CMU alum stars in feature film
Central Michigan University alum Christina Rose Polkowski has made it to the big screen.
Known as Christina Rose in the performance arena, the Macomb Township native is starring in the award-winning feature film “How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song.” The film will be presented at the Waterfront Film Festival in Saugatuck Thursday through Sunday.
Rose has appeared on “Saturday Night Live,” “30 Rock,” “Flight of the Concords” and the musical “Grease” on Broadway. After starring in Gary King’s 2011 feature film “Death of the Dead,” King decided to recast her for his musical drama “How Do You Write a Joe Schermann Song,” which was being written at the time.
“When the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at the chance to finally star in a musical drama,” Rose said. “Having performed in ‘Grease’ on Broadway and working professionally in the musical theatre world, I knew a film like this was a match made in heaven.”
Born and raised by performing parents, Rose has been around music all her life. At 11, she began performing professionally in her parents’ band at weddings and bars.
“My director in high school told me that I had a gift and should pursue it as a career,” she said. “I didn’t even know I could do that.”
At CMU, Rose performed in main stage productions, and was a part of the Orchesis Dance Company for all four years.
Music professor Timothy Caldwell and Mary Jo Lodge, a former CMU assistant professor of theatre, both worked with Rose and praised her abilities.
“Christina came to CMU as an excellent dancer with a pleasant singing voice and lots of ambition,” Caldwell said. “She was also very organized about all aspects of her life, whether it was class work, voice lessons, or learning roles.”
Graduating with her Bachelor’s Degree in Musical Theatre Performance, Rose moved to New York where she quickly began a career singing, dancing and acting in commercials, television, theatre and film.
She said her experience as a CMU student prepared her for the work.
“The dance training from the Orchesis Dance Company and working with the great director Mary Jo Lodge, along with my amazing voice teacher Tim Caldwell, has definitely helped me gain the chops to work professionally in New York City for the past six years,” Rose said. “Overall, I believe CMU has played a great part in my success.”
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