By Samantha Krevolin
When asked the classic question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” most children admit that they aspire to become an actor/actress. They watch TV shows and movies, and they hope that one day they will be on the big screen. They also dream to be the person on Disney Channel making the Mickey Mouse sign and saying “I’m [insert your name] and you’re watching Disney Channel.” As hard as this dream is to accomplish, Charlie Cohen, a junior at Byram Hill High School, was on Disney Channel herself. She is a fantastic singer, talented actress, and performer in the high school’s plays.
Charlie is like most teenage girls in the way that she loves to hang out with her friends and go shopping. However, one quality that makes her so unique is the incredible experience she had acting for Disney Channel. In 2009, Charlie had the opportunity to be Lisa in the TV show Gaspard and Lisa. Gaspard and Lisa was an animated cartoon about two dogs, Gaspard and Lisa live in France and go on adventures together. Throughout the show, the characters try to teach their viewers how to come up with solutions to problems, and new vocabulary terms for kids to learn both in English and French. Charlie’s catchlines for Lisa were “Catastrophe!” and “Triumph!” Fun Fact: Before Charlie was an actress on this show, it aired in England. This show aired on Disney Junior for two years, and many people were able to witness her unbelievable talents in the over 50 episodes produced. She was also asked to play some of the minor roles on the animated cartoon including Lisa’s younger sister. She has amazing memories of her time recording. Charlie recalls how the show has impacted her life, claiming that since it was her “first glimpse into how the industry works,” and it continues to benefit her today by teaching her “how to be a hard worker.” She “loved how [she] was able to be independent and work at the age of nine.” Although this lifestyle sounds like a dream, it was not always easy. Charlie had to frequently “sit in a recording booth for eight hours at a time.” She also had to miss some home events since she left school and camp to record. However, Charlie appreciates this experience, as she “wouldn’t trade it for the world.”
Not only is Charlie a fantastic actress, but she sings! Charlie has an amazing voice that other singers aspire to sound like. Charlie admits her role model in the music business is Ella Fitzgerald, as “[Ella] has changed the world of jazz through her abilities to effortlessly sing scat, a type of jazz singing with nonsense syllables, and make other jazz classic her own.” Broadway wise, Charlie “loves Cynthia Erivo and Jackie Burns because they both have such control of their voices and are able to perform at least eight shows a week while continuing to have such moving performances.” Charlie loves singing so much that she hopes to have a future in the music business or on Broadway. Additionally, she recently placed second in the GAB Talent Show for singing “If I Were a Boy” by Beyonce. Charlie also participates in other music related programs besides the talent show through the school including the Acapella Club, Jazz Choir, Chamber Choir, and Concert Choir.
Charlie furthers her role in the high school by participating in the plays. Charlie has been in Macbeth (as Donalbain), Urinetown (as Penelope Pennywise), Beauty and the Beast (as Lumiere), Les Miserable (as Cosette), and the series of One Act Plays (Hazel Bergeron in The Handicapper General and Mig in The Rabbit). Charlie has been able to contribute her talents to the school and have fun doing what she loves. She will also be participating in the upcoming production of Oklahoma (as Aunt Eller) later this winter.
Charlie continues pursuing her talents throughout the year outside of school. She took part in a summer program for music this year, specifically the two-week NYU classical voice intensive. She loved the classes and thought it was an amazing experience. She hopes to be apart of a musical theater program this summer as well. She also attends the precollege program at Manhattan School of Music every Saturday during the school year, where she studies classical voice.
Overall, Charlie Cohen has many amazing talents and bright future ahead of her as she is only a junior in high school and has already accomplished so much. Charlie would love to take part in commercials, Broadway shows, or other television show roles in the future. She is extremely talented, very smart, and a great friend. She is a perfect representation of what Byram’s music students aspire to be, and will show the world her unbelievable capabilities in years to come.