Here’s the latest on some of our outstanding Alumni!
Since graduating in May, Kelsey has been working for Rene Haynes Casting as an assistant casting director. She has had the opportunity to assist in casting National Geographic’s film Saints & Strangers, Marvel’s Gambit, and the Oscar nominee The Revenant . She has discovered a new passion within the entertainment industry and looks forward to God’s calling in her life.
Troy hastily moved to New York City after barely graduating. His career began with commercials and print modeling, he’s advertised for companies like Apple, SnapChat, Gap, Babies R Us, Ameritrade, and Comcast. Since then he’s co-starred on network television shows like the hit Netflix series ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK and ABC’s new show TIME AFTER TIME. He’s graced the stage in NYC, Off-Off-Broadway and national tours. Most recently he returned to the west coast to star in the world premiere of THE BOY WHO DANCED ON AIR in San Diego where a critic named Pam of the San Diego Tribune called him a “Broadway-Star-In-Waiting”. His TV pilot TRUTH SLASH FICTION just won the top prize for Best Comedy in this year’s Series Fest in Denver, CO. Troy‘s also a successful vocalist, he’s performed alongside some of Broadway’s best and has worked with composers Drew Gasparini, Rosser & Sohne and Carner & Gregor in renowned venues like NYC’s 54 Below, Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld stage and at the Kennedy Center in D.C. performing for thousands of people.
Chelsea started working in the entertainment industry in 2013 when she acquired her first internship with Artistic Endeavors while in the Industry Insiders class at Vanguard. Quickly after that summer internship, she realized that she very much enjoyed working on the representation side of the industry, and especially with children. She then began her internship with Zuri Model and Talent, one of the largest and most successful children’s agencies in California. After graduation Chelsea decided to try New York living, and got a job working at Take 3 Talent agency. While there Chelsea worked on projects from national network commercials, to awarding winning TV shows and blockbuster feature films including; “THE RIDICULOUS 6” With Adam Sandler, “TRAINWRECK” staring Amy Schumer, NBC’s “THE BLACKLIST”, and “THE GAFFIGAN SHOW” to name a few. After New York, Chelsea decided to move back to the west coast to continue her work in talent representation. She now works at one of the largest and most successful agencies in US, Innovative Artists- working under agent Robert Haas, who has some of the most successful young stars of today!
Currently with Elite Model Management doing fashion and commercial modeling.
- Samsung Commercial (South Korea) 2012
- The Bold and the Beautiful (3 episodes as “Feature Model”) 2011-2013
- Target Summer ads
- Badgely and Mishka Bridal Ads
- The Knot Cover Model
Ryan Miller (class of 2010) LA theater credits include Complete Works of Shakespeare Abridged (TTC), Romeo and Juliet (Coeurage Theatre), Last Train to Nibroc (ACTC), and See Rock City (LFT). He was in the world premiere of Development written by Warren Doody at Theatrikos Theater. Ryan is entering his third year and final year of the MFA Acting program at UCLA where he was cast in Life on the Praca Roosevelt, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and most recently finished shooting the television project Sanity.
Kelsi is an alumnus of Vanguard University, where she honed her skills as an actor and found her flare for comedy. After graduating, she began her improv comedy training at the historic Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. Since then, she has become part of many improv groups, such as, No You Don’t Oprah, Squalid Gold, Dad’s Second Family, Oh Brother, and The Pippa Middletons. She also performs sketch comedy with her group Genuine Jerks that has over a million views on numerous videos. With these groups, she has performed numerous times on The Groundlings Main Stage, The Comedy Central Stage in Los Angeles, Second City L.A. Main Stage, and I.O. West. She has also been asked to perform at both the New York Improv and Chicago Improv festivals in 2013-2016.Her credits include numerous commercials such as DTS sound, Fresh and Easy, and Post Great Grains cereal, and Mythbuster Mega Marathon. She can also be seen every Sunday night at the world renowned Groundlings Theatre in Sunday Company.
Kelsi is also currently coming back to VU regularly to help with the development of our new comedy improv team,Popular Demand.
