OFFBEAT: Lowell grad turned PR maven at next week's Oscars

Phil Potempa's daily entertainment news column
2013-02-17T00:00:00Z OFFBEAT: Lowell grad turned PR maven at next week's OscarsBy Philip Potempa, (219) 852-4327

There's no question publicist Daphne Ortiz is always surrounded by fun, excitement and fame.

Ortiz, the daughter of Rebecca and Richard Ortiz of Griffith, grew up in Northwest Indiana and is a 1990 graduate of Lowell High School.

The last time we chatted, she was surrounded by Australia's all-male dance revue Thunder From Down Under, the big hit touring company which has made audiences swoon at the Stardust Event Center at Blue Chip Casino, Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, as well as a long summer run from Memorial Day to Labor Day at Chicago's Crobar nightclub in 2010.

Ortiz, and her PR know-how has served the group well as their tour publicist. And when the internationally acclaimed Las Vegas- based male troupe decided to call Windy City home for an extended summer gig in 2011, Ortiz had plenty of time to visit family and friends in Northwest Indiana.

"These guys have all the charm and personality that goes right along with their good looks," said Ortiz, who divides her time between Chicago and Los Angeles running her own public relations firm, Alliance PR.

"Their show is an entertaining experience for some fun escape."

This month, Ortiz is about to experience something that's even new to her for her "seen-it-all career."

"I'm working the arrivals press line at Oscars and I'm so excited," she told me last week.

"I'm on the official host committee, therefore I get to get dressed up and escort the big names down the red carpet. It is the only show I’ve NOT been too while living in LA."

She said so many young girls, who are daughters of her friends back home in Lowell, always want talk to about celebrities and hear stories. And now, she's sure to have plenty new to share.

"I was telling a few others in the PR field back in Chicago and they said they think I'm one of the few PR people who also has a Chicago presence going to Oscars to help work the red carpet arrivals," she said.

The 85th Annual Academy Awards are next Sunday, Feb. 24, so we'll be watching for Daphne as she strolls the famed red carpet.

And will she have one of the gents from Thunder Down Under on her arm that day?

She's not saying.

But as someone who grew-up in the Midwest, she admits a big part of her job representing the men from "Thunder Down Under" is explaining what the show is "really" about.

"It's much more of a cabaret style of show with the guys showing off great looking bodies and costumes that help create the atmosphere for a fun night out," she said.

Depending on her date, it might be a question of what he's not wearing, rather than "who he's wearing," that latter being Joan Rivers' favorite question while pumping celebs for info at the award shows.

Showed up

Reader Gail Kowalski of Hammond called me to correct a line in my column from last Thursday about soap opera actress Marj Dusay. I hinted that she might be courted to join the CBS "Bold and the Beautiful" to play a mother to characters Phyllis and Avery. However, as Kowalski clarified, these are actually characters from the sister soap opera "The Young and the Restless." Both shows were created by William J. Bell and Lee Phillip Bell for CBS.

The opinions expressed are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 852-4327.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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