From Stage to TV: A Q&A with Sara Ramirez
How did Grey's Anatomy come about, and were you a fan prior to being cast?
I happened to be a huge fan of Grey's Anatomy during the time of the Spamalot insanity and, thanks to my agents and angels at ABC/Touchstone, I had several meetings as a result of their having attended the show. I then met with the fabulous Shonda Rhymes, the creator of Grey's Anatomy.
Tell us about your character on the show...
I can't say much except that I play Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Calliope Torres.
How do you approach creating a character for the screen versus the stage?
Well, in Spamalot I had music to initially guide me. Then I had great performers to play off of in front of geniuses behind closed doors and, later, 1500 people a night. The more I trusted Mr. Nichols to really BE The Lady of the Lake rather than SHOW I was being her, the more I was able to discover about her. On Television, you don't get that instant reaction from the viewer but I happen to work with an incredibly gifted and supportive group of people who've written provocative storylines and complex lovable characters. Ultimately their feedback is gold.
What's different now about your daily routine? Are you still vocalizing?
My life is much more relaxed on the West Coast – I will say that. I'm nowhere near the shape I was in vocally, but I do work in the studio every now and then.
Is the cast aware of your Broadway and Tony-winning background?
Yes, I think some are.
What's it like watching yourself on TV?
Watching myself on TV is a combination of trying to learn from watching how my work translates, feeling a bit disconnected cause I now know the mystery behind the making of the show, and thinking "PULL BACK!". I've decided that as educational as it might be sometimes, I'm gonna wait to watch the rest of the season when it comes out on DVD. It's just easier to go to work without all the silly judgements I have in the back of my head.