Alumni of the SHOWCASE include Emmy Award winners Kate McKinnon (“Saturday Night Live”), Tiffany Haddish (“Girls Trip”), Diona Reasonover (NCIS), Justin Hires (MACGYVER), Geoffrey Arend (“Madam Secretary”), Nico Santos (“Superstore” and “Crazy Rich Asians”), and Ego Nwodim (“Saturday Night Live”), among numerous others.
"SHOWCASE is one of my favorite events and one I look forward to year after year. I’m excited for the entertainment community to see another group of talented actors perform original sketches."
CBS EVP Entertainment Diversity, Inclusion and Communications
The 2021 creative team includes previous SHOWCASE participants Tess Paras as executive producer and director, Tien Tran as executive producer and head writer, Frank Garcia-Hejl as producer and associate director, and Tyler Davis as producer and associate head writer.
Executive Producer and Director
Tess is an actor, writer, and director based in Los Angeles. She stars as “Erin Chua” on Just Add Magic: Mystery City (Amazon) after heavily recurring on the Daytime-Emmy nominated season of Just Add Magic, and is most recognized for her role as “Jayma Chan” on the critically acclaimed musical comedy Crazy-Ex Girlfriend (CW). Tess leads the newly-released indie feature The Blackout (Gravitas Ventures). She will also be seen in the new Iliza Shlesinger film, Good On Paper (Universal) and guest stars on the upcoming season of Lucifer (Netflix). Other notable credits include: Reno911 (Comedy Central/Quibi), Grimm (NBC), Girl Meets World (Disney), and The Good Wife (CBS). Tess starred opposite JonJon Briones in The Patients, a short film she also wrote and directed. It premiered at the L.A. Asian Pacific Film Festival, screened at Bend Film Festival, Cinema Sala, and received an award from the Asian American Psychological Association for its advocacy of mental health awareness. Tess is thrilled to direct the 2021 ViacomCBS Showcase after serving on the creative team for the past two years and performing in 2014. She is represented by Gersh and Haven Entertainment.
Executive Producer and Head Writer
Tien Tran is a Los Angeles-based comedian, actor and writer. Her stand-up has been featured on Comedy Central’s “Taking the Stage” and at the Just for Laughs Festival in Montreal as part of the 2019 New Faces of Comedy showcase. Currently, she is a writer on “Work in Progress” (Showtime). She was also an actor and writer for the Second City’s 106th Mainstage revue, “Dream Freaks Fall from Space,” and the Second City’s 41st etc. revue, “Fantastic Super Great Nation Numero Uno.” Her credits include “Space Force” (Netflix), “Easy” (Netflix), “Hot Date” (PopTV), “A Legendary Christmas” (NBC), “Sherman’s Showcase” (IFC), and “Southside” (Comedy Central). Also, she was the head writer for the 2020 SHOWCASE and a performer in the 2019 Showcase. You can see her performing stand-up all over Los Angeles, or you can hear her as one of the co-hosts of Crooked Media’s Hysteria podcast. She is repped by CAA and Mosaic.
Producer and Associate Director
Frank is a writer, actor and director who studied and performed improv and sketch comedy at Four Day Weekend in Fort Worth, Texas and the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City and Los Angeles. Garcia-Hejl is most recognized for his work as a writer and actor for Broadway Video’s Latino internet channel Más Mejor and USA’sFirst Impressions with Dana Carvey. He performed in the 2018 Showcase and returnedin 2020 as a writer. This is his first year as associate director for the Showcase. He has written and appeared in material for NBC, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, Comedy Central, IFC,MTV, TruTV, USA and A&E. Recently, he co-wrote and co-starred in a segment with Noah Segan (Knives Out, Looper) for the comedy/horror anthology movieScare Packageon Shudder. Garcia-Hejl is repped by ICM.
Producer and Associate Head Writer
Tyler is an actor, comedian, filmmaker and musician in Los Angeles by way of Chicago. He co-wrote and performed in the 2020 Showcase. Back in Chicago, he starred in two mainstage sketch revues with The Second City Chicago as well as created online sketches for Comedy Central. Currently, he is a Production Consultant and co-stars on the Showtime seriesWork In Progress, voices the character of Jonnit on the podcastCampaign Skyjacks and has recently begun directing commercials with TESSA films. He is repped by DPN Talent in LA and Grossman & Jack Talent in Chicago. He is managed by El Centro Management.
