Our Staff

John D’Aquino

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JOHN D’AQUINO

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PRESIDENT, TEACHER, & COACH

Veteran actor and master teacher John D’Aquino (SWAT, Cory in the House, Shake it Up, CSI, NCIS, Hannah Montana, Seinfeld) starred in six TV series and recurred and guest starred on dozens of other popular shows. His love for performing is surpassed only by his love for teaching, a love inspired by his mentor, teacher and friend, Charles Nelson Riley, who instilled in his students a passion for helping actors create dynamic performances by reaching deep into the human spirit. 

 

John has helped several of his clients find success in projects such as Drama Club, Bunk’d, All That, Legion, The Thundermans, The Marksman, No God Nick, Splitting Up Together, Fuller House, To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, Power Rangers, SWAT, Bizaardvark, Diary Of A Female President, General Hospital, and many more.

Shane Brady

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SHANE BRADY 

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VOICEOVER TEACHER & COACH

Shane Brady hails from Palm Harbor, FL and is a graduate of Florida State University. He is an avid hockey player and guitarist. Shane is a magician member of the Academy of Magical Arts at the world famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA.  TV credits include Ballers, HBO. Liza on Demand, YOUTUBE PREMIUM. Kickin’ It, DISNEY XD. The Crazy Ones, CBS. To Tell The Truth, ABC. Go On, NBC. FILM credits include: Doctor Sleep, The Endless, Tone-Deaf, Synchronic, and Spring.

VOICE OVER credits include: Mcdonalds. Loot Crate. Verizon Fios. Toyota. Macys. Stafford Jewelers. Trader Joes. K-Mart. Rainbow Six: Seige. Sunset Overdrive and more.

Carmen Scott

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CARMEN SCOTT

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ON-CAMERA TEACHER

Carmen Scott is an actress, improviser, and producer. She is passionate about the use of meditation/yoga and improv as tools to enhance the human experience, and the power of storytelling to influence culture.  She can be seen at Second City in Hollywood, performing with long-form team, Stick Pics, and performing short-form with Free Range Comedy SoCal.  Her commercial credits include Pie Five Pizza and Ally BankRazor Tongue, a web-series she produced and acted in with Now>Ever Productions, recently screened at Frameline, Outfest, & Inside Out film festivals.  She is currently working on a documentary titled, 1946. For some of her original comedy content & character work, check out her YouTube Channel:  CarmenScottShow.

Emily Reas

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EMILY REAS 

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OFFICE / PRODUCTION COORDINATOR & COACH

Originally from Plano, Texas, Emily moved to LA after she graduated with a BFA in Acting from Texas State University. She’s worked as a Producer and UPM for several years, creating a wide variety of content. Previously, she worked at the non-profit The Actors’ Gang as an associate member and teacher in their Education Department. Emily is also a member of Women in Film and has participated in their Peer Mentoring Program. She is one of the co-founders of her production company  Blind Salamander Films.

Paige Hullett

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PAIGE HULLETT

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MARKETING / INDUSTRY CONSULTANT & COACH 

Paige Hullett is an actress &  triplet who was born and raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. Her network recur and guest star credits include STAR, Jenna Ban’s Good Girls, and Tyler Perry’s If Loving You Is Wrong. Paige also has credits in feature films including the role of ‘Fiona’ in Karen Maine’s YES, GOD, YES (SXSW 2019) and a starring role in Blackhall Studio’s, Burnt Offering. After working on YES, GOD, YES Paige was inspired to create her own personal project, Birds, Bees, and Threes.  Paige is a graduate of Elon University.

 

Laura Jensen

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LAURA JENSEN

VOCAL TEACHER

Laura Jensen is a native New Yorker who attended The Manhattan School of Music from the age of 9 years old through high school. She was later accepted into the Mannes College of Music and then The Juilliard School, majoring in voice and also studying classical piano. Laura left Juilliard when she landed the role of Eponine in Les Miserables on Broadway. She then went on to tour in Showboat, Carousel, Joseph, Godspell and numerous others.  In 2003 Laura discovered she had a talent for teaching and so she set out on a new career path balancing work and motherhood. 

