Denise Ames is the news anchor/host of Focus in the Mix with Denise Ames, a television show featuring interviews with fascinating personalities, from rock stars and actors to other well known people. Ames covers news and entertainment with the greatest of ease, making her audience as comfortable as her celebrity guests, while asking both soul searching and fun questions.
So it was nice to be able to turn the tables on her and ask Ames, what’s exciting in your life? The raven-haired reporter told me, “We launched the website for my TV show Focus in the Mix with Denise Ames just a few weeks ago. So instead of just a Los Angeles audience, people worldwide can now see the show by going to www.FocusintheMixwithDeniseAmes.com!”
Her TV show airs every first and third Friday of the month at 7:30 p.m. on Time Warner Channel 165, from Beverly Hills to Santa Clarita and all the cities in between. Ames also recently opened a Facebook account where people can comment about the show.
“I can now interact with the viewers from anywhere in the world,” she explains.
The TV program has been getting a lot of press attention recently: So Cal’s Best, seen on Time Warner’s Channel 101, did a large segment about the show filming a behind the scenes look at Ames and staff taping her half-hour series for a day. Big name rock stars, Lemmy Kilmister of Motorhead and Rudy Sarzo of Quiet Riot and Ozzy fame came in for interviews, creating an exciting atmosphere.
How has it all come about for Ames?
“I didn’t realize it was my goal until a few years ago,” she explains. “I was born and raised in San Diego, moved to Los Angeles, was acting, modeling and working office jobs. After awhile I got tired of spinning my wheels, doing something that wasn’t fulfilling me. There are people who are cut out to be in the corporate world, work in an office and thrive there, but I am not one of them.”
So a few years ago, Ames was visiting her parents back in San Diego.
“We sat down, talked and they said, ‘We always thought that you would be good in the news business.’ My step dad was at ABC in San Diego, working in the news department, so he knew the field and was encouraging. It was then I felt like it was the right time to give that a shot.
“I met someone at NBC in Burbank who became my mentor, and he knew the publisher and editor-in-chief of The Tolucan Times, Mardi Rustam. He mentioned to Mr. Rustam I had reporting talent and I began writing for the Tolucan Times a few years ago. Mr. Rustam then moved me to cover stories and a celebrity feature column ‘One on One.’
“He eventually told me he always wanted to do a TV show based on The Tolucan Times and asked if I’d be interested. I said ‘Yes’, but then came the question, ‘Do you know how?’ I was honest, and said, ‘No, but I’ll figure it out.’ Two months later we were on public access, and grew that to ten different channels, airing for over a year.”
Ames did informative interviews with fascinating people, such as the late Beverly Garland, Linda Blair, JoAnne Worley, Shirley Jones, and director Tobe Hooper, among others, including world renowned rock stars like Stephen Pearcy of Ratt and Rob Zombie. She also performed red carpet interviews at the San Fernando Valley International Film Festival (VIFFI).
What was it in her background that made Ames a natural at the interview process?
“The turning point for me was switching from graphic arts to dramatic arts at San Diego State University,” she says. “I then felt like I was in my element. Taking acting classes, doing commercials, and being in some TV shows and films, made me comfortable in front of a camera. But when I was acting I had a hard time being someone else so that’s why the news business fits so much better. I can be my true self.”
As for her interviewing skills, Ames laughingly says, “I’m Canadian by descent and my entire family on my mother’s side is nosey! My mom tells me the news business is the one business where being nosey is actually a beneficial trait. I would ask the same questions while interviewing if I were sitting next to these people in my living room.
Aimes says the goal of her show is to take it national or syndicated.
“With all the positive feedback we have received from viewers, I think I’m doing something right!” she laughs.
Ames and Mr. Rustam are in talks about doing a project he has in the works and she’s looking forward to that in the near future also. There may be an announcement on that subject very soon, but in the meantime stay tuned into Focus in the Mix with Denise Ames.