Our Instructors

Jeff Celantano

Jeff Celentano

Jeff Celentano has been on staff at The Performer’s Academy since early 2004. His workshops in Scene Study, Cold Reading, and Script Writing are an all-time favorite and often have waiting lists to attend. He has created an amazing Master Class program for those talented individuals who want to push their acting skills to the extreme.

Jeff is also a talented and award winning director. He directed Academy Award nominee Tom Berenger, Armand Assante & Busta Rhymes in the film ‘Breaking Point’, and Academy Award nominee Faye Dunaway in ‘Say It In Russian’.

Musetta Vander

Musetta Vander

Musetta Vander started her career in Durbin, South Africa as a dancer. Musetta starred in many music videos as well as television and film. She can be seen in over 40 feature films including Kicking & Screaming, Johnny, Breaking Point (opposite Academy Award nominee Tom Berringer & Armand Assante.)

She starred in ‘Say It In Russian’ with famed actress Faye Dunaway. Her teaching style is fresh and intense. She teaches students how to capture raw emotion and make it relevant for the big screen. Her classes are always in demand and often times have a wait list for enrollment.

Brent Huff

Brent Huff

Brent Huff started his career in front of the camera.  He was discovered by famed model-maker Nina Blanchard while in his early 20’s.  Brent moved on to acting and has starred in multiple features over the past 25 years.  He is an accomplished voice-over artist and has number national campaigns running for major retailers.

His film, Welcome to Paradise, stars Brian Dennehey, Crystal Bernard and featured over 200 parents and students from The Performer’s Academy.  He created The Performer’s Academy Loop Group, where students learn the art of voice over, looping and ADR for features he is involved with.

In addition Brent directed owner Natalie Costa’s award winning documentary Behind the Orange Curtain which depicts the epidemic prescription drug problem our teens are facing in this day and age. Brent also wrote, directed and produced the documentary “Chasing Beauty” which analyzes the modeling industry today. Both films can be found on iTunes and Hulu. Brent teaches Commercial Acting Workshops, Scene Study and Cold Reading classes.

Denny Siegal

Shawn Huff

Shawn Huff began her career in modeling and acting when she was 15 years old. While attending high school in Albuquerque, New Mexico Shawn was ‘discovered’ by a modeling agent from France. After convincing her parents to let her go, Shawn left for Paris and signed with Paris Planning Models.

She spent the next year traveling throughout Europe working for L’Oreal, Marie-Claire, Vogue, Bazaar and numerous advertising and catalog clients. Shawn then signed with Fashion Models in Milan and spent the next two years enjoying work in Italy.

Randi Driscoll

Randi Driscoll

Randi Driscoll is an award winning singer/ songwriter who has shared the stage with Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne, Jason Mraz, Bruce Hornsby, Cyndi Lauper, Dave Koz, Pat Benetar, Rufas Wainwright and numerous others. Her accolades include; two special mentions in Rolling Stone Magazine and Campus Activities Magazine’s Female Performer of the Year and Best Small Venue Performer, 2004/ Randi’s music has been featured in films, a commercial directed by Spike Lee and the hit series Dawson’s Creek.

Randi’s performance credits include appearances at, Lincoln Center, The Seattle Opera House, The Walnut Creek Theatre, The Joint, (Las Vegas) The Japan Center for the Arts (Los Angeles), Place des Artes (Montreal), Paramount Studios, The National HRC Dinner honoring Sec. of State Hillary Clinton and hundreds of clubs, theaters colleges and universities nationwide.

Randi Driscoll’s latest release, 365 Days, is a musical collaboration with Grammy Award Winning Producer, Larry Mitchell and can be found at cdbaby.com and iTunes.

Aline Sardão

Aline Sardão

Maestra Aline Sardão is a native of Brazil. She began her Electric Bass studies at the age of seventeen under the tutelage of Ivani Sabino, and at the age of eighteen, she won the competition for young instrumentalists offered by Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, being awarded with an invitation to attend an instrument course at that institution.