Her philosophy and extensive knowledge of the voice comes from a lifetime of experience as a singer, performer, student and teacher. She works with kids and adults alike and focuses specifically on breath control, endurance and developing a broader range, as well as building confidence in performance. Laura has a knack for recognizing talent from the pop world to the classical/music theater world and is skilled at guiding young artists and helping them on their career path.

 

Spencer Frankeberger

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SPENCER FRANKEBERGER 

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GUEST-TEACHER

Spencer Frankeberger is an actor, award-winning director and producer, and an improviser. He is a graduate of iO West, Second City Hollywood, UCB, and ComedySportz LA. He is also a board-certified music therapist and a tour guide on the World Famous Studio Tour at Universal Studios Hollywood and currently performs with the immersive companies Secret Library and Dainty Dames Events. He has an MFA in Film Production from Florida State University. He is a huge theme park enthusiast with a theme park podcast called Theoretical Thrills (IG/TikTok: @spencer101f; www.spencerfrankeberger.com)

 

Ryan Ackelsberg

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Ryan Ackelsberg

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IN HOUSE DEMO REEL EDITOR,  DP, and GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Ryan Ackelsberg is our in-house cinematographer, editor, and graphic designer. A graduate of NYU’s Tisch Film program, he has shot and edited several independent film projects, both short-form and feature-length. His work has been featured at a variety of festivals including the 2017 Sundance Film Festival (Hardware, Dir. Stephen Jacobson).

 

Video Editor & Graphic Design

Michelle Gilliam

Michelle Gilliam 

IMPROV TEACHER

Michelle Gilliam is originally from Milwaukee, Wisconsin and recently relocated to Los Angeles, CA. Michelle has over 20 years of experience as an improviser, actor, host, voice actor, and is the Owner and Artistic Director of Improv MKE, an improv comedy school and theater based online, currently serving the world. She has been involved in improv comedy and applied improv for over 20 years, through studying, performing, coaching, teaching, directing, as well as leading corporate teams and various university departments to success by helping them to harness the power of improv as a tool and resource for creativity, empowerment, communication, fun and much more.

Michelle has had the opportunity to teach, coach and perform with people all over the world in Improv. She has students from: Scotland, Liverpool, Nottingham, Chester, London, India, Africa, Singapore, The Philippines, Norway, Copenhagen, Canada, Lithuania, New Zealand, and the list goes on. She currently teaches for improv MKE, The World’s Greatest Improv School, and guest teaches at various theaters online, in person (with proper safety protocols), around the country and the world, and is excited to be part of the AW team! 

 

Jay Sukow

Jay Sukow 

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SPECIALITY WORKSHOPS INSTRUCTOR

Jay Sukow has been performing with and without a script for the better part of the past 29 years. A few of those he has trained with include Stephen Colbert, Steve Carell, David Razowsky, Keith Johnstone, Del Close, Charna Halpern, Jeff Michalski and Mick Napier. He is a graduate of training centers of The Second City, The Second City NW, iO Chicago, and ComedySportz Chicago. He is the founder of Today Improv and has extensive experience helping businesses drive behavior change through improvisational philosophies and exercises. His students include everyone from beginners to the most experienced performers. 

 

Joe Nieves

Joe Nieves 

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SPECIALITY WORKSHOPS INSTRUCTOR

Born in Brooklyn, New York City, Joe moved to Los Angeles in 1995 to pursue an acting career. He spent the first several years studying with different teachers (Milton Katselas, Jeffrey Tambor, Richard Lawson, Al Mancini. Allen Williams) honing his craft and understanding his own technique and instrument better. Along the way, Joe has worked consistently in dozens of films and television shows. Most notably, Joe may be recognized from his work on How I Met Your Mother as Carl the bartender, and ‘Stuck in the Middle’ as the patriarch, Tom Diaz. Joe has always been very passionate about training other artists as well and has been coaching since 2009.