Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

MEET THE TRAINERS

AMSTERDAM IMPROV INSTRUCTORS

Our courses are taught by individuals who have been through different training programs and have a wealth of experience performing. They are trained and selected to teach the level or course that best suits their specialist skill set.

STACEY SMITH

Stacey is a loud New Yorker who is proud to be in Amsterdam working for Boom Chicago as a cast member, running the Boom Academy, and as the Associate Artistic Director. She has been performing for over a decade all over the world. She has made 67 appearances at 25 international improv festivals, many of them as a headliner.

 As a teacher and education director, Stacey has created programs for multiple schools and has designed specialized workshops, including a program for young female-identifying students called S.H.E. (Sisterhood Humor Empowerment). Prior to joining BoomChicago, she taught and managed training centers in Chicago and Boston, including ComedySportz Chicago, ImprovBoston, The Second City, and iO Chicago.

 Stacey is also an accomplished comedy producer. In 2015, she founded The Chicago Musical Improv Festival at the iO Theater in Chicago, and prior to this, she worked as an assistant producer on the Chicago Improv Festival, Chicago Women’s Funny Festival, The Teen Comedy Fest, and The Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. Stacey has produced countless shows in Chicago, including the long-running musical comedy shows The Musical Armando and Fraudway. She is currently the Festival Director for the Boom Chicago Comedy Festival.

MATT CASTELLVI

Matt Castellvi is a Cuban-American comedian, writer, and improviser from Chicago who is thrilled to be the newest cast member of Boom Chicago. Matt trained at Second City and iO Chicago where he played regularly with Baby Wants Candy and The Musical Armando. Voted Best Standup of 2019 by The Chicago Reader, Matt has headlined comedy festivals internationally including the Adelaide Fringe Festival, The Miami Improv Festival, Big-Little Comedy Festival, Omaha Improv Festival, Chicago Musical Improv Festival, and The Oslo Improv Festival. Matt is a regular emcee in Amsterdam and produces shows with Lo-Fi Comedy.

SIMON LUKACS

Simon Lukacs has been improvising for 7 years, and has trained with Second City, The Free Association, Monkey Toast, The Spontaneity Shop, as well as iO’s Brian Jack, UCB’s Billy Merritt, Showstoppers’ Pippa Evans and Patti Styles. He has also trained in clowning with the Edinburgh Comedy Award winning Dr Brown.

As well as being a Boom Chicago actor, Simon is part of the improv teams The Petting Zoo (described by Time Out London as an “improv supergroup”), The 838 (a house team at The Free Association), Equine Extravaganza, and has performed regularly with the FA players in their flagship show Jacuzii, in London, Edinburgh and Birmingham. He also performed 3 sold out runs at the Edinburgh Festival.

He also created the improv show Parky: The Improvised Chat Show for the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and has performed in New York (as part of the Del Close Marathon), Berlin and Dublin. He has taught improv at The Free Association in London, as well as being an approved coach for both them and for Monkey Toast, as well as coaching several teams in London and running his own workshops.

KATIE NIXON

Katie Nixon (she/her) entertains internationally and across the USA with her signature blend of high-energy, nerdy, and, frequently musical comedy. While in Chicago, Katie appeared regularly at The Second City, iO, and The Annoyance. She has written and performed sketch comedy with several groups in Chicago and at festivals across the USA. Named Logansquarist’s Best Comedian in 2016, Katie has also performed solo at The Laugh Factory and the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival. Katie is delighted to be in Amsterdam and to try every type of Dutch cheese she can get her hands on.

TERRANCE LAMONTE, JR

Terrance Lamonte, Jr: Terrance is an actor and comedic improviser, sketch writer and producer, and professional teaching artist. Born and raised on the West side of Chicago (yes, Uncle Remus is better than Harold’s), Terrance has been cultivating his comedy chops professionally for almost a decade. Notable, he has performed at venues including The Second City’s Mainstage and National Touring Company, iO Chicago, Annoyance Theater, ComedySportz Chicago, Laugh Out Loud Theaters.

