for things that challenge you? Is it a combination of both? What kinds of questions do you ask yourself before you say ‘yes I am going to commit to this and I’m excited about this opportunity?’
Rocsi Diaz: I’ve been very fortunate in my career that I’ve had some opportunities that I haven’t had to second guess or question. I trust my team. I trust my manager. I trust my agent. I trust their wisdom and their guidance on things – of what I should do and shouldn’t do. So when they call and say they have something for me, usually it’s [from] a relationship I’ve built and cultivated, which is really important. That way, the magic happens.
Her Agenda: How do you stay motivated and resilient when you hear no in your career?
Rocsi Diaz: It’s part of the industry. If you don’t have thick skin and can’t take no then this is not for you. You’re going to get more no’s than you ever get yes’s. That’s just life at the end of the day. If you have something that you’re working towards achieving and something that you’re trying to do, you’re going to get no’s. You have to work through the no’s and just know that door didn’t open for you because it wasn’t meant for you, but there’s another door with your name on it that is going to open. There are reasons for everything. Trust me, I’ve gotten no’s from jobs where I thought to myself ‘how could I miss this opportunity?’ only for that show not to get picked up, or for it not even to go through. And if I would’ve taken that job I would’ve lost my house and moved to another state that I didn’t want to. So much could have happened. So, you just have to know that when something does not work out for you it just means that it was not meant for you. It has nothing to do with you, it just means it was not meant for you.
Her Agenda: What have you been up to since 106& Park? Can you tell us about all of the projects you’ve been working on and what we can expect to see you in?
Rocsi Diaz: I’ve been booked and busy. It just goes to show you that we all do not watch the same type of TV as I’ve been doing a show for USA network called Cannonball. After BET I was at CNN for a very long time. I’ve been able to be in so many different demographics and so many different channels that all have been great experiences for me. I’ve had an amazing time. Right now, I’ve been working at E! doing a lot of guest appearances and hostings, which has been a lot of fun. I have a movie coming out in November starring Lauren London called Always And Forever.
Her Agenda: Is code-switching important if you’re trying to get into the entertainment business?
Rocsi Diaz: It’s about knowing who your audience is and who your demographic is at the end of the day. You’re not going to be the same person. Rocsi 106&Park was not the same person as Rocsi at Entertainment Tonight. When I say that, I mean I am still me, authentically me, but there is a different way to portray yourself. It’s not selling out, it’s growing up. It’s being able to adapt and evolve to whatever environment you’re going to be in and there’s nothing wrong with that. I’m still able to have my humor and have fun and have my wittiness, but I guess the delivery may be a little bit different. It’s something that may be more understandable to that audience better. Know the audience that you’re going to audition for, know the show that you’re going on, and know who you’re playing with, and the demographic. Those are key. Not code switch, not sell yourself out, but adapt to that environment. I think that people look at it as a negative thing when actually it’s you being able to play across the board at the end of the day.
Her Agenda: How do you approach opportunities that may be different from what you’re used to?
Rocsi Diaz: When I hosted Cannonball, I had never hosted a big game show ever before, but I hosted Wild Out Wednesday on 106&Park and I hosted Freestyle Friday on 106&Park, so I knew how to deal with competition and an audience. I’ve done a dating show with VH1 so I know what it’s like to deal with different characters, plus I’m co-hosting with Mike “The Miz.” Mike is such a great, big personality that there really isn’t much to do, but have snappy jokes. So, even though it was something that was not in my ballpark, something I’ve never done before, I was familiar with the format. Being open to thinking ‘this could be fun’ — that’s one thing I can say about every single gig I’ve had is that they’ve all been so much fun.
Her Agenda: When you started I’m sure the industry was very different. How do you suggest someone getting into the industry now get their foot in the door in 2020?
Rocsi Diaz: It’s a gift and a curse. It’s really about being a powerhouse, creating your identity, and being able to do it all. Especially for women, a lot of news outlets and organizations don’t want to hire us because we’re more expensive than a male. We’re hair, we’re makeup, we’re more of an experience. Having outlets like [Her Agenda] and having your own, is key. At the end of the day, numbers don’t lie. If you’re able to do it by yourself imagine what you can do at a network. It’s [about] doing something every day. Practice makes perfect.
In this day and age, it’s really is about creating our own lane, going viral, learning what that means, and doing something different. Learn from others and create your own avenue. No one wants another Andy Cohen or another Oprah. We already have them. They want you. What makes you special? And now more than ever, it’s not about being your cookie-cutter host, it’s about being able to show personality and being relatable to your audience. If I can talk about being an immigrant in this country and fearing for my status then that is going to resonate with somebody. Learn who your audience is and who they want to listen to and what stories they want to hear from you.
Her Agenda: Do you believe in the law of attraction or manifesting?
Rocsi Diaz: I do. Manifestation is everything because you put power in your words and what you say. You have to condition your mind and train your mind to think positive thoughts and think about positive outcomes because that is what you want to happen. You have to be very careful because the universe knows. If you have a negative thought or if you’re thinking negatively, that’s the way it’s going to go. I always surround myself with different sayings. I have pictures of inspiration all over my house, sayings, etc. I have different affirmations on my refrigerator. I have a vision board. It has all these beautiful Latinas that I’ve wanted to work with in my career and I can honestly say I have. Vision boards are real. I would suggest everyone get one and do one for 2021. I don’t think what we saw in 2020 was on anyone’s vision board. But you have to look at it as, even though it seems like a sh***y situation, a lot of us probably would’ve never had this much time to be with self or be with family, or reflect, have time to do you. So you have to take everything with a grain of salt and look at the positive part of it.
Her Agenda: If you could have a superpower to change the world, which one would it be and why?
Rocsi Diaz: My superpower would be healing. It’s such a pageant answer, but there is so much hurt going on in the entire world. I know what it’s like to live in a country that’s poverty-stricken and places that need a lot of healing because I think if we were able to heal the hurt and devastation then we would be in an amazing place.
[Editor’s note: This interview has been edited for length and clarity.]