When WCNY engaged Rosemary "Rosie" Taravella as its VicePresident of Corporate Advancement, it truly got more than it had bargained for. Rosie, experienced in arts management and fundraising, was also a seasoned actress. Therefore, she could double as talent, as we saw her on-air over the holidays, promoting WCNY's New Year's event, "The Party."
Originally from Central New York, actually making her stage debut at Marcellus' KC Heffernan grammar school - complete with a costume disaster - Rosie persevered and ended up on the West Coast. First, to study acting in college at San Diego, then working in and around Hollywood as a character actor, a writer, a producer and even a wedding singer.
"I got to kiss Tony Danza," she said, adding that he is very underestimated as an actor and great to work with. For example, on project, each week he would give each of the actresses flowers.
She said younger people will sometimes recognize her, as she played characters in "Who's the Boss," "Full House" and "Married with Children" between 1990 and 2000. She was also in the mini series, "Sinatra," where she got to speak Italian.
She moved from acting, into writing and producing.
"I liked having a bit more control," she said. One of her scripts, "The Wives," was produced as a play. It was directed by Charles Nelson Riley, who had been her acting teacher.
Another of her scripts, "Carlos' Wake," was made into an independent film, which starred Martin Landau and Rita Marino.
Rosie said although she made a living, it was always a struggle and really actors don't have a lot of say in a production.
"It was fun when you were working," she said, "really fun on the set."
The whole field changed with the advent of reality TV as has often been reported. There were just fewer opportunities, and while producing plays, Rosie learned a lot about arts management.