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Colleen Cherry is a St. Pete based actor, singer and teaching artist. She is an Artistic Associate with Jobsite Theatre, previously seen in the title role in "Lizzie," as Street Singer in "Threepenny Opera" (winner of Theatre Tampa Bay Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical), and Miggs/Lamb in "Silence!" She is a vocalist with the Florida Björkestra, as well as a founding member of American Stage Improv’s musical improv house team Definitely Not Murderers. She can be seen performing locally, and in improv festivals around the country.

Years in Tampa Bay

I was born and raised in the Tampa Bay area so over 30 years!

Hustle (job)

Singer/songwriter, actor.

What do you do?  

I usually perform all around the Tampa Bay area between theater companies, musical improv, and with my band the Florida Bjorkestra. Because of Covid-19 restricting performances to virtual projects, I launched a side business writing custom songs about people's pets. Since April of 2020 I've written over 100 pet songs!

Why do you do it?

Singing and playing my ukulele brings me a lot of joy, and this project brings other people joy. Everyone loves their pets and every pet deserves a song.

What was your Catalyst? (How did you get started?)

It started out as a fundraiser for SPCA Tampa Bay's Virtual Pet Walk. I launched a Facebook fundraiser the week leading up to it and offered to write a custom pet song for a $5 donation. I ended up writing over 60 songs and raising $1,400 in a week. A few media outlets picked up the story and I became flooded with requests, so I decided to launch a side business writing custom pet songs and continuing to donate part of the proceeds back to SPCA Tampa Bay.

What’s a common misconception or unknown aspect of what you do?

I have to be in the right zone mentally but when I am the songs usually occur on the first take of singing through them. I'm trained in musical improv so I can make songs up on the spot. Most of what's in the finished product happens in the very first take. Then I'll write it down and make whatever adjustments I need.

What’s the most challenging part of your Hustle?

Setting aside the time to write. I can get caught up in my full time job, other projects, or just needing some time to zone out in front of the tv or a good book. But I always get the songs to folks within a week of their initial request!

What’s the most valuable piece of business advice/insight that’s helped you?

Get a good website. My friend at Kara Gold, LLC designed my gorgeous website in a very quick turnaround time.

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