After earning her Bachelor’s of Music Degree in Conducting under the instruction of Maestro Abel Rocha, Aline started her conducting professional career directing choirs, youth orchestras and assisting professional orchestras in Brazil.
 

Maestra Sardão holds a Master of Music in Instrumental Conducting from The Azusa Pacific University in the Studio of Christopher Russell.
 Aline Sardão is emerging in today’s symphonic world. She has conducted orchestras and ensembles in Europe, Brazil and United States.

Music director at Northkirk Presbyterian Church, Maestra Sardão was recently appointed Music Director and Conductor of Orange County Symphony and Music Director of the Performer’s Academy of Orange County.

 Aline is also engaged in teaching, being the conductor of the advanced orchestra and intermediate string ensemble at the Saturday Conservatory of Music in San Gabriel, CA.

Johnny Contardo

Johnny Contardo

Johnny Contardo attended the Boston Conservatory of Music, studying voice, acting, and dance. He is best known as a former singer with the musical group, Sha Na Na. In 1978, he appeared with Sha Na Na in the blockbuster hit movie musical Grease as Johnny Casino and the Gamblers. His performance of the song “Those Magic Changes” was featured in the movie and on the soundtrack for Grease.

He was awarded a platinum album for the soundtrack from the movie Grease as well as a Grammy nomination. He also received a gold album for the Golden Age of Rock and Roll and being featured on the Sha Na Na television show, which aired for seven years. Johnny also appeared in a minor role in the movie Scarface.

Pamela Peak

Pamela Peak

Pamela Peak is an award-winning and Emmy-nominated writer, producer and director.
Her first documentary film, Colorblind, was seen on PBS Television in early 2008 by an estimated 56 million viewers and still airs today on PBS in the U.S and Canada.
 
The story was also featured on ABC News Good Morning America with Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts when Pamela brought this moving story to Diane Sawyer’s attention.
Colorblind also garnered four “Best Documentary” Film Festival Awards.

Pamela’s next film on PBS is “Voices of a Never Ending Dawn” This incredible two-hour documentary went on to be nominated for an Emmy Award. The film tells the forgotten story of a group of heroic WWI Veterans who fought one of the most horrific battles in US Military History. This story was largely forgotten until Pamela and her team brought it to life on PBS television.

Pamela has been a published award-winning author since the age of fourteen. She began her show business career as an actress, training in New York City at the renowned acting school, The Neighborhood Playhouse learning the acting technique of the great Stanford Meisner which she uses throughout all her work.  

After graduating from acting school in New York City, Pamela soon found herself performing in television daytime soap operas such as CBS’s Love of Life and As The World Turns. Pamela has acted in, produced and directed numerous stage plays in New York, Los Angeles as well as dinner theater in Florida.

Johnny Timko

Johnny Timko

Johnny Timko started his career in the entertainment industry literally right after birth. His mother, famed talent manager Coretha Timko had him cast in a baby commercial. Johnny had gone on to star in such shows as Little House On The Prarie, Love Boat, and director John Hughes wrote a part for him in cult favorite, Weird Science. Johnny teaches intro to acting classes, scene study, cold reading and on camera commercial workshops.

His classes are extremely popular and a starting off point for every actor who wants to work in the business. His energy and dedication make a class a ton of fun and a great resume builder. Johnny also is a set coach for the major networks, running lines and coaching actors before they shoot their scenes for television.

Denny Siegal

Paris Arrowsmith

Paris Arrowsmith is a classically trained actor, teacher, and graduate (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) from London, England. Known for Hanna (2011), Philomena (2013) and Nice 2 Meet U (2014).

He currently is teaching Mesiner technique classes. His Shakespeare workshops are filled with young actors who admire the works of William Shakespeare. Many Orange County School of the Arts students attend his workshops regularly.

Donna Magnani

Donna Magnani

Donna Magnani has taught Acting, Dance, and all the various parts to performing for 25 years. She has been a Screen Actor’s Guild member for 32 years, and she sits on the board of the nominating committee at SAG as well.

