SCREENING HOSTS

AMANDA COHEN is nobody’s mom! She’s a fearless FUNNY woman who has rocked countless comedy stages all across North America with her hilarious view of middle age that is relatable for any age. She has performed at the Improv and The Comedy Store in LA, and she studied improvisation and sketch writing at Chicago’s Second City Conservatory before becoming part of the LA comedy scene in 2017. She can currently be seen in the film CLOWN & OUT and heard in the film REDVILLE.
Brenda Pontiff fell in love with the screwball comedies of the 1930’s at an early age and later focused her passion on standup comedy. She is a product of the famed Houston’s Comix Annex and toured the country as a feature act in franchise clubs before moving to Los Angeles. After becoming a regular at The Improv and Igby’s, she turned to joke polishing for numerous A-list screenwriters. She is the creator and executive producer of DISASTER TO THE WENCH, a movie curation show on YouTube which explores sexism in the studio system during the golden age of Hollywood. Follow her on Instagram @brendapontiff.
Chris Spinelli is a stand up Comedian and Actor. He was born in New Jersey, raised in Colorado, and now lives in Los Angeles. If he keeps continuing West, he’ll end up in the Pacific Ocean. Chris has performed comedy in many L.A. clubs including Flappers in Burbank and is currently in several movies with CineRidge Entertainment. This is his second year being a part of the Santa Clarita International Film Festival and he claims it’s “Super” to be back.

Elaine Ballace is a Native CALIFORNIAN! She became a Professional Ice Skater at age 8, when there was a BIG difference between Amature and Pro. Along with her Professional Ice Skating, she began acting in Commercials by age 9. She loved both and did both for many years. However, her passion for acting soon won out and she never looked back! While she has been in countless projects and productions, her more recent credits include: Just completed her 4th Season, as FERN on the EMMY Nominated, 2 Time ISA AWARD-WINNING Comedy “The RICH and The RUTHLESS,” now seen on BET+.

 

DARED, which was the highest viewed Series on YouTube, and FREE LUNCH EXPRESS, which WON #BEST COMEDY at the BERLIN and TORONTO FILM Festivals, and LOVE WITHOUT HAIRS, which can be seen on Amazon Prime. GAYCISM is a wonderful film awaiting release, where Elaine plays an INTER-FAITH Preacher who marries a Gay Couple of different races. Other famed credits include 4 MEL BROOKS FILMS, DRACULA DEAD, AND LOVING IT, ROBIN HOOD: MEN IN TIGHTS, LOVE STINKS, AND SPACEBALLS. Elaine has just finished shooting a Horror Movie, DRACULA: Bride of Horror, so there is the full DRACULA spectrum from comedy to horror! Recently, Elaine has authored her BOOK: HOW TO WRITE A BOOK CAMP ELAINE STYLE with OREO.

Jeff Frame brings a unique brand of personal storytelling and relatable insights into everyday situations, with a friendly demeanor and an every-man persona, it’s easy for audiences to quickly feel like they’ve known him for years. He is self-deprecating, honest & relatable while talking about kids and family, weight issues and why you should never have parrots as pets.

 

Jeff is the co-host of the Who Did It First Podcast. He’s been seen on season 5 of the FX show “You’re The Worst.” He’s also been seen in the Amazing Johnathan documentary on Hulu.

 

Jeff has won both the San Diego & Minneapolis satellites of the World Series of Comedy & made the Final 9, out of over 400 entrants, at the national competition in Las Vegas. He also recently taped his first hour long comedy special at The Main in Newhall and it will be released in 2023.

 

In addition to being a comic he is also the director and producer of the Comedy documentary “Bert Kreischer: I Am The Machine.”

Kaehla Maurer is an LA-based host, actress, and singer. While pursuing a STEM major in Orlando, FL, she worked as a promo model and emcee for Fortune 500 companies. This led to performing musical improv and acting in the local film scene until she had to have the awkward conversation with her parents: I’m not going to be a veterinarian. After graduation, she continued to train in the arts and perform in New York, Minnesota (story available upon request), and LA. Kaehla spends her free time traveling as a pilot’s girlfriend and managing her cat’s budding career as an influencer.
Katie K is an Arkansas transplant based in Los Angeles. She tours the country performing for clubs, universities, and festivals. In the past year she’s appeared on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, America’s Got Talent Extreme, and Squished on Amazon Prime. You can hear her weekly on her popular podcast Mostly True Opinions and see her perform nightly all over LA.
Kristen is a Los Angeles based Second City comedian, writer, actor and violinist from Dayton Ohio. She was named a Comic to Watch in the RIOT LA Comedy Festival and participated in season 12 of America’s Got Talent. Kristen wrote commercials for okrp.com and has completed both the Second City writing and conservatory programs in Chicago. She was named a “Comedian You Should Know,” which features shows in Chicago, LA, and NY. Kristen Won the ‘Whiskey Tango Foxtrot’ award in the 2013 48hr Film Project. She also brought home an Orchid Award in Cincinnati for best comedic actress in the production of “The Curious Savage.” She’s featured for Patton Oswalt, Janeane Garofalo, and many other talented people.
Melanie is so excited to be involved with the SCIFF 2022. She has been directing and choreographing internationally and through out the US but is now settled in LA and is making LA theater her home base. Along with her ongoing Podcast Moms Art Too, and coaching, her and her partner Brooklyn Sample have many years working together as well as starting their own production company called Blind Toe.

