Being surrounded by so many talented actors at Bucknell gave me the push to do more of that here in New York.
Chérie Celeste Malone '13 is the daughter of two performers — her father was a child actor who worked with the Muppets, while her mother was a singer. In her childhood, they enrolled her in acting classes at the historic Freedom Theatre in Philadelphia. Even so, it took years for Malone to admit she wanted to act. After spending her first year of college "watching from the bleachers," as she put it, she began auditioning for — and landing roles in — Bucknell productions as a sophomore.
"That experience of being more confident and trusting myself and coming out of my bubble — and not being ashamed of wanting to pursue acting — has been its own journey," she says.
Now based in Brooklyn, New York, Malone has been steadily booking roles on stage and in TV and film. She appeared in Harriet Tubman, The Woman, a play produced by New York City's West End Theatre, which also toured in South Carolina. Much to Malone's excitement, a descendent of Tubman's attended one of the performances. She also starred in the independent film Faking Real, a political thriller about the hacking of a U.S. presidential election. In addition, Malone landed a role in the Amazon Prime docuseries Free Meek, about rapper Meek Mills' struggles with the criminal-justice system.
At Bucknell, Malone majored in German studies and film/media studies. She also participated in student government, played softball and ran track. She credits that wide range of experiences with providing the base for her acting — not to mention the expertise she gained appearing in campus productions. "Being surrounded by so many talented actors at Bucknell gave me the push to do more of that here in New York," she says.
Her German — she studied abroad in Germany during her junior year — has come in handy too: It helped her book a commercial in which she spoke the language and also helped her get a job as a deputy elections officer/advisor at the United Nations, where she worked for a year and a half before leaving to focus on acting. "It’s been amazing to have that background," she says.
The oldest of five siblings, Malone says she wants to use her art to touch and inspire others.
"I want to be a role model and lift up other people with my acting."