Charisse Bellante Making Space: CapNY Transplant

Charisse Bellante is an actress, bartender, Pilates instructor, drummer…just to name a few of the things she does. Born and raised in Kansas City, she moved to NYC when she was 18 years old. After living there for 21 years, at the end of April 2020, she decided to take the leap to start a new life in the village of Catskill.

We interviewed Charisse Bellante about her relocation experience, and also asked her to share some of her favorite cocktails. Check out how to make “The Sunshine Kid” and “Call You Later” in the video below!

Charisse Bellante’s CapNY Relocation Story

Charisse, tell us how you ended up here in CapNY...

Charisse doing pilates

For 21 years, I managed a bar, taught Pilates five days a week, and was back and forth to auditions, I was doing so much. So, I decided to give myself the gift of being in and around nature…somewhere peaceful. On a rental website, I saw an apartment in Catskill and before even visiting, signed a lease, packed up and decided to walk into the unknown. I wanted a new creative place with space and room to explore how I was feeling.

What are some of your first impressions of this place and the people who live here?

Aesthetically, Catskill is gorgeous and the people have all been cool and friendly. I ride my Vespa around and recently, drove it to the laundromat and people told me I look like I’m in Paris. I responded with, “This is my Paris.”

This area is diverse with cultures and people. I find many people who have relocated here, and there’s a strong creative vibe. It’s going to be cool to stay and create something here.

What’s your plan for work?

Charisse bartending

Before the pandemic, I was working at a new bar in Tribeca, trying to build some “street cred” in the quiet location the bar was located in…I’m not sure if they’re going to reopen after this. As far as teaching Pilates is concerned, I’m looking to set roots here in Catskill and go down to the city once a week to meet with clients. Most initial acting auditions are done through video these days, unless you get a call back or they’re really serious about you. This gives me some flexibility.

I’ve always wanted to create a “movement lab” – a crossover between a free creative space and a community center… It’s been a huge dream of mine. This could be the place where I start there. I plan to stay in the Catskill area for the next year at least. I think I’d like to buy a place here.

Connect with Charisse


Written by: Gabby Fisher

Gabby is a serial entrepreneur living solo with her toy poodle, Mochi, in Schenectady. She also happens to be the Senior Producer on the CapNY branding initiative!