Nerdist School Approved Coaches

PEPPER BERRY:
A graduate of The Second City, iO West, Upright Citizen’s Brigade, Comedy Sportz, The Nerdist, The Second City Directing program as well as studying at The Groundlings, Pepper Berry is currently a teacher and director at Second City Hollywood

Pepper is a cast member of The Second City Hollywood’s long running The Really Awesome Improv Show, a past member of The Second City House Ensemble, and plays/played on the iO Harold Teams B-Side and (nebraska) as well as Nerdist House teams U.N. Jefferson, Mulligan, Corvair and currently Aeroplane.

He also performs and tours with VIRGINIA SLIMS, a long form duo that showcase their comedy and teach workshops around the U.S performing in festivals throughout the year such as the San Diego Improv Festival, Chicago Improv Festival, Detroit Improv Festival, Dallas Comedy Festival, Twin Cities Improv Festival, Miami Improv Festival, the Alaskan Improv Festival and the Boston Comedy and Arts Festival to name a few. www.iampepperberry.com

PHILOSOPHY:
My role as a coach is threefold. Finding how each member of your team performs, how you perform in scenes with each other and how you all perform a show. I direct your traffic. I will show you how best to work with each other’s strengths to make your shows dynamic and fun. There is no cookie cutter approach to coaching. Rehearsals are always a custom fit for your particular group at that specific time in your run of shows.

INTEREST:
I have a strong interest in duos since my longest running team is a duo but I love coaching large teams or practice groups. Especially ones that are trying to transition to a new form and find their new voice.

RATE: $25/hr (2-8 persons) $30/hr (8 or more)   Email: berry.pepper@gmail.com

 

Dwayne Colbert
Dwayne Colbert is an improviser from Los Angeles. He writes, performs, and directs improv and sketch at Second City, Nerdist School, iO West and The Pack Theatre. He has been a writer for Nickelodeon, has toured with The Second City aboard Norwegian Cruise Lines, has recently appeared on Silicon Valley, Baskets, Veep, Speechless and in numerous national commercials. Inquire for rates. Email: dwayne.colbert@gmail.com

 

 

JEN CURRAN:
Jen Curran is a comedian, actor, faculty member, writer and a member of Harvard Sailing Team, the award-winning sketch group. She’s performed improv and sketch comedy at theaters, colleges, black-boxes, universities, festivals, concert halls and weird bars around the country for 10+ years. She currently co-hosts a storytelling show called, All Together Now, and lives in LA with her husband, two cats and a dog. Inquire for rates. Email: jenifercurran@gmail.com

 

DAISY FAITH:
Daisy Faith has 10 years experience having studied at the Groundlings, UCB & the Nerdist School as well as advance study with Rebecca Drysdale and Miles Stroth. Daisy is currently on a house team at Second City & the Nerdist School. Daisy’s focus on improv is based on character work, physical choices and point of view (POV).  She believes that filtering improv choices through character, POV and making physical choices gets “yourself” out of the way and through that filter you can really create scene work that’s exciting and surprising even to yourself.  Daisy also has a huge fondness for using emotion in scenes, specific space work and accents whenever possible.  Daisy’s TV credits include: How I Met Your Mother, Nashville, Conan, Days of Our Lives and Pretty Little Liars.
Coaching Fee to start: $60 for 2 hours   Email: daisyfaithart@gmail.com

 

CHAD FOGLAND:
Chad has over 15 years experience having studied at the Groundlings, UCB, iO West & the Nerdist School and has been on house teams at UCB, iO West, Second City & the Nerdist School. Fogland’s philosophy on improv is simple & straight forward focusing on working with your team for the betterment of your team’s show, your teammates & yourself.  If everyone on a team makes moves that “Make Your Scene Partner Look Good”, then everyone looks good.  This thought-process has lead Fogland to discover the joy of justification & the knowledge that there are no mistakes, but limitless possibilities.  Fogland believes in strengthening the basics, so one can bend them and have fun while growing as an experienced improvisor.  With all this in mind, Fogland emphasizes Energy, Emotion, Spacework, Relationships, Groupmind, Characters, Strong Initiations and Clumping in his improv & coaching there of. Rate: $60 for 2 hours ($20 per additional hour)  Email: chadfogland@gmail.com

 

CHRIS GRACE:
Chris Grace has been improvising for over 10 years and has appeared in many films and TV shows, like That Awkward Moment, Superstore, and Broad City. He regularly performs with Baby Wants Candy, Big Black Car, and Magic To Do. He originated the role of Christian Grey in 50 Shades! The Musical Parody at the Edinburgh Fringe and continued in the show all the way to off-Broadway. Rates available by request. Email: chris@chris-grace.com

 

 

 

