Kim earned her improv comedy pedigree from Chicago's lauded Second City Conservatory, where her teachers included Steve Carell and Stephen Colbert. Kim also studied under improv legends Del Close and Charna Halpern at Chicago's ImprovOlympic (iO), sharing the stage with classmates Amy Poehler and Tina Fey.
Kim began her professional comedy career at The Second City Chicago, and went on to perform and write at Second City Detroit, as well as teach classes at the Second City Detroit Conservatory. She was a member of Annoyance Theater's mainstage improv troupe Screw Puppies, made regular appearances with long-form improv groundbreakers The Free Associates, and acted in a wide range of industrial videos, voice-overs, and commercials. In addition to work as a corporate trainer, a Session Director at O'Connor Casting in Chicago, and a freelance theater director, Kim's non-comedy background includes teaching positions at Hawthorne Scholastic Academy, Northside College Prep, Apachi Preschool, and substitute work for Chicago Public Schools.
A native of California (and now a resident of Glenview), Kim holds a BA in Humanities from Menlo College, a Masters of Education from DePaul, and has studied acting at San Francisco's American Conservatory of Theater, and the Stella Adler Conservatory and Michael Howard Studios in NYC.
Kim is also a writer, regularly featured on makeitbetter.net.
KIM HILLER ON THE JEN WEIGEL SHOW
In this interview, LAC founder Kim Greene Hiller joins WLS Radio host Jen Weigel in-studio to talk about her career --From discovering The Second City to performing on their mainstage alongside Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, to the deep personal rewards of sharing the transformative power of improvisation with her students at The Laughing Academy.
A native of the Arctic Tundra, Professor Hoo's On First pursued several branches of higher learning before discovering his true passion - improv comedy.
In a well-known story, The Professor initially rose to fame on the infamous "Caribou Circuit," where he performed with the harolded Strigiforme long form troupe, and leveraged unique comedic trademarks including Staring Wisely, Blinking Majestically, and Surprise Mouse Regurgitation to become a breakout star.
Although now retired from the stage, Professor Hoo's is very pleased to contribute to THE LAUGHING ACADEMY's ongoing status as a vibrant, nurturing, and 100% mouse-free comedy school environment.
Lauded comedian, author, actor, and trainer Jimmy Carrane is excited to guide a new generation of performers through the art of improvisation. Jimmy began his career at The Second City and IO, is an original member of The Annoyance Theater, and was a cast member of Jazz Freddy, Carl and the Passions, and iO's legendary troupe, Armando.
With his co-star Stephanie Weir, Jimmy created “Naked,” one of the first 2-person improv shows, and also wrote and performed his own hit one-man shows “I Am 27, I Still Live at Home and Sell Office Supplies,” and “Living in Dwarf’s House.”
In addition to improv, Jimmy was the longtime host of NPR radio's "Studio 312," interviewing everyone from Conan O’Brian to Cindy Crawford, and currently hosts the "Improv Nerd" podcast on Starburn Audio.
His books include "Improv Therapy" and "Improvising Better: A Guide for the Working Improviser" with co-author Liz Allen, and his performance resume includes the film and TV credits Public Enemies, The Playboy Club, Natural Born Killers, The Untouchables, ER, Early Edition and a (metric) ton of independent films.
Jimmy teaches his award-winning Art of Slow Comedy classes and workshops across the country, and leads corporate improv workshops, bringing the art of improv to the workplace.
Heather Chrisler is an actor, teacher, and playwright (her 2019 adaptation of LITTLE WOMEN will have its 4th professional production later this year), and holds a Masters of Fine Arts from Ohio University. She has taught Acting and Movement with Ohio University and The City of Evanston, has been a teaching artist for Columbia College, Door Shakespeare, and Muse of Fire Theatre Company, and is currently the Site Director for the City of Evanston's Arts Immersion Camp. Heather's on-camera work includes Chicago PD on NBC, 4400 on The CW, and several award-winning independent films. Stage work includes Chicago's Goodman, Victory Gardens, Writers Theatre, Remy Bumppo, and First Folio Theatre, as well as regional work with Door Shakespeare, Cincinnati Playhouse, Riverside Theatre, Portland Center Stage and The Monomoy Theatre on Cape Cod. heatherchrisler.com
Allie’s passion for improv started at a young age, inspired by watching Comedy Sportz Indianapolis during her elementary school days. Allie moved to Chicago to pursue improv after college and since then has studied at The PIT NYC and iO Chicago.
Allie loves improv for a lot of reasons, but especially because of how it builds friendships, trust, confidence, and the ability to find good in every situation.
She is currently performing around Chicago with Mortal Enemies (a former iO Harold team), Anarchy: An Improvised Rock Opera, Supper, and Storytown. She can be found at Logan Square Improv and The Annoyance.
When not performing, Allie is the marketing coordinator at Shedd Aquarium. She spends all time not at her desk waving to the frogs and puffer fish.
Monica Matsakis is a writer and live storyteller who has shared her work at The Moth, Truth Be Told, Story Lab, This Much is True, The Laughing Academy and more. She is also a professionally trained actor, most recently appearing as Kate Jerome in Brighton Beach Memoirs at The Citadel Theater. Along with being entertaining, Monica believes in the transformative and healing power of live storytelling, not only for the teller but the audience as well. Connecting and feeling less alone is at our fingertips when we share our journey with one another.
Tim Soszko is very excited to work with The Laughing Academy. Tim has made a living performing, teaching, writing, directing and producing for over 15 years all over the US, Canada and Europe. He teaches classes at The Actors Training Center, The Revival, Booth, and Quinlan, to name a few, and performs with the musical improv group The Deltones. For fun, Tim works as an emcee, an auctioneer, and a wood worker. He also wrote and starred in a TV Pilot for his own sketch comedy show. Tim hopes to make millions as a voiceover artist. He has yet to reach his goal. timsoszko.com
Darren Stephens is a veteran performer, comedian and improviser whose work includes the Second City House Improv Musical Ensemble, Baby Wants Candy and Musical, The Musical. In addition to stage, film and tv, his voiceover work has been featured in thousands of regional and national radio and television commercials. Regarded as one of Chicago’s leading Voice and Presentation Coaches, Darren is skilled at helping people overcome the stress and anxiety associated with public speaking and teaches them how to effectively use humor and incorporate storytelling to create compelling messaging. darrenstephens.com
Ashley Whitehurst is a graduate of iO and the Second City Conservatory and Music Conservatory, and currently teaches at the Second City Training Center. Ashley is also a writer, performer, director, producer, and podcaster. She's very bad at boasting, so she put it all HERE for you (yes, you!) to read. When she's not working a day job or doing comedy stuff, Ashley plays video games, runs, reads, thinks about sports, and plays piano.