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Maria Papadakis is an Emmy Award winning Philadelphia personality, media contributor, and spokeswoman. Her Philly.com video segment, Out and About, highlights Philadelphia's most exciting social events. Learn more about Maria below.
Most people describe you as: Easy going, outgoing, passionate, determined, goofy, silly, a good friend, entertaining, and a leader when necessary.
People would be surprised to know that: My favorite piece of clothing is my ripped acid wash jeans. I’m a sci-fi and comic nerd. I’ve repelled off a wall in Fort Bragg. I’m a country girl at heart, was in a band, have been to Mt. Everest, and I once interviewed the Dalai Lama.
What is your drink of choice? Shots of espresso to handle my lack of sleep. Sometimes there is just not enough caffeine in a 16 oz. coffee!
Where is your happy place? Disney World. I had to grow up fast so it’s nice to revert to the kid basics sometimes and feel ten again. Also anywhere outdoors: the beach or the mountains.
What is your biggest regret? My first inclination was I don’t have any regrets - the choices you make help you grow. But then I thought of my Dad and his battle with lung cancer. It kills more than prostate, breast, pancreatic, and colon cancers combined yet it is the least funded for research. I regret not having known more about the disease. Maybe if there had been more research or awareness on the subject his outcome would have been different. And I regret not knowing better how to help with his medical care.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I live life to the fullest every day, but I’d like to be better at moderation sometimes. The best way to describe how I view life is how I reacted to my first pool party when I was 6. Instead of changing into my bathing suit, I pushed all the adults aside and jumped in the pool with my clothes on. I always jump head first into all I do!
What do you consider your greatest achievement? It’s not a single moment, but the continuous opportunity to meet people from all walks of life and hear their stories. It makes me feel like I get to live a thousand life times and be a part of so many different experiences. Having someone willing to share their life or a story with me is so humbling and an honor. My favorite thing in the world is a great story.
Which trait do you most value in another person? Compassion, being non-judgmental, and I admire people who never give up in the face of adversity.
If you could interview anyone, past or present, who would it be? I would say Alexander the Great. He conquered the world on his own by 32 years old and left a lasting mark on cultures that we still see today. I would love to know what was going through his mind, to hear about the incredible sites he saw across continents, and to learn how he persevered.
Favorite movie? Forrest Gump. The first time I saw it I was 10 years old and every time I’ve seen it since I always feel inspired afterwards. You feel every possible emotion from that movie and walk away feeling good. I also love the Green Mile, I guess I’m a Tom Hanks fan!
What TV show is currently your DVR/On Demand obsession? Breaking Bad, The Neighbors (greatest new comedy), and Sherlock Holmes on the BBC. Holmes has some of the best writing I’ve seen on television in ages.
What is your guilty pleasure? Chocolate cake and icing. I could subsist off of that.
The worst thing anyone said or did to you is: When I was in kindergarten a little boy told me he wanted to stab me. I think it was his version of trying to pull my hair?
I believe in: miracles but I just don’t try to schedule them.
What is your motto or inspiration? Don’t let fear prevent you from living the life you want. And then there are the Papadakis Laws my dad came up with:
1. Learn from the mistakes of others, you’ll never live long enough to make them all yourself.
2. If you can’t beat them, join them, and then beat them.
3. When given a choice, take both.
4. Patience is a virtue, but persistence to the point of success is a blessing.
5. If it’s worth doing, it’s got to be done right now.
6. Multiple projects lead to multiple successes
If you could go back in time where would you go? To the time of Cleopatra in 69 BC. It was such a turning point in history. I would have loved to have been a spectator through all the excitement of Ancient Egypt, Rome, and the beginning of a new world.