Erik Adams is the TV editor for the A.V. Club, the entertainment news arm of The Onion. His reviews have been featured on Rotten Tomatoes and on NPR, PRI and PBS Stations in Chicago and Philadelphia. Erik graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2009. And appeared in the troupe Golden Eagle from 2009 to 2010.
Christopher Alvarenga has appeared on SWAT, Borderland, Queen of the South, the Son and Better Call Saul. Christopher graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2017 and performed with Documentary Later and Pesos for Queso from 2016 to 2017.
Bethiael (B.B.) Araya is a filmmaker and producer. After interning for director Richard Linklater, she created and directed the short film series, We Are, which was was picked up for distribution by Issa Rae Productions. Her latest short film, Yirga, had its world premiere at SXSW 2019. B.B. graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2016 and performed with Next Up…, Loverboy and Ladyparts from 2016 to 2017.
Alex Baia is a humor writer and contributor to McSweeney’s, The New Yorker, and Slackjaw. Alex graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2010. And appeared in the troupes Oh, Science!, Frootopia and Slaughter Your Shorts from 2010 to 2017.
Mac Blake has performed at Montreal’s Just for Laughs Festival, SXSW Comedy, the Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, Funny or Die’s Oddball Festival and more. In 2013, he won the Funniest Person in Austin contest. His stand-up album Bird Drugs debuted at #3 on the iTunes comedy charts. His second album, Live at ColdTowne was taped at ColdTowne in 2017. Mac graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2011. He performed regularly with Movie Riot, Tears But Joy, Hot Property and The Hustle Show from 2011 to 2015.
Byron Brown is a working actor who has appeared in dozens of regional and national commercials as well as in El Rey Network’s From Dusk Til Dawn and the feature films Austin High and Slacker 2011. Byron graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2011. He performed regularly with Bad Boys, The Team from 2011 to 2016.
Danny Catlow is a performer with The Second City National Touring Company in Chicago and has appeared on Adult Swim’s Joe Pera Talks With You and Comedy Central’s Southside. Danny graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2011 and performed with Bad Boys, Turn of the Century Paris, Scout, Secret Senate and The Team from 2011 to 2013.
CB Goodman is a director, writer, designer, performer and puppeteer whose work has been presented at venues in Austin, New Orleans, Charlotte, and New York City; She collaborates with multiple emerging and established artists and curated a puppetry festival, Puppet BloK, at Dixon Place in New York City. She currently teaches acting and directs at Southwestern University’s Sarofim School of Fine Arts. She was a 2017 Target Margin Theatre Institute Fellow and a former artist-in-resident at Dixon Place. Her play “*some humans were harmed in the making of this show”, which she wrote and directed won 4 B. Iden Payne awards for Excellence in Drama in 2019.
Vanessa Gonzalez was voted “Best Stand-up Comic” in the Austin Chronicle before her recent move to Los Angeles in 2018. She was a breakout as one of the New Faces of the 2017 Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal and subsequently created and starred in a webseries called “Ms. Vanessa” for Mas Mejor, a digital platform that is part of Lorne Michael’s company Broadway Video. She was recently featured on TruTV’s “Laff Mobb’s Laff Tracks” and has a half hour stand-up special for Comedy Central and a short special on HBO Latino airing in 2019. Vanessa has also performed at a variety of comedy festivals including SXSW, High Plains, Moontower, and Big Sky Comedy Festival. Vanessa performed with Movie Riot from 2016 to 2017.
David Lee Hess has worked in numerous feature, short films, and web series, as well as episodes of Baskets w/ Zack Galifianakis, Fear the Walking Dead, Dallas, and NBC’s Revolution. In 2017 he wrote, directed, and acted in an award-winning short film, Fetish, which can be streamed on Amazon Prime. David graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2009. And appeared in the troupes Elevator Action, The Glamping Trip and Wicked City from 2009 to 2015.
Carlyn Hudson is a filmmaker whose short film, NICE ASS, premiered at SXSW and was a Vimeo Staff Pick. She wrote and directed an 8-episode digital series called BOSS CHEER for Brat Studios, which has nearly 2 million views on the pilot alone and was picked up by Snapchat. Another series Carlyn directed, DISTANCE, premiered at SXSW, won audience awards at NYTVF + Series Fest, was reviewed in the New York Times, and was nominated for the 2018 GOTHAM AWARDS for breakthrough short-form series. Carlyn’s first feature as co-writer/director, THE BIG SPOON premiered at Austin Film Festival in 2016 and is distributed by Gravitas Ventures. As a commercial director, Carlyn directed work for clients such as Verizon, Dell, Samsung, IBM, Cort Furniture, Frost Bank, Legos, Move LA, and Southwest Airlines, and has recently added Funny or Die and College Humor to her list of branded content collaborators. Carlyn graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2013 and performed with the troupe Powerball and in 2013.