Pam Mcgeary started her stand up comedy career in NYC in the late 80’s where she won numerous comedy competitions & she toured the east coast as a road comic. Pam appeared in the very first comic relief on HBO w Whoppie Goldberg / Robin Williams & Billy Crystal where she played Princess Diana. She has been in numerous tv shows and national commercials. Currently Pam resurrected her comedy career in her 50’s and she currently is see in comedy clubs all over Los Angeles. Recently performing in the World Series of Comedy & won the Best of the Fest in the Plano Texas Comedy Festival.

 

 

She currently lives and travels in her Winnebago RV w her cat, Blackjack. Her kids have decided she is either having a midlife crisis or is very “on trend!”

It all started on the Isle of Long, in the little town of East Williston, once described by The Village Voice as “a WASP enclave that thinks it’s in Iowa.” There, Richard’s love for acting and the arts was cemented by his first appearance onstage, as “Nathan” in (you guessed it) NATHAN AND THE PEDDLER in the 1st Grade. Teen years were spent apprenticing in summer stock, at such venues as Showcase Playhouse (fictionalized in the 2003 feature, CAMP) and the Monticello Tentarena.

 

 

After graduating (Phi Beta Kappa, ahem) from Cornell, Richard headed for the Big Apple, where, in addition to performing in a score of plays Off-Off-(Off)-Broadway, he partnered with composer Stephen Flaherty (RAGTIME, ONCE ON THIS ISLAND, SEUSSICAL), writing songs which he performed on the NYC cabaret circuit, at such clubs as Don’t Tell Mama and The West Bank Café. While in NY, he also appeared on the daytime dramas AS THE WORLD TURNS and GUIDING LIGHT.

 

 

After moving to the City of Angels, Richard continued to appear onstage in numerous 99-Seat productions, as well as in the West Coast premiere of JOINED AT THE HEAD at the Pasadena Playhouse, working with such notables as Debbie Allen and Matthew Barney along the way. He was an original cast member/co-creator of the long-running hit, GRANDMA SYLVIA’S FUNERAL.

His early film and television experiences include THE ADDAMS FAMILY, with Raul Julia and Angelica Huston, as well as 1st AND TEN, with… O.J. Simpson (!). To date, Richard has appeared in over 100 feature films and prime-time episodics, , from THE GOLDEN GIRLS (in which he first came to the public’s attention as “Young Stan”) to his recurring role on CBS’ THE AGENCY. Other notable appearances include THE WEST WING, STAR TREK: ENTERPRISE and the pilot episode of THIS IS US. Current and forthcoming features include VHYES, produced by Tim Robbins, and THE PROM, with James Corden and Meryl Streep.

 

 

In addition to his onscreen work, Richard has worked extensively with improv and sketch comedy groups on both coasts, and for many years performed his unique brand of stand-up at such clubs as THE ICE HOUSE and THE COMEDY STORE, and for such organizations as True Majority and The World Can’t Wait. He is a member of L.A.’s oldest storytelling collective, The Story Salon, and regularly performed his original stories around Los Angeles at the Bang Comedy Theatre, the Fake Gallery, and Every Picture Tells a Story, among other venues.

 

 

Also offscreen, Richard has contributed the voices for such roles as “Grandpa Splaat,” in the series, ROBOSPLAAT (by the creators of RUGRATS). His dubbing skills have been employed for many Netflix features and series, as well as for feature films from Russia, China, Norway, Italy, etc.

 

 

In 2012, he launched his production company, Misery Loves Co., whose inaugural production was his multi-media one-man show, SMALL PARTS, which previewed to unanimous acclaim and returned as part of the 2014 Hollywood Fringe Festival, and a subsequent run at the Lounge Theatre in Hollywood. See it here.

 

 

In 2016, in response to the Presidential election, Richard formed the Creatives Collective Corps., dedicated to creating internet content to promote political and social change through work that is funny/provocative/enlightening. To date, the Collective has produced several videos, which can be viewed on its YouTube channel.

 

He is currently in production for his original short film, THE MIRACLE OF YOU, and recently revived the script-reading salon he founded in the 90s, The Drama Club, with a benefit Zoom performance of their inaugural reading, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, which raised funds for The Center for Disaster Philanthropy. See The Drama Club’s Facebook page here.

Susie Sitcom is Stand Up Comedian


who was discovered at Second City Chicago while taking Improv classes with her children.


Her background is in Corporate Events and Finance working with C-Suite Executives. After recent events she changed her name to Susie Sitcom, as a dedication to stand up comedy and as reminder to not take life too seriously!  


When Susie Sitcom is not performing stand up comedy, she is exploring food stands and volunteering throughout LA with her children, working events as a freelance producer, the comedy talent manager for Funny Media Group and a lifestyle model for CESD Models LA. Hollywood has been good to me so far!

Born and originally from Rockford Illinois. He has been a resident of California in the Antelope Valley desert region for the last 57 years. William started acting late in life, making his first appearance in the movie Angels and Demons at the age of 48 as a catholic priest. He was encouraged by his two close friends to keep acting and has continued to pursue various roles in films, documentaries and music videos to this day 14 years later. One day being cast for a role and needing additional wardrobe for the character, he then decided to build his own personal costume wardrobe collection including accessories and it has grown in size over the years and has been used at times to meet his role character in many productions. William mentors high school students in the drama department of the Antelope Valley High School District for 15 years as the Technical Director for KHS Drama in the design and construction of sets pertaining to plays performed in a theater before live audiences and continues to do so today. William retired from the AVUHSD in March 2022 after 17 years. He earned a degree in Construction Engineering and holds certificates in Video Design and Production, Interactive Media, Computer Graphics and Animation along with Web Design. William has a diverse and long career of experience in Civil Engineering, Aircraft Engineering, Truck Driving, Computer Applications Teaching and Computer Learning Center Instruction.