Jeff Fazakerly ’08
- See Jeff in this short film: “Alone” on vimeo
- Reflections from the Cast of “Dancing at Lughnasa”
- Regency Resident Acting Company
- Jeff’s Website
Donna Simone Johnson is a LA-based actress, choreographer and producer. Most recently, she can be seen in the national Nike campaign with NFL player Dayvon Ross or as a recurring guest star on BounceTV’s THE BRKDWN. Previous credits include a host of regional theatre roles, including the national tours of High School Musical and The Lion King at the Pantages, as well as work at Union Square, Portland Center Stage, A.C.T., African American Shakespeare Company, The Royal George, and more. Notable LA productions includes Broken Fences at The Road Theatre Co, The Cherry Orchard at Theatricum Botanicum, Samsara at REDCAT, and Echoes of A Thousand Hills at the Center for New Performance alongside Mashirika Performing Arts Company in Kigali, Rwanda amongst others. As a choreographer and teaching artist, she has created work at CalArts, USC, NYU, Idyllwild Arts Academy, Arts and Communication Magnet, Cal State LA and the Harlem Academy with Ronald K. Brown. She is an alumnus and associate producer with Directors Lab West and holds a MA in Dance Education from NYU and a MFA in Acting from CalArts. More at www.donnasimonejohnson.com
Amy Maier ’05
Amy is a member of the Art Directors Guild and works as an Assistant Art Director in commercials and television (24, Terra Nova, Cold Case, The Whole Truth) She received her BA from Vanguard University, and an M.F.A in scenic design from UCIrvine. She has Production Designed multiple short films, and was awarded the first Richard Hay Fellowship from the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Some of her design credits include Knight to D7, Grande Drip (Pieta Entertainment), The Bear and the Rabbit (Vinyl Circus Productions), Eurydice (Range View Productions), the World Premiere of For All Time (Cornerstone Theater Company), The Heretic Mysteries (Los Angeles Theatre Ensemble), Songs for a New World, Blue like Jazz (Three Trees Theatre), Anything Goes, The Music Man, Under Milk Wood, and the Southern California Premiere of Fetes De La Nui (UCIrvine).Amy graduated with an MFA in Scenic Design From UC Irvine and was Assistant Art Director on the TV series ’24.’
Emily has starred in the recent Syfy network television show, “Haven“, based on Stephen King’s novella, “The Colorado Kid”. She is also well known for the voice of Elena Fisher in the critically acclaimed Uncharted video games. If you would like to keep updated on what she’s working on make sure check out her IMDB page.
Claire has come from an extensive producing background with credentials as an entertainment industry administrator and involvement in the staging and production of televised events, television series, live stage performances and numerous operas. Ms. Friday has had over 11 years of experience in production for theatre, opera, dance, television, and events while working with some of the top talent, producers, clients, and directors in the entertainment business. Her clients include Facebook, Warner Brothers, Dolby Theatre, and T-Mobile.
She has contributed her work to many high profile venues including Dolby Theatre, Warner Brothers Studios, The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, The Hollywood Bowl, Walt Disney Concert Hall, and The Kennedy Center. Ms. Friday has also worked closely with Boston Lyric Opera and LA Opera in managing production and overseeing budgetary and artistic aspects of their seasonal opera line-ups. She holds a Master of Fine Arts Degree in stage management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is on the board of the National Association of Women Business Owners.
In May I auditioned to get my own TV show on the Oprah Winfrey Network. Oprah, along with producer Mark Burnett, chose me as one of the top 10 finalists! I am really excited and very thankful! The competition has already taken place, but will air Friday evenings, starting January 7th (2011) on OWN (currently the Discovery Health network, turning into on OWN January 1), at 9/8c. I hope you will tune in and watch me battle for my chance to work on Oprah’s new network! Also, check out the cast in the latest issue of People magazine (page 122-123). Here are some links about me from Oprah’s web site:
If you want to stay update on this crazy adventure of mine, please “like” my public Facebook page.