Charissa Memrick grew up in the Austin, Texas area and began her musical journey in middle school when her choral director suggested her first voice teacher to her. While attending Canyon Vista Middle School Charissa got her first taste of musical theatre with roles such as Lily St. Regis and Mrs. Paroo in Annie and The Music Man, respectively.
In high school Charissa flourished in choir and theatre classes and began most of her serious performance training through musicals, straight plays and T.M.E.A. competitions. She was lucky enough to land roles such as Kim MacAfee in Bye Bye Birdie and Terry Randall in Stage Door. The experiences led her to Wichita State University in Wichita, Kansas to double major in Musical Theatre and Vocal Performance with a scholarship for musical theatre.
At Wichita State, Charissa took on two times the amount of a normal course load to achieve her dreams of performing. She took dance classes, was called back for leads in musicals, sharpened her acting technique and got her first taste of what the word “opera” truly meant. Charissa was consistently cast in operas and quickly learned the amount of focus and time that is required to put on staged classical works. Charissa graduated with a degree in Vocal Performance and with several supporting roles on her resume such as Ida from Die Fledermaus and Prima Cercatrice in Suor Angelica. But Charissa did not forget about her love for musical theatre. By the time she graduated she had one class away from a minor in dance. Also, in addition to her classical recital, Charissa orchestrated an entire musical theatre recital performed with musical theatre students, vocal performance students and members of the vocal faculty.
After her graduation, Charissa was eager to learn more about the voice and how it functions. She felt as if she “needed to be put in the oven more a couple more years” and got accepted into Texas State University’s graduate program for Vocal Performance and Pedagogy to do just that. In these two short years she learned how to fine tune her voice, explored her stage craft and solidified her performing career choice. During this time Charissa worked with a summer program hosted at Texas State named, Spotlight on Opera, and performed scenes from one of Charissa’s dream roles, Cunegonde, from Candide. She also had the opportunity to specifically work on recitative structure and role preparation by covering the role of Susanna in The Marriage of Figaro. However, her most challenging and fulfilling experience was given to Charissa her last semester at Texas State when she performed the leading role, The Governess, in The Turn of the Screw by Benjamin Britten.
After graduating with both degrees Ms. Memrick launched herself into the Central Texas performing arts scene and played Crystal in Little Shop of Horrors with the Wimberley players, debuted a new piece titled Alex: In Transition by Anthony Green with One Ounce Opera, played Zerlina in Texas Concert Opera Collective’s Don Giovanni in Seguin, Texas and performed with Austin’s Cabernet Cabaret all within six months after graduation.
In 2019 Charissa will perform the iconic role, Queen of the Night from Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute, in March at Texas State Opera in San Marcos, Texas. Charissa also looks forward to debuting Bach’s Coffee Cantata in Beerthoven’s Concert Series in Austin, Texas in April. In the meantime Ms. Memrick searches for a wide spectrum of professional opportunities by performing with jazz ensembles, big bands, pop cover bands and the occasional voice acting engagement. Charissa hopes to bring her excitement for performing to stages everywhere. For now, she’ll start gracing the stages of the place where her love for performing was cultivated; Austin, Texas.