It Took Sara Ramirez Kind of a While to Get Her Big Break

Sara Ramirez

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At this week’s premiere of new Broadway musical In the Heights, about a Latino community living in Washington Heights, Grey’s Anatomy (and former Spamalot) star Sara Ramirez was rapturously plotting her return to Broadway. “This show makes me want to come back!” she told Intel. “It was beautiful! I know Manuel [Lin-Manuel Miranda, the writer and star] is going to be busy for a long time with the success of this show. But I gotta tell ya, I want him to write me something! That’s who I’m calling.” We’re sure he’d take her call. Ramirez has come a long way from the ten-by-sixteen room she used to rent on the West Side, back when she was a recent Columbia grad and struggling actress. “It was the servants’ quarters on the top floor of a brownstone,” she said of her digs back then. “I think it was five rooms with a bathroom which we all shared.” And by “we all” she didn’t mean a bunch of cute, young twentysomethings. “There was a couple that was like 90 years old down the hallway, who had lived there for 40 years. There was a fridge out in the hallway. I had a loft bed and a sink, a tiny little closet, and a window that looked out onto a brick wall. I’m not exaggerating at all. It was $400 a month. What are you gonna do, hello? It builds your character when you live a lot less.” We’ll say! And anyway it’s not like she stayed there that long. Success was just around the corner! Right? Actually, no. “I lived there for about eight years,” Sara qualified. So hold on to your dreams, readers. It could happen to you, too. —Justin Ravitz