She has worked with the likes of Clint Eastwood, Martin Scorsese, Lanie Kazan, and Angelina Jolie, as well as having coached Victoria Justice and Cameron Boyce. 

Additionally, having danced professionally with Joe Tremaine for 25 years, Donna is excited to bring her love of dance, acting, and directing to The Performer’s Academy. 

 

Dominic Flores

Dimithri Perera

Dimithri Perera has been performing ever since he was in 3rd grade, in a class production of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”. Fast forward nineteen years and he’s made a huge name for himself in the Orange County Improv scene with “Improv Shmimprov”, his very own “Laugh Chance”, and the now-defunt family friendly “Secret City”.

His other credits include such plays as “Aladdin” as the Genie and “The Stinky Cheese Man” as the Stinky Cheese Man, web series like “Just Thought You Should Know” and “Death As We Know It”, and a handful of General Auto Insurance commercials. He was also seen doing a live Improv set for family friendly team “Secret City” on the CBS Los Angeles News.

He can currently be seen on stage in “Dogs of War” (a Shakespearean adaptation of Quentin Tarantino’s “Reservoir Dogs”) and performing for Laugh Chance, an Improv team of his own creation, with a bi-weekly show that boasts sold-out crowds and loads of laughs.

Dominic Flores

Dominic Flores

Dominic Flores comes to The Performer’s Academy with an extensive episodic television resume. He has recently been on such shows as CSI, The Mentalist, Sons of Anarchy, Days of Our Lives, The Young and the Restless, Victorious, My Girl, and much more. Dominic also has an extensive background with the Groundlings.

Currently he can be seen in the film ‘Our Brand is Crisis’ as Hugo Barco with Sandra Bullock, George Clooney, Joaquim de Almeida, and Billy Bob Thornton. Dominic is currently directing a film for Lifetime Television. He is a very busy working actor with television commercials running currently for Progressive Insurance and Taco Bell.

Dominic Flores

Rudy Mella

Rudy Mella has been in the business for over 20 years as an actor, (One Life to Live, As the World Turns, City Guys) as well as a writer and producer.

Rudy is currently involved in co-producing four TV series that are being developed for network television.

Rudy has also taught Improvisation Acting at the Performer’s Academy and is excited to join the team again.

Randall England

Randall England

Randall England teaches our Method Master class at The Performer’s Academy. His workshops fall into two categories. His 5:00 class is for the serious tween actor. If your child envisions a potential career in film – method acting might be a good choice for them. He’s a serious teacher who focuses on the classics such as Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn to help young artists develop their acting chops.

His master class from 6:00-9:00 PM is filled with serious minded young adult-seniors who are interested in intense training in the “method”. Randall is currently producing a film called, “The Needs of Kim Stanley” who was a close lifelong personal friend – but also an acting coach to such stars as Sidney Pollack, Jessica Lange, Robert DeNiro for example. Randall has an extensive television and film resume and for all the General Hospital fans – Randall was Jack Slater!

Denny Siegal

Denny Siegel

Denny Siegel is an American actress, comedian, and writer, best known for her role as a regular on the ABC-TV improv series Whose Line is it Anyway?

Before her staring on Whose Line?, she was a writer/performer on the sketch comedy show Quick Witz, which ran on NBC. Other TV credits include MTV F*UPS, PBS’s TV- 411, and host of the Metro Channel’s Get Out of Town. She has also appeared in pilots for Terran Enterprises, Bravo and the WB.

Denny has an extensive corporate resume as a writer, host and performer, and has also written several DVDs for the corporate marker. She has performed Improv at various comedy festivals including The Montreal Comedy Festival, The Bass Red Triangle Comedy Tour, The Toyota Comedy Festival, and the Marshalls Women in Comedy Festival. She continues to perform comedy and theater at venues throughout Los Angeles, including The Improv and Friars Club.

She was most recently seen wrestling with Larry David in HBO’s “Curb Your Enthusiasm”