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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.

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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.

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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.

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STACEY SMITH

Stacey Smith is a loud Long Islander who just relocated back to Chicago by way of Boston where she was the Comedy School Manager at ImprovBoston, in addition to a cast member in both their Music Improv Cast and Mainstage cast. Stacey currently teaches at Second City and iO, and performs weekly at iO in The Musical Armando, Fraudway and The Deltones. Stacey performed in many theatricals at The Second City, including Life Hacks, #DateMe and two cruise contracts on The Norwegian Breakaway. Stacey recently toured her solo musical improv show STACEJAM and taught musical improv in Bulgaria, Germany, Amsterdam, Greece, Belgium, France, Norway, Italy, Estonia and Denmark.  She’s been lucky enough to headline comedy festivals all over the globe, playing alongside many famous comedians and actors like Amber Ruffin, Mary Holland, Seth Morris, Kevin McDonald, Chris Redd, Terry O’Quinn and Dickie Smothers. She is also the creator of The Chicago Musical Improv Festival.

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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.

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LIZZ KEMERY

Lizz Kemery is a comedian, actor, writer and true crime aficionado. She studied improv comedy at The Groundlings, The Upright Citizens Brigade and The Free Association. Originally from Philadelphia, she has also performed in Los Angeles, London and finally here in Amsterdam.

She was a reoccurring guest player with London super group – Shoot From The Hip and member of their sister troupe Sweet Nelson – teaching workshops all over the world including places like London and Istanbul.

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OLIVIA FLOOD-WYLIE

Olivia Flood-Wylie is an American comedian who moved to Amsterdam to achieve her lifelong dream of not being in Los Angeles anymore. She’s been involved with the Boom Chicago academy since its inception, and was an original member of its first Harold team, “Grover”. She can be found performing stand up across Amsterdam, and was named a “2020 One To Watch” by Funny Women.

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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.

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SACHA HOEDEMAKER

Sacha Hoedemaker has been playing professionally for over 10 years accompanying singers, live bands, musicals, studio engineers and theater productions. As the Musical Director at Boom Chicago, he is responsible for the production of original music for live shows and other creative projects such as Escape through Time, New Kids on the Gracht, VR Winter Wonderland, Best of Boom, Escape Through The Movies and many more. 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. Sacha loves teaching, playing live, producing and working with people on creative and/or musical projects! For more information about Sacha Hoedemaker, check out his website at http://www.themusicmaker.nl or search for The Music Maker on Facebook.

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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.

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