Name: Andrea Lopez
Hometown: Washington, D.C. Education: B.A., television radio and film, S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University
Credits: Television: “Bring The Funny” (NBC), “Pop of The Morning” E! News (NBC)
Digital: “Did You See This” (Buzzfeed) Interesting Fact: During my mom’s pregnancy with me, the doctor told her she was experiencing a ‘vanishing twin’ which is when you are pregnant with twins, but one sac is dominant and absorbs the other sac when there aren’t enough nutrients. My parents joke this is why I have so many characters.
Name: Aline Mayagoitia
Hometown: Mexico City. Currently living in New York City
Education: BFA, musical theatre, The University of Michigan
Training: Upright Citizens Brigade (New York), Second City (Chicago), Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts
Credits: Theatre: Forbidden Broadway: The Next Generation
Interesting Fact: In 6th grade I thought Chris Brown was an 8th grader everyone talked about.
Name: Calvin Seabrooks
Hometown: San Diego, Calif.
Education: BFA, musical theatre, California State Fullerton
Training: John Rosenfeld Studio, Upright Citizens Brigade (Los Angeles), Cal State Fullerton
Credits: Television: “Westworld” (HBO), “Dollface” (Hulu)
Stage: “Hairspray” Pacific Conservatory Theatre
Interesting Fact: Once upon a time I was in a boyband. We were on X Factor (USA) ... Simon did not like us.
Name: Ibanda Ruhumbika
Hometown: Athens, Ga.
Education: B.M., classical tuba, The Juilliard School
Training: The Juilliard School, Upright Citizens Brigade (New York), The Magnet Theater
Television: “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” (CBS), “Boardwalk Empire” (HBO)
Stage: “Characters Welcome” (Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles), “Mess Hall” (Upright Citizens Brigade Los Angeles)
Interesting Fact: I’m a certified yoga instructor! I also own a lot of plants. I might have a problem.
Name: Jordan Mendoza
Hometown: Easton, Mass.
Education: Boston College
Training: WGAE “Made in NY” Writers Room
Credits: Television: Writer “Untitled Ziwe Fumudoh” (A24/Showtime Variety Series)
Stage: Creator/Host “Drunk Science” (Littlefield), Creator/Host “Art School” (Union Hall)
Digital: Creator/Host “Cry Battle” (Comedy Central), Creator/Star “Apologies” (Comedy Central), “My Guy Died” (Team Coco)
Interesting Fact: To learn how to cry on command for “Cry Battle,” (my competitive crying game show on Comedy Central), I took “breathwork for trauma” classes where I relived horrific memories from my childhood. It worked!
Name: Kausar Mohammed
Hometown: San Jose, Calif.
Education: UCLA (theatre/film/tv, international development studies)
Training: Upright Citizen’s Brigade (Los Angeles), Groundlings (Los Angeles), Lesly Kahn, Anthony Meindl
Credits: Television: “Carol’s Second Act” (CBS), “Black Lightning” (CW), “Silicon Valley” (HBO)
Film: “What Men Want” (Paramount), “Little” (Universal)
Stage: Upright Citizen’s Brigade (Los Angeles), Maude Night’s “Emerald” and “Smokeshow,” iOWest’s “Laughtivism,” UCLA’s “Company,” “The Get Brown” (Upright Citizen’s Brigade Los Angeles and currently produced by Embassy Row)
Digital: Series lead on Paul Feig’s (Bridesmaids) “East of La Brea”
Voice Over: Lead on “Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous” (Netflix) and “Great Pretender” (Netflix)
Interesting Fact: I am part Hufflepuff/part Slytherin.
