Improv Your Life 2017 Scholars | Peoples Improv Theater

Improv Your Life 2017 Scholars

Cristala Carter was born and raised in Oakland, CA. After several years in the corporate business world of marketing, she followed her passion for performing and bought a one way ticket to New York City. This April will mark her 10th year as a transplant New Yorker. During that time, Cristala has worked steadily, having loaned her face and voice to numerous national on camera and voice-over spots for major brands. With any luck, the next 10 years will be even better and she’ll be that lady you love on that one show, who was also in that amazing movie based on the hit broadway play everyone is talking about. And if Cristala seems like she could use a nap, please remember that she is happily married with two young children, so yeah, sleep is on short supply and a nap would probably be great.


Saif Choudhury is a senior at Macaulay Honors College at the City College of New York. He maintains a 3.96 GPA, which is a shock to everyone because he was suspended from school in Pre-K (the teacher was a player hater). From early in his life, Saif had to take care of his disabled father, which directed him toward becoming a doctor. However after volunteering at a hospital and fainting at the sight of blood, he decided to go the other way and pursue comedy. Saif hopes that through comedy, he can alleviate much of the pain others face – whether it’s by attacking much of the ignorance that exists today or by simply putting a smile on people’s faces.


Jonathan Cohall is more than a Comedian, he is a “Coneedian.” He has to make people laugh for it is his life force. Without it, he is but a mere mortal. If it is a full moon you can catch him performing Stand-Up comedy throughout New York City. Mr. Cohall attended college at SUNY Purchase, studying film and writing whilst performing sketch comedy on his own campus TV show. He has studied improvisation at The UCB Theater, as well as Viral Video at The PIT. In the very same year The PIT was established Jonathan received the 1st place $3,000 prize in the NYC Youth Video Festival sponsored by Showtime with a story about a subway comedian entitled LAUGH TRACK, which was screened at The Paley Center for Media. He also appeared in “One Girl Two Hairstyles” a commercial with Broad City’s Ilana Glazer for curly hair care company Ouidad on YouTube. When not furthering his comedic career he helps create public service announcements that target health issues in urban communities. Jonathan is extremely excited to be named a 2017 Improv Your Life Scholar and looks forward to learning and growing at The Peoples Improv Theater!


Daniel Ebbert left the Philadelphia performing arts scene in the 90s for graduate school, and a career as an executive recruiter. Now 20 years later he’s back with a middle-aged perspective. He blends 80’s pop culture wisdom, with colonial-era history, and a love of the great outdoors. Lately he’s been studying at Upright Citizens Brigade, Philadelphia Improv Theater and the Walnut Street Theater School. Studied theater at Ithaca College, and a MBA from Temple University.


Launa Eddy is an artist and mask maker living in Manhattan. She fully understands that comedy and art will keep her sane but likely destitute. She enjoys engaging the more humorous and surrealistic parts of her brain, and the results that often come from daring to do so.


Patrick McDaniel is a former Captain in the United States Marine Corp. He served six years with two tours of duty in Afghanistan. While serving as an active duty officer he also owned and operated a successful fitness company and earned a Master’s in Performance Psychology at George Mason University. He is very much looking forward to expanding his comedic skills at the PIT and to start bringing the joy of laughter to the world.


Candace Mitchell is a writer-performer living in Brooklyn, NY. She’s always had a deep love for comedy growing up. Now she’s ready to pursue it as a career. She’s written several sketches, a short play, and has even dipped her toe in stand up comedy. When she’s not writing, she makes visual art, while drinking a bottle of Trader Joe’s finest $3 wine. She’s never been afraid to take a risk, and get into some trouble… just don’t tell her mom.


Rachida Naceur is a French-Moroccan New Yorker and soon to be unemployed paralegal (she wanted to be a lawyer a long time ago and ended up in a law firm – where she realized she absolutely did not want to be a lawyer). Fueled by a deep urge to tell my stories, she is currently working on a documentary about French expatriates in New York City. She’s also writing a more personal account of her experiences as an immigrant. When she’s not writing, taking photos, being miserable at her day job or eating, she practices Thai Boxing at her second home, Sitan Gym, in Astoria. Rachida is excited about taking improv classes so that she can learn to trust her instincts, be more present and go on an adventure!


Singing, dancing and acting, since the age of 5, Debra Toscano comes from a musical family. Her many credits include singing the National Anthem for most of the major NY/NJ sports teams, being season regular “ Melissa Rhodes” on the Emmy Nominated Web Series “TAINTED DREAMS” to currently playing the crazy, fun, and big haired “AUNT TONI ANN” in MY BIG GAY ITALIAN WEDDING, FUNERAL and CRISIS shows off broadway. She toured all over the country and Vegas playing “Carol” with Girls Night: The musical, and played the stern “SISTER” in the one woman show, SISTER’S CHRISTMAS CATECHISM, The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold at the Long Wharf theater. Fun fact: Debra was also a winning contestant on the game show: DON’T FORGET THE LYRICS with host Wayne Brady. Please check out her website at www.debratoscano.com


Joanne Wilson is a New York based actor, writer, comedian, dog mom. She’s studied improv, character and Sketch with both UCB and most recently The Pit. She is so excited to be one of this years Improv Your Life’s Scholars and can’t wait to start overloading on comedy! Her 800 Portuguese relatives will be so happy to hear she’s doing something aside from stand up behind a bar 3 nights a week. That’s right, she’s Portuguese, don’t let the last name and translucent skin fool you.


Molly Woodriff is a researcher and consultant in tech, moonlighting as an improv newbie. Originally from Charlottesville, Virginia, Molly moved to New York City to get her MPH at Columbia University. Eventually she found Brooklyn and has been making ice cream and tending her indoor plants ever since.