The Players

Julie headshot Director and founder Julie Martin brings over a decade of improv experience to the stage, classroom, and coaching sessions. She encourages performers to let their authentic confidence shine.  Julie originates her own whole person, mindfulness in motion  improv teaching style. Using plotless improv as a starting point, she borrows from all her teachers including Miles Stroth, Rich Talarico, Stan Wells, and is a graduate of the Westside Comedy Improv Program. You’ll find her laughing, mentoring, performing, directing, and teaching Jump Start improv classes; or just enjoying life as the biggest ‘Yes, And’ comedy scene!
 Steve-headshot Help Wanted! Need someone that has a sense of humor and that can be funny on stage. Until we find someone like that, we will stick with Steve Lurie because his wife Sharlene rocks. Because of her, we are willing to put up with the fact that he was born in Canada and the fact that he says he is 5 ’11” when he is really 5’10” and a half.
  In school, Dave Cook was the kid in the back of the class who couldn’t keep quiet. He developed a friendship with the vice-principal after numerous disciplinary meetings. Knowing Dave’s penchant for mischief, his wife suggested he take an improv class, to stay busy, now that he is retired. He has become addicted to improv and continues to take classes to up his play.
   At the tender age of six months, Bryan Herbold left Steubenville, Ohio, headed for the wide open lands of California. His family ran out of gas on the way and ended up in Phoenix, where Bryan developed a love of singing, acting and entertaining. Later in life, with a full fuel tank, he made the drive to California. In addition to being ecstatic about being here, Bryan is an Elvis impersonator and works for PBJ and banana sandwiches.
IMG_5688 sabrina 4 Sabrina Kerch spent a happy childhood in the Land of Make-Believe, followed by exciting years in her high school’s drama club. But being a grown-up proved challenging, so she sought help at South Bay Adult SchoolInstead, she found Julie’s improv class! And now the fun continues…Luckily, Sabrina’s husband and two kids provide a beautiful reality.
IMG_3232 Headshot Susie 2   Susie Lytal had underutilized skills including sarcasm, self-stated wit, and the ability to move her eyebrows very well. All of those attributes and Julie’s class brought her to the world of comedy improv. Thwarted for many years because she didn’t know what she would say, she finally realized her dream of purposeful absurdity with Jump Start. Tolerated by her husband and two boisterous children, they remind her regularly that laughing is like breathing, and comedy is her lifesaver.
IMG_3320 Wade 4

Wade Murphy is completely hooked on improv, and can always be found in one of Julie’s classes or boot camps.  Born and raised in Southern California, Wade has practiced humor to deflect from his lack of other traits like athletic ability,  grace or charm. Always described by those who know him as gregarious, he found his playground.  He has discovered a natural place to channel his funny on the Jump Start stage.

  Rick Hankus  Born and raised in Chicago, Rick is a restaurateur by day. For 35 years he has served up food and libation, and now serves up comedy with the Jump Start Troupe.  After catching the improv      ” Bug”  from one of Julie’s first classes nine years ago, he’s taken classes and performed at both Upright Comedy Citizens Brigade in Los Angeles and Westside Comedy Theater in Santa Monica.  He’s glad to be back with Julie and the troupe, making the funny things in life even funnier for you.
 amy-azuma-95  Every year Amy Azuma embarks on a new and terrifying un-Amy like adventure. She has cried practicing martial arts and become inappropriately frustrated arranging flowers. Most recently she joined Julie’s classes and began performing with Jump Start Academy. While Amy typically prefers thorough planning, with improv, life without plans may be possible.
   After growing up a southern boy in Virginia and Louisiana, Hugh Sherrod is now a western boy living in Redondo Beach. His first improv experience was playing a farmer having his tractor repossessed in the TV show, Operation Repo. Hugh asked, “Where’s the script?” but there was no script. The director said, “Just go for it!” Hugh is happy to bring his background in musical theater as well as his southern accent to Jump Start.