Behind the Scenes With Maria Perez

HP President Maria Perez Michael Duncan // The Miami Hurricane
HP President Maria Perez Michael Duncan // The Miami Hurricane
HP President Maria Perez

Entertainment at the University of Miami is in good, solid hands.

Senior Maria Perez, president of Hurricane Productions, orchestrates the array of on-campus entertainment provided at UM. She does not commit herself to the organization as a way to stamp her name on a project or bulk up her resume. Rather, Perez avidly devotes her talents to offer students an essential distraction from the tedious routine of classes, tests and papers.

With a major in motion pictures and international studies, Perez is interested in working in the programming and development of television shows for networks like Disney Channel and the CW. Her involvement in theatrical productions and competitions in high school spurred her zeal for entertainment.

Perez took on active roles at UM shortly after working at the Student Involvement Center her freshman and sophomore years. Not only is she currently a Resident Assistant for University Village and sister of Zeta Tau Alpha, she has also previously served as the Belly Bust chair for Rathskeller Advisory Board and treasurer for QuantUM.

Senior Mia Amato, the current chair of RAB, enjoyed working with Perez on the board last year.

“Her passion for life and her endeavors is refreshing and a pleasure to be around,” Amato said. “She is always in positive spirits and makes everyone around her happier. She is a very hard worker and manages to do everything she puts her mind to, and not only do it, but do it well.”

As chair of HP, Perez meets with other entertainment organizations to help generate event ideas and communicates with vendors outside of UM. She ensures the smooth execution of an event by lending her assistance at every point during the process from brainstorm to show time.

“I oversee it internally and externally, making sure we are marketing Hurricane Productions as a brand by co-sponsoring and getting the name out there,” Perez said.

HP encompasses special interest committees including Concerts, Patio Jams, QuantUM, Cinematic Arts Commission, Canes Night Live, Rathskeller Advisory Board, and Special Events. They also coordinate tailgates at the Rat, “Screen on the Green,” theater productions, and homecoming concerts, for example.

“I’m lucky to have such great committees because they are the ones who program all the events,” Perez said.

Her favorite part about HP is the fact that the organization is completely student-run.

“We are students programming for students,” she said. “We are getting real-world experience in college, giving back to the community, and seeing that students are enjoying events.”

Perez encourages students to take advantage of the events on campus. She said that HP ensures the quality of programming by targeting students’ needs and making the information accessible in many locations including their Web site

“For every event, I make sure that I would want to go to it,” Perez said.

“Dream big” are the words she lives by. As a highly motivated individual, she has advice for other students.

“Find out what you’re interested in and put your whole self into it,” she said. “Tell yourself you can do it- it is all in the realm of possibility.”