I grew up in Plant City. I had to cross counties to go to Harrison. I feel like Lakeland is my second home. I grew up going to church in Lakeland, and many of my friends were from Lakeland. It is an incredible community.
Charleene Closshey is a graduate of the Harrison School of the Arts in Lakeland. This summer she stars in the film No Postage Necessary.
No Postage Necessary is a high-profile indie romantic comedy with select nationwide theater showings.
Closshey pursued a bachelor of science in marketing and exercise science at Florida Southern College. She then continued her artistic education at The Juilliard School, New York University, and Berklee College of Music in dramatic acting, musical theater, and musical studies. She is an actress, producer, composer, and musician. She is also a classically trained violinist and is trained in Kenpo Karate, performing her own stunts on screen.
Closshey composed the score for Feather: A Musical Portrait that made its U.S. premiere Off-Broadway in 2013. She made her debut on Broadway in the Tony Award-winning musical Once in 2014.
Closshey has played violin with other artists, including Josh Groban, the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and Frank Sinatra Jr.; she’s even dueled fiddles with the legendary Charlie Daniels.
“I grew up in Plant City. I had to cross counties to go to Harrison. I feel like Lakeland is my second home. I grew up going to church in Lakeland, and many of my friends were from Lakeland. It is an incredible community. I also attended college in Lakeland [at] Florida Southern College,” says Closshey.
The Lakelander had the opportunity to interview Charleen on the red carpet at the Tampa premier for No Postage Necessary:
How did you feel like those experiences prepared you for this role in No Postage Necessary?
Without a doubt, I think every life experience as an actor absolutely prepares you for the characters that you have an opportunity to create. Any time that we are able to gain perspective of the world around us, of people around us, it absolutely strengthens and brightens the characters we are able to bring to life through whatever medium – stage, screen, whatever.
What was your favorite part about this role? Did you feel like there were challenges you had to overcome as you tried to understand and develop the character of Josie?
Absolutely. It is very easy to create a character with whom you share similar perspectives and life experiences. This particular character, Josie, was a war widow and single mother: two very strong influencing factors that I’ve never experienced. So there is a greater deal of analysis, observation, and contemplation to be able to go into actually creating this character and who this woman is, truthfully and honestly. And you always have your own spin.
If you had one piece of advice for Harrison and Florida Southern students, what would it be?
Keep creating; don’t stop. If someone tells you no, smile, nod, and say, okay thank you. Figure out what you might be able to learn from any situation. Adversity is growth, so embrace any adversity or challenge and grow from it. Don’t be discouraged. Discouragement just stops you.
I read a great quote today and I absolutely loved it:
“As soon as you say something is impossible it has become impossible.” – Bruce Lee
Realize your dreams by always saying yes.