Kirk Johnson has had several roles within Rooster Teeth Productions as Larry from Crunch Time, Edward Pikeman from Camp Camp, Officer Vandenbloom in Lazer Team, and Loco in Red vs. Blue. He was also a finalist for HBO’s Project Greenlight. Kirk graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2012 and performed with the troupes Tevis, Movie Riot and The USA From 2012 to 2015.
Brad Knox founded toy AI and computer vision company Bots Alive, which was acquired by Dash Robotics. From 2012–2014, he was a postdoctoral researcher position at the MIT Media Lab. His research interests span machine learning, human-robot interaction, and psychology, especially machine learning algorithms that learn through human interaction. At UT-Austin, he was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow from 2008–2011 and a member of teams that won one Robocup competition and placed 2nd in two others. Brad’s research won the Best Paper Award at the International Conference on Social Robotics (ICSR) in 2013 and the Pragnesh Jay Modi Best Student Paper Award at the International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multiagent Systems (AAMAS) in 2010. His dissertation “Learning from Human-Generated Reward”—advised by Peter Stone—received the Bert Kay Dissertation Award from his doctoral department and a runner-up distinction for the IFAAMAS-12 Victor Lesser Distinguished Dissertation Award. He was named to IEEE Intelligent System’s AI 10 to Watch in 2013. Brad graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2012 and performed with the troupe 60 Seconds to Sweatpants and Cup from 2011 to 2012.
Lauren Knutti has appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live. She wrote and directed Segs! For Amazon Prime. Lauren graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2016. She performed with The Agency and in Austin Translation from 2015 to 2016.
Justin Linville is an actor, writer, improviser, and comedian based in New York City. He can be seen on FX’s What We Do in the Shadows, HBO’s Crashing and was a regular performer on The Chris Gethard Show on truTV. He’s been featured on Earwolf, Collegehumor, Ground Floor Comedy, Funny or Die, TimeOut NY, JASH and Paste Magazine. Justin graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2017. And appeared in the troupe Empty Promises, performed standup and was the showrunner for the character showcase Don’t Be Yourself from 2015 to 2017.
Maggie Maye made her late night debut on Conan and was featured on Last Call with Carson Daly and AXS TV presents: Gotham Comedy Live. She has also been a featured panelist for Rooster Teeth “What Do You Know?” and has written for the New Yorker. Maggie has performed stand up in festivals such as Just for Laughs, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, San Francisco Sketchfest (as one of the Sketchfest Dozen), FunFunFun Fest, Moontower Comedy & Oddity Festival, SXSW, and the All Jane Comedy Festival. She’s opened for Hannibal Burress, Paul Rodriguez, Gladys Knight, and Earth, Wind and Fire. She’s had her name in comedy articles in the Huffington Post, Variety, LaughSpin, the New York Times, Splitsider, who named her among the 2015 top up-and-coming comics and an “On the Verge” comedian, the Austin American Statesman, who named her as one of 2015’s People to Watch, and the Austin Chronicle, who named her 2016’s Best of Austin Stand up Comic. Maggie performed in Express Yoursefl and with Damn, Gina! and produced Schtick, our weekly open mic for stand up from 2012 to 2016.
Jill Morris is an accomplished writer and performer. Kensington Books is publishing her first book, “Please Fire Me: Posts from the Revolting Workplace” based on the popular website PleaseFireMe.com, which she curates, and includes original written content and artwork. Her sketch comedy team Kape’s videos have been featured on The CW Network, Atom.com and The Comedy Central blog. Her other writing credits include: The Onion News Network, McSweeney’s, Yankee Pot Roast and The Texas Travesty. Her Twitter jokes have been regularly featured on Witstream, Someecards, and The Huffington Post. She was also a founding staff writer for Clickhole.com. Jill wrote and performed in ColdTowne’s first sketch show, You’re Fat in 2006.
