'SuperLatina' Gabriela Natale Takes Her Talk Show Nationwide, Shares Her Own Immigration Story
Argentine-born TV host and entrepreneur Gabriela Natale spoke enthusiastically during her interview with Latin Post, and for good reason. Just two days prior, her TV talk show "SuperLatina" went national, reaching 43 markets throughout the United States and Puerto Rico.
While Natale has enjoyed incredible success over the past several years, the start of her career was anything but easy. In 2001, the Argentine economic crisis and rising unemployment rate, 24 percent according to Natale, forced her to come to the United States.
"I remember that I was doing the job interviews to get a job and when I went to the interviews, the editors from magazines, publications or TV stations, would say 'You're coming here for a job and today I have to fire half my staff.' So it was a very tough situation at the moment, and I was unemployed for a little bit over a year," Natale said.
During that year, she said she freelanced and also volunteered at a conference with professors from George Washington University. Natale said she was embarrassed to attend the conference but advice from her mother pushed her to go anyway.
"I remember I talked to my mom, and I said, 'I don't know if I should go or not. They are not paying me anything. It's going to be humiliating because I'm going to be seeing everybody that graduated with me and I'm going to be a helper and they are going to be attending actually this place,'" Natale said.
"And my mom told me, 'You know what, go put on your best clothes on, smile, do a good job and pretend they are paying you a million dollars a second because you never know when an opportunity is going to knock on your door.'"
It turned out her mother was right. Natale said an opportunity to translate for the attending American professors fell into her lap when a translator didn't show up at the conference. Those same professors would later send her translator jobs and other freelance work. A year later, Natale found herself with a job offer in Washington D.C.
The award winning TV host told Latin Post she ultimately decided to stay in the U.S. because there were better job opportunities and because of her desire to be part of the changes the Hispanic community was undergoing.
While getting to the U.S. was no easy task, remaining in the country and becoming an American citizen proved to be just as arduous. According to Natale, she arrived in the U.S. with an H-1B visa, which allows professional foreign workers to be temporarily employed by American companies.
However, Natale said an employer took advantage of her limited visa status, forcing her and her husband to seek other options. This led to the couple's first application to stay long-term under the EB-3 visa for professional workers.
Due to a backlog in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the couple was forced to begin anew with a second application under the EB-2 visa for professional workers with master's degrees. When that also failed due to backlog, the two began a third application under the EB-1 visa for professionals that have "extraordinary abilities."
Unlike the previous two visa applications, Natale explained that she and her husband were able to self-petition their application for the EB-1 visa. A slight hiccup in the background check stage of the visa application aside, Natale and her husband were finally approved. Natale called the green card's approval the couple's "ticket to freedom."
After several years as a green card holder, Natale became a U.S. citizen last year.
"It was very important for me [to become a citizen]," Natale said. "I consider myself a part of this country. I am a part of this country. I have been living here for over 10 years. I hire people. Pay my taxes. I create content, thinking about people living in this country. So I want to participate," she said.
Natale has definitely used her time in the States to make her mark both in the media world and in the Hispanic community. The entrepreneur and TV host is not only co-founder and president of her own marketing company, AGANAR Media, but is also the owner of her show's TV rights.
She told Latin Post she credits getting her green card for providing her with the push she needed to start her own company. Natale said she enjoys being in charge of her own show and knowing she can pursue the stories she wants without dealing with editors.
"SuperLatina," which has been on the air for seven years, premiered nationally in 43 markets July 5. The special series of the show, called "Lo Mejor de SuperLatina," will air interviews with high-profile Latino celebrities on Vme TV.
Some of Natale's favorite interviews, including those with reggaeton singer-songwriter Don Omar and Mexican actor and director Eugenio Derbez, will be featured on the national program. Despite being known for her celeb interviews, Natale noted that she has also used her show to highlight different immigration stories, including those of DREAMERs.
Natale said the response to the national program has been "really great" and that she has received positive feedback from new viewers. She added, "It's amazing. We do the show with a lot of love and to know that people are enjoying it and in other cities, it's a dream come true."