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He chased Betty White around a wrestling ring while swinging a mace. He’s played a Viking, a lumberjack and a half-man, half-jackal. And he has the honor of being the only actor to appear in seven Super Bowl commercials, most notably playing a man in a wedding dress eating Doritos.


Pretty heady stuff for a guy from Milwaukie.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Milwaukie actor Cazzey Cereghino, right, dresses as a pro-wrestler for a recent commercial. The Super Bowl commercial was filmed with another actor named Kphu Shameer.But that is not all Cazzey Cereghino has accomplished. He plays nine instruments, has written hundreds of songs and several screenplays, and his first major novel has just been published.

Cereghino, 36, graduated from Clackamas High School in 1997, but his ties go deeper than that: His family has owned a farm on Lake Road since 1908.

He was a multisport athlete in high school, playing football and running track, and was on the cross-country, track and wrestling teams.

PHOTO BY: ELLEN SPITALERI - On tour through Milwaukie by motorcycle, Cazzey Cereghino holds his latest novel, '116* Days With Dad.'So how did a sports guy end up with a career in show business?

He didn’t exactly know that he was going to have a future in the entertainment industry, he said, but he did know he loved to sing, so after high school he moved to Nashville, Tenn.

He stayed there from 1998 to 2000, but the country and gospel scene wasn’t a good fit for him, so in 2000 he moved to Los Angeles. For a while Cereghino traveled the world, playing solo gigs.

“But then I kept meeting people in the modeling and entertainment industries, and they kept offering me work,” he said.

Because he always has been a storyteller, he then began writing screenplays, but soon realized how much work it takes to bring something like that to fruition, and he disliked the fact that other people made changes to his work.

So then Cereghino began writing novels, but soon discovered that he needed an agent to sell them. Finally, after three years as an agency intern, a literary agent read one of Cereghino’s novels, and advised him to keep writing and to focus on “adventuring.”

And adventuring was right up Cereghino’s alley.

“I’ve been to the South and North Pole, and I went on a mission trip to Africa,” he said.

‘Worst job’

Nothing was as adventurous as Cereghino’s stint on a fishing boat.

“I went to Alaska, and it turned into a great story. At first, I thought it was the worst job in the world. You have no time off, and you spend 18 to 22 hours a day waist deep in fish blood and guts,” he said.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Cazzey Cereghino, a graduate of Clackamas High School, dressed in bear skin and traveled to Alaska to take his professional actor's head shot that his agent uses to submit him for lumberjack roles.“Then when you get on shore there are all these bears, and you stink like fish.”

Cereghino decided to stick it out for six weeks, and told himself he was never going back.

However, he realized he had developed a camaraderie with his fishing buddies, and one by one they started to go back for the season.

To make a long story short, Cereghino went back to the fishing boat for seven more years.

Latest novel

His latest novel, published by Black Hills Press, is “based loosely on my experience commercial fishing. The captain in the story is a mixture of my dad and the captain I worked for in Alaska,” he said.

Cereghino has written other novels, but this is the first one to be picked up by a major publishing house. He said fishing enthusiasts and people who like stories about adventure will enjoy the book.

The main character in “116* Days With Dad” is “kind of me in my early 20s; everything my dad wanted me to do, I wanted to do the opposite.”

Walter is a young man who is now an environmental lawyer; he has sworn off Alaska and fishing and distanced himself from his father, who is a construction worker and commercial fisherman.

The one thing the two men have in common is baseball, and when Walter has to stay in Alaska for a while, that’s the only thing they can talk about.

The title comes from the summer of 2001, when Cereghino was stuck at home in Milwaukie, and he and his father spent time together watching the Seattle Mariners play.

In 2001 the Mariners won 116 games; that was an American League record for single-season wins and tied the Major League record set by the Chicago Cubs in 1906. But because of the difference in games played per season in 2001 and 1906, the Mariners record is noted with an asterisk, Cereghino said.

‘Grimm’

Although Cereghino has appeared in some movies and many commercials, his favorite acting experience is playing Harold “Big” Johnson, a half-man, half-jackal, or “schakal,” who debuted in “The Grimm Who Stole Christmas,” in December 2014.

“I enjoyed that more than anything else because I got to do it here in Portland. I could go home and see my family, while working on a national TV show,” he said.

And that brings Cereghino to some “realistic” advice for those who want a career in the entertainment industry.

“If you want to follow this career path, you have to realize it’s more a lifestyle choice than a career. You have to choose between family and other activities. You have to make it a priority above having children and getting married,” he said.

He added, “There are a million people in the industry and there are 8,000 jobs. If you turn one down, other people will do it.”

To learn more about Cazzey Cereghino and see his acting reel, visit his website at cazzey.com. To purchase his novel, visit the Black Hills Press website at 1888.center/bhp.

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