2012’s Funniest Person in Austin winner, Ramin Nazer was once a fixture of the Austin scene, Nazer now physically spends his days many miles away in L.A. Nazir is an accomplished artist, and even has a compendium book of his creations, Infinite Elephants, He is the author of “After You Die”, “I Love Everyone”, “Strippy Comics”, “Hey”, and “Cave Paintings for Future People”. He was named one of the New Faces of Comedy at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal and has performed on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson on CBS. His debut album “You Were Good Too” is available for streaming everywhere along with his weekly podcast and showcase “Rainbow Brainskull”. Ramin was the original host of Live At ColdTowne, Austin’s longest running standup showcase from 2010 to 2014.
Leah Nobel Is a singer/songwriter signed to Nashville based artist development and publishing company Big Yellow Dog Music where she makes music that crosses genre lines between folk, pop, and alternative. Leah Got her start playing open mic nights and small acoustic shows in Austin and began making records in 2009 after some of her songs were discovered by Nashville producer Mark Prentice. Leah created her alt pop alter ego HAEL in 2016 as a way to experiment with a more “beat-centric” electronic sound. HAEL has been featured in ad campaigns for Apple, Toyota, DSW, and had numerous successful sync placements on TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and more. and moonlights as a “rapper” under the moniker ‘Lil Cheesecake’. She credits her practice of improv comedy for teaching her how to take creative risks. Running In Borrowed Shoes is available now on all major download and streaming platforms. Leah graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2014 and performed with the troupe Perfect Teeth from 2014 to 2015.
Danny Palumbo is a comedian who has appeared on Fuse’s Uproarious, America’s Got Talent, TruTV, and Kevin Hart’s LOL Network. He has been heard on NPR and featured on ABC News and the AV Club. He also writes about food for the Austin Chronicle, LA Weekly, Eater, The Takeout, and LA Mag. In 2015, he won the 30th annual Funniest Person in Austin contest. That same year, Vulture named Danny one of the top up-and-coming comedians outside of NY and LA. In 2016, he was chosen as a New Face at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival. Danny was the host and showrunner for Live at ColdTowne from 2015-2016.
Nicholas Saenz is an actor & voice artist living in Los Angeles best known for his recurring role on John Ridley’s Emmy-winning ABC Television series, American Crime, as well as the 2017 SXSW Film Festival Audience Award & Lone Star Film Award feature film, Mr. Roosevelt, written & directed by Noël Wells.Other notable performances include the Universal & Amazon Studios’, Hysteria, the NBC’s Revolution. Most recently, Nicholas played the lead role in the 2019 Cinequest Film Festival world premiere of feature film, Apartment 413. Nicholas graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2016 and performed with the troupe Lizards in 2016.
Chrissy Shackelford is a performer and writer based in NYC. She has worked as a staff writer for the HBO series Wyatt Cenac’s Problem Areas and Last Week Tonight with John Oliver. She’s a former cast member of UCBT’s Characters Welcome and the Maude team, The Classic. She is currently an actor on the Maude team, Fantasy. Her solo show Diane Shangri-La Presents: Not Dry Yet ran at UCBT Chelsea in 2017 and was performed at festivals across the country. Her work has been featured on Reductress, CollegeHumor, Refinery29, and Above Average. She began improv in January 2012 in Chicago at a Second City intensive, upon return to Austin, she began taking classes at ColdTowne Theater and graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory in 2013. And from performed with Nice Astronaut, Bridgeport Women’s Correctional Facility Short Form Players, Men in Chrissy’s Life, Stool Pigeon and Patio Talk from 2012 to 2014.
Dr. Isaac B. Smith is a research scientist at the Planetary Science Institute in Lakewood, Colorado, where he serves as the System Scientist for the US SHARAD team and a Co-Investigator for SHARAD on Mars Reconnaissnace Orbiter. His research focuses on sedimentary systems on Mars, especially related to the polar layered deposits, or ice caps. He uses data from the shallow radar (SHARAD) instrument in the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter to look for reflections beneath the surface of Mars. These reflections tell us about the geophysical makeup of the deposits and the geometry in which they were deposited. Isaac graduated from ColdTowne Conservatory ins 2011. He performed with Sock Dragon from 2011 to 2012.
Jessica Vasami is a producer, on-air actor and voice actor for Rooster Teeth Productions. She has appeared in and/or been a producer for Achievement Haunter, Blood Fest, Camp Camp and Red vs Blue. Jessica graduated from ColdTowne conservatory in 2016 and performed with SheSheSheShe from 2016 to 2017.