THOMAS HAMILTON:
Thomas has been performing Improv in LA since the nigh end of the aughts. He performs every Sunday with the Nerdist house team Karen. He is also a member of the Musical Improv A Cappella group Barbershop. Thomas believes strongly in engaging the audience and constantly seeking new avenues of artistic expression.
Fee: $50 for 2hr. session

Email: iamtomhamilton@gmail.com

 

 

REBEKKA JOHNSON:
Rebekka has taught improv for 10+ years at The PIT in NYC, UCLA and Columbia University. She’s currently starring in the Netflix series, GLOW. She’s a faculty member, writer, producer and director of Speakeasy, a talk show hosted by Paul F. Tompkins and co-creator of The Apple Sisters, an award winning musical comedy trio who’ve produced countless live shows, two albums and many videos. She’s written for Slate V, Chow and Atomic Wedgie. She’s directed stage shows including, The New York Smiths, Rachel Bloom is a Triple Threat and The Irish Peddlers. Inquire for rates. Email: bekkadoodle@gmail.com

 

TAYLOR MECHLINSKI:
Taylor has been studying improv for over 6 years and is a certified executive and creative coach. His focus is on grounded scene work and engaging in your physicality. Taylor’s experience includes improv, burlesque, storytelling, stage combat and clowning. He believes the importance of nonverbal communication is often underrated and will push you to focus just as much on what isn’t being said. Massachusetts born and raised, so you may have to ask him to repeat words with a lot of r’s. You can find Taylor performing most Sunday’s at the Nerdist School Stage with his very attractive team Aeroplane! Rate: $25/hour    Email: taylormech@gmail.com

 

CARRIE-ANN PISHNAK:
Actor/Writer/Director/Coach/Producer • is a proud member of SAG-AFTRA and AEA, holds a BA in theatre, is a grad of The Second City and Nerdist, was classically trained at BADA in Oxford, headed the City of Las Vegas Arts Acting Camp, taught acting and movement at The Glendale Center Theatre for four years, and was a senior faculty member of the Theatrical Education Group for ten years. Carrie-ann brought the world of Shakespeare and live theatre to over 20,000 children in the show Shakesperience for over a decade, and was a co-founding member of the Ovation nominated company Theatre Pangaea. She’s toured the world in various shows and past improv/sketch teams have included Double Down, Chicklets, Lovergirl, The Second City House Ensemble, Second City This Week for 2yrs, and Second City Hollywood Premium show Quick & Dirty. Catch her now performing with her improv teams Aeroplane, Meet Cute, as a 7 year cast member in The Really Awesome Improv Show, in her Instagram series Eye on the Globe, and the monthly sketch podcast The Best Medicine. Currently C-a teaches improv at The Second City and YADA. Twitter: @capishnak Instagram: @pishnak Website: pishnak.com

My philosophy of improv is that you can create anything if you feel safe and supported, then the rules fall away. I want you to feel safe enough to put down your traditional facade and bring your authentic self. All of your individual differences will make the work strong, they are gifts. As a coach, I’m part hippy/crunchy and part task master; I want to get you out of your comfort zone because that’s where the magic is. I’ll do a diagnostic on your team and individuals, and come up with a game plan…don’t worry, the game plan is my job, you just have all the funz.
I’m interested in new or established groups.

My rate is $25hr for the Nerdist community, it will go up eventually, but you’ll always be grandfathered in to the first rate the team paid for my coaching. Email: pishnak@gmail.com

 

TREVOR REECE:
Trevor has been improvising for nearly a decade. Like most who find improv early, he trained in short form improv in the style of TheatreSports. Since then, he has gone through UCB and the Nerdist School’s programs and received training in Viola Spolin’s improv for the theatre, performing improvised 2-act plays for over two years.

He has been on Nerdist House Team Night for over a year now, currently on the team “The Voltage,” performing every other Sunday He also hosts the show “GOOSH” at the Clubhouse with his indie team, Osito. He regularly performs around LA’s various theatres and comedy spots with his teams.

His focus is on finding humanity in characters, building scenes with purpose, and how to be comfortable in quiet moments. He believes that humor comes from being confronted with the truth sooner than you expected. Improvisation is a tool for discovery; both on stage and off, for your character and yourself. Rates available by request. Email: reece.tre@gmail.com

 

Mike Rock:
Mike’s TV credits include Blackish, The Goldbergs, Modern Family, Chelsea Lately, The Mentalist, Law & Order, Conan O’Brien, After Lately, Hello Ross, Monk, voice of NFL Replay, he does a bunch of commercials & is heard on KCRW & SuperEgo podcast. More? Ok! Co-founder of NYC sketch comedy group The Bert Fershners on Comedy Central, MTV, VH-1, The Edinburgh Fringe, Aspen, Montreal’s Just For Laughs, etc. Recent live improv: Impro L.A. “Unscripted” series: improvised Chekhov, Twilight Zone, Shakespeare, Western Movie and Jane Austen. Also, SciFi Mission: Star Mission, Mannerhouse Manor, The High: An Improvised Teen Drama & guest w/ The Resistance, Old Milwaukee, Catsby, Red Bicyclette, Musicale. Still more? He’s been performing, teaching/coaching improv for 20+ years in NYC & L.A. a founding member/artistic director of Madison, WI Theater Sports, producer/artistic director NYC’s ComedySportz; but come on, that’s enough for now.
Representation: I-7 Theatrical, KMR Commercial, Abrams V/O
Inquire for rates. Email: itsmikerock@gmail.com

