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This city is perhaps the most specialized venue for the ongoing weather-babe wars, where there is ample room for not one but two sexy, hot Filipina weathercasters. Channel 13’s Maria Quiban is actually Loresca’s good friend and mentor. When Loresca was still in school at Cal State Fullerton and making her way through various local cable stations (she also wrote obituaries for a time at the Orange County Register), she interned at the Orange County News channel, where she learned the ropes from Quiban, who would explain stuff while she assembled each day’s weather graphics.
During her tour of duty in Miami, Loresca covered four hurricane seasons, including the one that brought Hurricane Katrina. It was thrilling, she says, having come from the West Coast and never experiencing such torrential winds before, with waves crashing against the seawall and hitting everyone from the hip up. Her station was on the bay and she reported those storms from outside, a cameraman holding her down and a cord lashed around her waist so she wouldn’t get blown away. Glamour went out the window with Hurricane Wilma.
Loresca’s personal weather tastes are more conservative. She prefers a languorous June gloom — morning fog with clouds that start to strip away by afternoon to a slow reveal of hazy sun.
Her personal lifestyle choices are more conservative as well. When the party kids are stumbling out of bars, she is waking up at her usual 1:45 a.m. She was at work today by 2:45 a.m., when she read the National Weather Service report, checked to see if the highs and lows she gave the day before were accurate, checked how they compared historically and if any cities would be breaking temperature records. She was in makeup by 4 a.m., had taped her first weathercast by 4:45, a “gas-cast” for the Shell gas-station pumps, and at 4:58 a.m., she went live on Today in L.A.
In her opinion, people seem to notice more how she does the weather, not how she looks. “I’ve never been a showy-showy-showy person,” she says. “If I come off being a little rrarrr!” — she shoots a naughty, hypersexual look — “it’s one thing. But if I come off like the girl next door, I think that makes more of an impression. I like to give it to you nice and basic. I don’t try to confuse you by using big words that I would never use with my 3-year-old nephew. Doing the weather is like a soap opera. If viewers love you, they’re gonna keep you around. They’re not gonna kill you off.” It’s safe to say that her viewers, who range in age from 2 years old to 100, would tune in to watch her read a grocery list.
Yet at the family baby shower she went to this weekend, the prevailing comment was, “Oh my gosh, you look so skinny in person. On TV you are so taba,” which means “fat” in Tagalog.
“I was blessed with a full moon,” she countered with a happy sigh. “A little round face. You have to love what the Lord gave you. If I look 10 pounds heavier on television than I do in person, so be it.”
“But why you diet?” said the aunts, imploring her, in that Filipino way of saying hello, to eat, eat.
“Thank you,” said Loresca, yielding to yet another photo with the relatives, who love to take pictures. “But I can only have one fried chicken, not 10.”
Keeping It Real: Mark Thompson
Mark Thompson’s first audition as a weathercaster happened a long time ago, on a boat in a marina with a surprised lady who opened up a can of whoop ass on him because she couldn’t figure out why he was on her boat. He was a young buck then and had never been on camera, and on top of that, the station had neglected to secure her permission. But he went with the flow and ad-libbed some funny stuff.