Newcastle actress appears in Qwest commercial

June 5, 2008

By Jim Feehan

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While she’s still looking forward to a plum movie role, Carmela Ramaglia won’t turn her nose up at doing a commercial. The Newcastle actress recently appeared in one for Qwest.

“What’s fun about any commercial is when they air, friends I haven’t talked to in a really long time will call me and say, ‘I saw you on TV,'” she said.

In the commercial, Ramaglia is selecting among the phone, Internet and cable options available from the telecommunications company in what appears to be a grocery store. The set in Seattle where the commercial was filmed in February was entirely green and the images were computer generated.

“Every thing was digital and everything was make believe,” she said.

Last summer, Ramaglia’s agent told her to head to Hollywood immediately in advance of an anticipated writer’s strike.

“Everybody was trying to have projects in productions and have them completed before the writer’s strike,” she said. “I went down there and that was so not the case.”

Production companies were not ramping up projects. The agent said she’d be called out to one or two auditions daily, but it never came to pass. Instead, Ramaglia took acting and Pilates classes.

Breaking into Hollywood is incredibly competitive. While Lana Turner’s discovery at Schwab’s Drug Store has become one of Hollywood’s most enduring show-business legends, in reality, it comes down to who you know and fostering show business connections,.

“Only 2 percent of people registered with the Screen Actors Guild make a living as an actor,” she said. “So, everybody has to have a day job, unless you’re an A-list movie star. So, if I have to have a day job, I’ll have it here.”

Newcastle has been her home for the past 26 years.

After graduating from Hazen High School, Ramaglia attended Gonzaga University, where she earned degrees in economics and Italian. She returned to Seattle and performed in a number of theater groups in the area. In 1992, she landed a national commercial for Humana Hospital. She said four words in the commercial was paid $15,000. She also has appeared in advertisements for Microsoft. She made $4,000 for the Qwest commercial. In that commercial, she was cast as a mother.

“This is actually the second time I’ve been cast as a mom,” she said. “Rather than it be weird that I’m going out for a mom is being cast to play college age, because in my mind, I am so not college age.”

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