Charissa grew up in a small town in Southeastern Minnesota. She played her first theatrical role at 13, and from then on most of her time was spent on or around the stage.
Charissa moved to Chicago after obtaining a Music Theatre BFA from Millikin University, where she embraced Chicago’s theatre scene — performing in original plays, improv and sketch shows, in black box theatres throughout Chicago. She broke into the Indi film community with her appearance in the cult classic horror film, The Promise Keeper.
After moving to Los Angeles, Charissa made her television debut on the show On The Lot (FOX). While in L.A., Charissa dug into the live comedy scene with stand-up, sketch, and improv performances. She performed Monty Python sketches in the recurring all-female show “Monty Pythong”, with audiences including Python member Eric Idle.
Charissa played the title role in Chloe & Keith’s Wedding, an independent film that gained international fame with it’s popular YouTube clip of a bride (Charissa) falling into a pool during her wedding ceremony. The clip has accumulated almost 1 billion views to date. Charissa was interviewed by Inside Edition, The Dish, and Good Day LA after the clip was revealed to have been staged for the movie.
Charissa also has opened a popular Burbank private music teaching school, The Music Junction, including 2 Los Angeles area locations, for young local piano and voice students.