BWW Interviews: Actor and QVC Host Rick Domeier


Anyone who watches the television shopping networks is familiar with QVC's Rick Domeier. The self-proclaimed "Captain Midnight" is usually on in the late night hours and has more energy than a classroom full of kindergartners. His staccato laugh can be likened to the tommy guns that are seen in gangster movies, only Domeier isn't shooting down thugs with his laugh; he's setting sales records-and winning the hearts of millions of women in the process. He jokes with people who call in to testify about their purchases, he trades quips with Joan Rivers as he sits beside her during jewelry shows, he dances his goofy dance steps to the delight of his viewers and he shows genuine compassion to a woman on the phone who breaks down in tears when talking about the recent demise of her pet dog. At all times he is what Business 2.0 Magazine calls "a whirlwind of energy."

It's hard to believe that Domeier is an actor with quite a background in Shakespeare and the classics. Well, maybe it's not that hard to believe, because it's not uncommon for him to make allusions to F. Scott Fitzgerald, Tennessee Williams or even the Bard himself as he sells jewelry, home décor, clothing or garden equipment. After watching the man in action, one quickly realizes that he's quite intelligent, well-read and still has a penchant for the performing arts. Oh yes, he's very good-looking, too. His blond hair sets off his blue eyes and the whitest of white teeth. And that physique of his is amply displayed when he demonstrates workout equipment so that people on various message boards post comments that would normally be reserved for the likes of Brad Pitt or Jake Gyllenhaal.

Talking by phone from Pennsylvania, Domeier is quite a conversationalist. He's relaxed and enjoying the whole experience. The native of New Ulm, Minnesota has been giving more than his share of interviews lately as he's the author of a new book called "Can I Get a Do Over?" The book, co-authored by Max Davis, has been selling like hotcakes on Amazon.Com and receiving very favorable notices from critics. Actually, Rick Domeier's a fun guy to talk to.

An athlete in his high school years, Domeier played quarterback for Cathedral High School's football team. "For me to be Cathedral Greyhounds' star athlete wasn't all that huge an accomplishment. I don't want to underplay my school, but I don't want to over- embellish my athletic prowess, either. I was quite a party guy in high school, too!" He quickly adds, "I also played basketball and baseball in my freshman and sophomeore years. I guess you could say I played the classic sports."

Rarely do high school athletes find themselves in a position where they consider a career in the performing arts as Domeier did. "When I think about it," he reflects," It was all about Tom Sawyer. It was a middle school play for sixth, seventh and eighth graders. I was in eighth grade and we did an operetta version of Tom Sawyer. There was singing involved...there was bashful singing and I was Tom. That was everything. I'm sure that's a time when many performers get the sense that they're the performer and then there's the audience. There was that separation between the two. Of course there was the applause. That was good, too. I liked that. I really liked that. Looking back now, whether it was acting or speech class, sports, public speaking , dancing in front of a camera, acting on stage or QVC; to me they're all different versions of the same thing. I heard a great phrase one time; it was from the late David Viscount-- the first radio psychiatrist who had been parodied on "Saturday Night Live". He was an incredible guy and was known for the phrase that answers the question ‘What are your gifts?' If the purpose of life is to realize the gifts you've been given and the meaning comes from returning those gifts, then ‘What are your gifts?' That's pretty much what I've been searching for. What are the gifts I'm giving back? I guess there's some sense of wanting to express in some way. I think that's manifested itself through the years. It's manifested itself in performing in sports, performing in plays, learning, performing and acting in films." The show host continues, "When I was knocking in LA, looking at how I could continue to do that and maybe make a buck doing it, is where QVC came into play. That was 17 years ago."

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Joe Panarello is one of those people who have most certainly been born with theater in their blood. As an actor, Joe has played such varied roles as Harry Roat in Frederick Knott's Wait Until Dark, Jimmy Smith in No, No Nanette and Lazer Wolf in Fiddler on the Roof a vehicle he's performed in several times and designed the sets for on one occasion. He's also directed productions of Thornton Wilder's Our Town, Neil Simon's Barefoot in the Park and Henrich Ibsen's Peer Gynt. Joe is a respected author and although his latest work, The Authoritative History of Corduroy won't be published until this summer, it is already being translated into several different languages by a group of polyglot nuns in Tormento, Italy.. The proceeds from their labors will go to the restoration of the nearby Cathedral of Gorgonzola.

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