Jose “Taco” Cruz is a social media producer for two of network television’s longest running shows, The Price is Right and Let’s Make a Deal. Originally from the Midwest, Jose moved to Los Angeles to work in film where he discovered a talent for making his own content, combining his talents of video production, photography, and editing.
In this episode, Mike and Jose chat about the life of a social media producer, what the process is making content for corporate studios like CBS versus personal platforms like Jose’s lifeofataco, what are some crucial skills to content creation, and how Jose’s professional portfolio helped prepare him for his current job. They also talk about the ever-changing landscape of monetization in the field of social media and how to balance the work grind with personal creative projects.
“The Price of Right… it’s been 51 years now. So I’m like, cool I just joined this old show. And then Let’s Make a Deal, it’s been 14 years now. I try to involve them. How do we make this more youthful? Even though they want to have a Dad vibe. That’s amazing. I love that. But how do we make this youthful for a young audience?” – Jose “Taco” Cruz
“I collaborate with some of the talent. Let’s do this. It would be so much fun. Sometimes it’s a hit, sometimes it’s a miss. But it’s honestly, we just have to do some of this fun stuff. What do we want to do? What do we want to get out of this” – Jose “Taco” Cruz
“So on TikTok, I started to just do, like everyone did, stupid videos, silly videos. And I’m like this is fine, it’s a cool new thing. And then TikTok introduced live. I never really went live on YouTube and I never really went live on Instagram because I never really saw the reason why. Why would people want to watch me? I’m just a boring guy. But then one day, I was like let’s try. I think I was just coloring on my live. And people were like, that’s really nice coloring. So I said, do you guys want to help? What color should be next? And I got engaged with a lot of these people watching.” – Jose “Taco” Cruz
“I personally would rather just cut the middle guy and just do it myself because I already know what I’m doing with the editing. So I don’t want to wait a couple hours for something that’s a minute to 90 seconds to be edited when I can just do it myself.” – Jose “Taco” Cruz
“No that’s a cool thing, too. Especially when you’re a content creator, you’re kind of doing it all. You’re writing a script for the video. You’re directing it yourself. You’re filming it yourself. You’re acting in it. You’re literally doing every single thing. How did we get here? How did we become all these things?” – Jose “Taco” Cruz
Highlights This Week:
- Jose and Mike talk about how Jose found himself in the world of social media producing, explaining how the combination of his personal interests in early social platforms like Instagram and YouTue with his professional experiences editing grew into a love for content creation.
- Jose breaks down how the pandemic and the rise of TikTok helped direct his focus on content creation and social media producing, which eventually led to a job at CBS.
- Jose and Mike discuss how Los Angeles remains a hub for film, television, and production work.
- Jose walks Mike through the process of making social posts for his shows. How do you present a show that’s over 50 years old on social platforms to younger audiences and still make it feel fresh and relevant?
- Jose explains how target demographics affect what social platforms his teams concentrate on and how to curate content for different platforms.
- Mike asks Jose to explain the unique challenges of social content producing compared to film and television, including immediate audience feedback and commentary.
- Jose and Mike discuss the type of social media they like engaging with and watching. Jose explains the FYP page and how TikTok curates content for its users. For Jose, interests include film and TV ships, cats and dogs, LGBTQ and Latinx communities, and Pokemon.
- Jose explains how he started engaging with people via lives on TikToks and how that’s continued to grow.
- Jose and Mike talk about the changing landscape of monetization in social media at large and in TikTok.
- Mike asks Jose what his long term plans and visions for his work in social media.
- Jose talks about how he balances his professional career with CBS content producing with his own content producing aspirations, including setting schedules and making healthy work-life boundaries.
- Jose talks about how editing skills, while not an absolute necessity, can be a fundamental tool to efficient, effective social media producing.
- Jose and Mike discuss how content creators must be a Jack of All Trades as well as the pros and cons of that.
- Jose explains how the many hats he wore while working for AwesomenessTV helped prepare him for the job he has now.
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