Joe is a recent newcomer to the city of Chicago. Raised in Boston, MA, Joe studied theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He caught the performance bug performing with his high school's improv club and grew up loving "Whose Line Is It Anyway?". Joe has combined these young passions for improv with his theater degree to assist as a Professor of Merriment here at the Laughing Academy.
PhD, MFC, LL.D., BLitt, BPhil, ChPA, MLA, MScF, KCVO, FRCD, RSerafO, Esq.
A native of the Artic Tundra, the Professor pursued several branches of higher learning before discovering his true passion - late night comedy. He quickly rose to acclaim on the infamous Alaskan "Caribou Circuit," where he was heralded for his unique comedic trademarks, including Staring Wisely, Blinking Majestically, and Innapropriately Timed Mouse Regurgitation. Although now retired from the stage, The Professor is pleased to contribute to The Laughing Academy's ongoing status as a vibrant, nurturing, and 100% mouse-free environment.
Session Director at O'Connor Casting in Chicago. Kim's acting resume includes a wide range of industrial videos, voice-over work, and commercials.
Kim's non-improv teaching background includes positions at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, Northside College Prep, Apachi Preschool and work as a substite for Chicago Public Schools. In addition to teaching and performing, Kim acts as an emcee-for-hire, and is a freelance theater director, prepping for her second year of dircting the annual ‘Lakeside Summer Stage’ production in Lakeside Ohio. Kim is also a freelance writer regularly featured on makeitbetter.net.
Earlier this year, Kim's improv students opened for the nationally-known comedian, Henry Cho, and she couldn't be more proud.
A native of California, Kim holds a BA in Humanities from Menlo College, and a Masters of Education from DePaul University. In addition, she took Acting Intensives at San Francisco's acclaimed American Conservatory of Theater, the Stella Adler Conservatory of New York, and the Michael Howard Studios in Manhattan. A graduate of the Second City Conservatory in Chicago, her teachers there included Steve Carrell and Stephen Colbert. Upon graduation she was hired as a performer at Second City Chicago and subsequently as a MainStage performer and writer at Second City Detroit, where she studied with Ron West of Whose Line Is It Anyway, and also taught improv at the Second City Detroit Conservatory.
In addition to The Second City, Kim also studied under improv legends Del Close and Charna Halpern at Chicago's Improv Olympic, where her directors included Neil Flynn of Scrubs fame, and where she shared the stage with Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. Kim also worked with improv guru Mick Napier as a member of the Annoyance Theater's long-running Screw Puppies, and also made regular appearances with The Free Associates.
Kim's white-collar experience includes work as a corporate trainer for Transunion LLC and Sprint, and several years as a Casting
Hailing all the way from Abingdon, IL (don't worry no one has heard of it,) Jessica is thrilled to finally call Chicago home. She is currently a student of Second City's Conservatory program, as well as an artistic associate with GayCo! Theatre Company. With a background in performance and child care, Jessica is proud to say she is working her "dream job" by teaching with The Laughing Academy. She would like to thank Kim for this incredible opportunity and her family for always supporting her through all her crazy dreams!
Doug Stevenson, MM, MSc, has worked with kids over 25 years since playing Sinbad at Second City Children’s Theatre. He has performed and taught at the CPSI Conference’s “Youthwise” program, the intercultural “Poetry Pals”, Child’s Play Touring Theatre, and as co-emcee on the “Body Parts” show at Lurie Children's Hospital. A long-time Chicago area resident, he presently resides in Mount Prospect
Jill is pleased to be a member of the Laughing Academy. Jill is the founder of Storytown, a fully improvised, interactive story for children 3-10 years old and their families. She believes that laughter is the best medicine and works with Funny Bones Improv to bring improv to sick children and their caregivers in hospitals.