By the time actress Charleene Closshey is done starring in her first feature film., she will have lived Christmas all year long.
“An Evergreen Christmas” is a holiday-themed dramedy that will start shooting in February. It is set to release Christmas 2013.
“It’s my favorite time of year, and I’m so happy that my first feature film is a Christmas film,” Closshey says.
Closshey describes the movie as a “Sweet Home Alabama Meets” and “A Wonderful Life.” From the producers of “Hit and Run,” the film is expected to premier as a TV movie. It follows an aspiring musician who returns to her small hometown after her father dies.
A triple threat, not only can Closshey act, but also she is a musician and composer, making her a perfect fit for the part of the vivacious musician.
“That’s one of the things that is so intriguing about this character,” Closshey says. “She’s a musician. Like any artist, she’s trying to find her voice. Without that journey, as an artist, you’re just recreating not creating something new.”
If all goes according to the script, in the opening scene, Closshey will be playing the violin. In the closing scene, she will be leading a Christmas carol on the piano. The movie contains original and seasonal music.
“We’ve really got an amazing team on the project,” Closshey says. “It’s really a stellar team of songwriters and producers.
This isn’t Closshey’s first experience with performing.
In 2012, she spent the summer in Australia working on a theatrical show, “Feather,” which had its world debut in Queensland at The J Noosa. Originally called “Catharsis,” the show is performed in a style that has never been done before. Each show benefits a charity. One person from the charity is selected to have their story told and performed on-stage. Furthermore, an artist from New Guinea paints that person’s portrait in the middle of the performance.
Closshey produced, starred and wrote the music for the performance. She directed the mood of the scenes with musical compositions she also improvised at times.
“You have the freedom to create in that moment, similar to the visual art,” she says. “You never know what you’re going to get, which is exhilarating.”
Closshey hopes that the performance will make its American debut on Broadway at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, in July. If not, the show was invited back to Australia for a tour.
Closshey works at a fiery pace. She wrote the music for “Feather” in just three weeks. Before that, she was commissioned in May 2012, to compose a yoga album for the 13th Annual Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology. It took her one week to make the music flow into an album called “Glimpse.”
Closshey also scored her first short film, “Walking with Francis,” in one month. The film, about the life of St. Francis Assisi, premiered in Italy and will be distributed by the Vatican.
“That’s the beauty of faith and connectivity,” Closshey says. “I’m not even Catholic, but good story and message transcends presets that humans have.”
BORN TO PERFORM
Closshey has been telling stories since she was a red-headed infant on the packaging of Northern Bathroom Tissue. She attended the Harrison Center for Performing Arts, in Lakeland. She purposefully chose not to go to conservatory after high school and instead obtained degrees in marketing management and exercise science from Florida Southern College, in Lakeland.
“I didn’t want performing beaten into me,” Closshey says. “I wanted to have the freedom of exploration. I didn’t want it to be a job.”
But Closshey came back to singing and acting. She performed as a violinist during a Josh Groban tour and shared the stage with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Frank Sinatra Jr. She continued her artistic education at both Circle in the Square Theater School in New York City and with Juilliard’s Dalcroze studies.
Other theatrical performances include “A Thousand Cuts,” a television pilot, “Terminal Kill” and a variety of other feature and short-film appearances.
“I love being in a position where I can connect with people and connect people with people — whether that’s marketing or acting,” Closshey says.