Nathalia Ramos may be the ultimate multitasker. The University of Southern California 19-year-old junior appears to lead a fairly typical life as a college student until you ask her what she did when she took off a semester of school.
She went and lived in Liverpool, England, and starred in the second season of the hit Nickelodeon show House of Anubis. Talk about an amazing semester abroad. “Juggling school and acting is hectic,” she says. “But I love it.”
House of Anubis, based on a Dutch show, was the first Nickelodeon live-action program filmed overseas. The storyline centers on the life of teenage American transplant Nina Martin as she discovers the secrets that surround her new boarding school, all while dealing with normal teenage issues.
A Harry-Potter-meets-ancient-Egypt story, mysterious disappearances and strange circumstances cause Nina to form a secret group at school whose mission it is to figure out the dark secrets the school holds.
With its mature and dramatic nature, the show is a departure from the typical sitcom-esque shows aimed at tweens. The unique storyline of the show has attracted quite an audience: last year’s premiere ranked No. 1 in its demographic during its time slot.
While the character of Nina may have to deal with lies and long-held secrets, Ramos’ life at sunny USC is a world away from rainy Liverpool. At USC, Ramos does not study ancient Egyptian artifacts, but instead studies political science, a departure from Ramos’s roots.
With both parents working in the music industry, “I was always the little kid dancing on tables and performing for people. Acting was a natural progression,” she remarks. “It was the politics [that] came later that I didn’t really expect.”
With a love for politics, Ramos hopes to one day follow a humanitarian route and possibly be an ambassador for the UN. Her role models include Kate Blanchett and Angelina Jolie, who she looks up to for her acting chops and aid work.
She also hopes to inspire the young tween and teen demographic that watches her on House of Anubis. “The fact that you have a name and people know who you are and know your work is such a privilege and an honor,” Ramos asserts. “I would like to use that to tell … young people who may not really know what is going on in the world, or who … want to make things changes but don’t know how, [that they can] get involved in issues that are close to their heart.”
With big dreams, Ramos knows how important an education is. “I want to set a good example for young people who may be struggling to pursue their passions and follow their dreams,” she says. “I want to show that you can do it all.”
She knows first hand that it can be difficult to juggle both, but still wants others to know that staying in school “won’t damage [any] future plans. I want to emphasize the importance of staying in school and getting an education, and then go from there.”
Switching from the importance of education to her personal endeavors, Ramos remarks how USC is the ultimate way to keep her grounded. “There is nothing like walking into class with 200 other people and being told you have a 12-page paper to write.”
Although she does get recognized from time to time, her anonymity might be a plus. She commented, “College kids don’t really watch my show, which may or may not be a good thing. It’s not really for their demographic.”
Ramos has a future as bright as the sunny California sun she studies under. She knows what she wants and is going for it, no matter what world – imaginary or real – that she’s in.