Laura de la Fuente
Name: Laura de la Fuente
Hometown: Plano, Texas
Education: B.A., english, University of North Texas
Training: ColdTowne Theater (Austin, Texas)
Credits: Stage: “Liz Behan: One Woman at Dusk” (ColdTowne Theater), “Latinauts” (ColdTowne Theater), “Martini Ranch” (ColdTowne Theater)
Interesting Fact: At 14, I was an NFL punt, pass, and kick Champion representing the Dallas Cowboys which means I am now and always have been, a lesbian.
Name: Lauren Walker
Hometown: Chicago, Ill.
Training: The Second City (Chicago), ImprovOlympic, The Annoyance
Credits: Stage: She The People (The Second City Chicago)
Digital: “Just Call Me Ripley” (OTV)
Interesting Fact: When I was about 9 years old, I took my brother’s pet turtle for a walk and lost it for an entire year before finding it under our porch.
Name: Morgan Jay
Hometown: Mahwah, N.J.
Education: NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Training: Stella Adler Studio of Acting, Upright Citizens Brigade (New York)
Credits: Television: “Bring the Funny” (NBC)
Fun Fact: My dad was a chef, and I can actually cook pretty well.
Name: Natasha Behnam
Hometown: Orange County, Calif.
Education: B.A., film & television production / Minor, theatre arts, Loyola Marymount University
Training: Upright Citizens Brigade (Los Angeles), The Groundlings Theatre and School, Studio 24/7, Loyola Marymount University
Credits: Television: “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend” (The CW), “Arranged” (POP TV), “Animal Kingdom” (TNT)
Film: “American Pie: Girls’ Rules” (Universal/Netflix)
Interesting Fact: My 5 closest friends all have IBS, and since being friends with them, I’ve also developed IBS, purely through association.
Name: Nicole Pasquale
Hometown: Anchorage, Alaska
Education: B.S., liberal arts, screen & TV writing, The New School; Two-Year Conservatory Certificate, acting, The American Musical & Dramatic Academy (AMDA) New York City
Training: AMDA, The New School, Upright Citizens Brigade (New York), Second City (Chicago)
Credits: Television: “The Undoing” (HBO), “Younger” (TV Land), “The Break with Michelle Wolf” (Netflix)
Film: “Snatchers” (Wolfman Christmas)
Stage: “WOKE AF: A Mind-Opening Variety Show” (Upright Citizens Brigade New York and Los Angeles), “Asian AF” (Upright Citizens Brigade New York), “Lloyd Night” (Upright Citizens Brigade New York), “Crisis on Ski Mountain” (Annoyance Theatre New York), “Big Business Sketch” (Peoples’ Improv Theatre), “Hippolytus” (Off-Broadway), “Restless” (Old Vic New Voices)
Digital: “Unsung Heroes of Hollywood” (Above Average), “MTV’s Decoded” (MTV), “Mic Check” (Mic), “Ghost Wine” (College Humor CH2), “Women’s Tennis Grunting PSA” (Funny or Die)
Interesting Fact: My first job at age 13 was as a robotic dancer playing the “Thailand doll” in an interactive theatre experience called Enchanted World. Think a live-action “It’s A Small World After All” with the same level of creepiness.
Name: Sahib Singh
Hometown: Baltimore, Md.
Education: B.S., finance, University of Maryland
Credits: Digital: “As Seen on Adult Swim” (Adult Swim)
Interesting Fact: I have two pet poison dart frogs, Demetrius and Shaw, that I don’t tell anyone about because I’m afraid it’ll ruin my brand.
Name: Shannon DeVido
Hometown: Holland, Pa.
Education: B.S., music business, Middle Tennessee State University
Training: Upright Citizen’s Brigade (New York), The People’s Improv Theater
Credits: Television: “Insatiable” (Netflix), “Difficult People” (Hulu), “Delco Proper” (Comedy Central), “The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore” (Comedy Central), “Nightcap” (Pop), “Law and Order: SVU” (NBC)
Stage: “Teenage Dick” (Public Theater), “The Healing” (Theater Row), “Bent but Not Broken” (Upright Citizen’s Brigade New York)
Digital: “Delco Proper” (Comedy Central), “Stare at Shannon” (YouTube)
Interesting Fact: I’ve sung the National Anthem in 10 Major League Baseball stadiums around the country, on a quest to perform in all 30.