 

Ptolemy Slocum:
You may know Ptolemy Slocum for his roles on Westworld, Preacher, The Sopranos, The Wire, the movie Hitch, appearances on Veep, How I Met Your Mother, Burn Notice, Pretty Little Liars and a ton of commercials. A member of Neutrino, the famed improv team, Ptolemy has performed and taught improv for 15+ years, starting at the original UCBNY and moving on to the People’s Improv Theater. He’s not only a Nerdist School teacher, he’s the director and founder. Inquire for rates. Email: ptolemail@gmail.com

 

Monika Smith:
Monika Smith has been on a bunch of shows on Starz, HBO, CBS, TBS, Comedy Central, ABC, Spike TV, MTV and more. She’s written and directed comedy for tv, internet and stage. And, she’s booked ten pilots that have never been picked up. That’s ten moments of short lived excitement in Hollywood!

Monika is a Nerdist School faculty member. She started improvising in Toronto touring with The Second City Touring Company, was on 4 harold teams and 3 house teams at UCBLA, and has performed internationally on numerous indie teams at UCBNY, Second City LA, iO Chicago, iO West, Theatre Sports, indie theatres and comedy festivals. She’s taught improv at Second City, UCB, Nerdist, and at improv festivals across America. Oh, and she wrote the curriculum and helped start the first improv and sketch school in China. Inquire for rates. Email: missmonikasmith@gmail.com

 

JOE SPENCE:
Joe has been fortunate enough to live and work in Los Angeles as an actor for almost fifteen years. Since moving from the great state of Ohio, Joe has had the opportunity to perform on stage, film, TV, internet, and recently in motion capture for a virtual reality experience that is part of the New Frontier Program at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival.
Joe now spends almost a majority of his artistic time and energy teaching the art of performance to others, mostly in the art of improvisation. In classes and workshops, Joe has helped actors from age six to sixty in Los Angeles, Oakland, San Francisco, and Columbus find their artistic voice and, more simply, find out who they are as an individual and explore ways to express themselves effectively, smartly, and honestly. Classes emphasize a sense of play, but always with a sense of professionalism, no matter the age of the student.
Joe is a graduate of The Second City LA, iO West, ComedySportz LA, and The Nerdist School as well as studying game at UCB and studying with Groundings founder Gary Austin.
Joe is a current or former house team member and has coaching/teaching experience at Second City LA under the artistic direction of David Razowsky, iO West, LA Connection, and The Nerdist School.
Group coaching rate: $25/hr in Los Angeles $35/hr outside of LA ($15/hr for Nerdist Schoolios)  Email: joespencemail@gmail.com

 

ZACH TABACCO:
Zach started doing improv in 2002 and has trained with the Nerdist School, UCBNY, UCBLA, The PIT, iO West, and Magnet Theatre. He is especially interested in working emotional muscles and building skills that serve demanding forms that require high levels of agreement and team awareness, like the Movie, Tracers, and the Monoscene. He currently performs with Sweetheart at the Nerdist School Stage. Rates available by request. Email: ztabacco@gmail.com

 

Randy Thompson:
Randy Thompson is actor, improvisor, singer, and teacher. He spent 10 years in New York as a member of multiple award-winning theater companies, performing Off-Broadway and on U.S. and international tours. Now based in Los Angeles, he continues to work in theater, voiceover, and on-camera. Randy is a founding member of Loose Canon Collective, a company that produces modern takes on classical plays. He’s appeared in a number of films and commercials, and for shows on FOX, CBS, ABC, Amazon, and Adult Swim.
Inquire for rates. Email: randythompson@gmail.com

 

 

Ashley Ward:
Ashley Ward is an improv performer and Nerdist School faculty member living in Los Angeles.  While living in New York, Ashley was an instructor for 7 years at the People’s Improv Theater where she was named Teacher of the year for 2013. Ashley has taught levels one through four at the PIT as well as musical improv. She has also taught workshops for various corporate clients and universities. Ashley has also taught improv through the musical improv team Baby Wants Candy, teaching musical improv and improv basics and advanced classes to high school and college students as well as improv students in London and Edinburgh, Scotland.  As a performer Ashley was on several teams at The PIT and UCB in New York and in Los Angeles she plays regularly at the Nerdist with the team Big  Black Car and at UCB with Magic to Do and Baby Wants Candy. Inquire for rates. Email: ashleywar@gmail.com