ROB ANDRISTPLOURDE

Rob AndristPlourde has been professionally performing and teaching short form improvisational comedy since 1989. After three years of performing with Comedy Sportz Chicago, Rob moved to Amsterdam to work, improvising, writing and teaching comedy with Boom Chicago. In addition to his solo shows “Rob It Like it’s Hot!” and “Legends of Rob”, Rob is one of the creators of “Yo! Here We Go”, Boom Chicago’s longest running, hip hop freestyle piece. Bringing a serious sense of joy and wonder to comedy, Rob loves short form, beat boxing and watching students get improv. When not doing comedy, Rob pursues the music scene and recommends music you will like.

CHELSEA GILL

Chelsea Gill is an improviser and musician from America. Chelsea began her theatrical career at age 7 in the orphaned classic, Oliver. Her passion for performance led her to earn her BA in Theatre & Drama from Indiana University as well as a certificate from BADA (British American Drama Academy). Her improv career began in 2013 performing short form comedy with ComedySportz and sketch comedy with Defiance Comedy in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 2016, she moved to Los Angeles, California, where she graduated from Upright Citizens Brigade (UCB), Second City, and iO. She was a member of the long form improv troupe, Orphans West, and worked on a sketch comedy team at Second City LA. She has worked with several of her improv comedy heroes including Craig Cackowski, Billy Merritt, Rob Belushi, Greg Hess, Eric Hunicutt, Jet Eveleth, and Peter Fluet. Her love for comedy continues now at Boom Chicago where she is a member of Thuis Party;  as well as having performed in numerous mainstage and variety shows.

JAKE

Just Jake! No, not ‘Just Jack’ from Will and Grace, although you might encounter some similarities…

Jake is a Belgian all-round creative, improvisor and teacher. After a taster class, he started out in the Boom Chicago Academy in 2019. A couple of years later, he is now a teacher himself! He teaches Taster Classes and the Intro to Improv Course. So far, he has been part of the trailblazing Boom Chicago house team ‘Grover’ and is involved with the Interacting program, where students on the Autism spectrum learn communication skills and self awareness through improv comedy. Apart from comedy, Jake has embarked on many creative endeavours as a singer/actor/dancer/MC/host and behind the scenes roles such as event programmer, producer and video editor.

JAMAL KHADAR

Jamal first took improv classes at the Free Association in London and went on to play on a Harold team and all poc team Minority Report. He moved to Amsterdam in 2020 and was a member of Boom’s first Harold team ‘Grover’ for one entire show before 2020 struck again. He has written about comedy for the Guardian and cohosts the But Is It Funny comedy writers podcast. He is also a cool dad and a radio host, mostly playing songs that involve yodelling.

SACHA HOEDEMAKER

Sacha Hoedemaker has been involved with Boom Chicago’s Music Department for over a decade. As the Music Director at Boom Chicago, he is responsible for the selection and production of (original) music for live shows and other creative projects. You’ll also see him play live during our shows! 

In 2010, Sacha was introduced to improvisational theater and was hooked right away. His professional experience combined with an eye and timing for theater made him a highly sought-after Musical Director and improviser across Europe. He is considered one of the best Music Directors in Europe. Sacha loves teaching, playing live, producing and working with people on creative and/or musical projects! He is an improviser at heart and always looking for new stories to tell, through his music.

In 2020, he became the head of our Tech Department and made sure Boom Chicago was brought into the future with a live stream setup.

In 2020, he started releasing music under his own name on streaming services and his music is being streamed by more than 300,000 listeners on a monthly basis. He is the bandleader of the Frenchcore orchestra, Dr. Peacock, in Concert, playing on major Hardcore festivals like Defqon.1. Oh, AND he won an Emmy for HitRECord’s #CreateTogether.