Karen Summerton founded Actors Career Studios in 2021 to bring her passion for teaching improvisation and working with actors of all ages to the forefront. Her mission is simple: to inspire and empower actors to book the job of their dreams. With her unique approach, Karen creates a fun and supportive environment where actors can explore their craft and develop the skills they need to succeed. Whether you're just starting out or looking to take your career to the next level, Actors Career Studios is the perfect place to unleash your potential and achieve your goals.
Karen Summerton is a multi-talented artist with over two decades of experience in the entertainment industry as an award-winning actress, comedian, coach, teacher, writer, and director. Her extensive acting career includes working on several hit TV shows such as Saturday Night Live, Inside Amy Schumer, Gossip Girl, USA Network's Partners in Crime, and Mercy, as well as films like Get Him to the Greek, Confessions of a Shopaholic, and Ted 2. Karen has also been in numerous commercials, including a Bud Light commercial where John Mayer pranked her.
In 2016, Karen began coaching creatives at Actors Salon in New York City and has since expanded her teaching expertise to include improvisation and acting for all ages at National Comedy Theater, the Peoples Improv Theater, and MN Acting Studio. With her coaching, many of Karen's clients have booked feature films, regional theater, recurring roles on TV shows, commercials, and more.
Karen's approach to coaching is unique, instilling confidence in actors while creating a safe and nurturing environment for them to shine. She has won several awards and Best Actress nominations for her work in the dramatic short, Good Grief, directed by AJ Lovelace.
In addition to her acting and coaching career, Karen is also a talented writer and director. She starred in and co-wrote "The Karen and Jackie Show," a pilot for ABC, and directed and acted in a pilot for Disney XD called "Not So Super." In 2016, she was a series regular on USA Network's Partners in Crime.
Karen earned her BFA in Broadcasting and Acting from Long Island University/C.W. Post and has also completed an acting intensive at Carnegie Mellon and several summers at the performing arts camp Stagedoor Manor. She has trained at the Groundlings in Los Angeles, the Upright Citizens Brigade, and Peoples Improv Theater in New York City.
Julia Maggiola is an actor and teaching artist, who also writes and produces. Her short films have been screened at and nominated for awards in film festivals including Mystic Film Festival, Bridgeport Film Festival, Newark Short FIlm Awards, and the 401 Film Festival, and her commercial bookings can be seen on broadcast and streaming networks.
Julia has studied and performed improv and sketch comedy at The PIT NYC, The Magnet Theater, and Groundlings. As an acting apprentice with The Barrow Group, she studied under Seth Barrish and Lee Brock, and has also trained with Matt Newton at MN Acting Studio and various teachers at NYU, where she got her undergraduate degree.
Through the production company she co-founded, Squeaky Wheel Entertainment, she continues to write and develop new projects.
Chris Aurilio is a teaching artist with working experience as a director, performer, and writer. He has expertise in the education of improv and sketch comedy and has worked in the areas of theatre and comedy as a manager and producer throughout his career.
Chris was the Director of Classes and General Manager for The Peoples Improv Theater (The PIT) in NYC, where he taught classes in sketch, acting, and improv to students of all ages, backgrounds and levels. At The PIT, he also created the Goals! Workshops, where he led accountability classes and seminars for writers/performers to consult them on their careers and help them produce their own material. Chris regularly directed, performed, and wrote original, live comedy for more than a decade on The PIT's stages.
Among his own projects, Chris co-created, directed and produced the original independent TV pilot Death Lives, which was an official selection at the 2017 North Fork TV Festival and won Best Screenplay at the 2018 New Jersey Horror Con & Film Festival. He continues to write and produce short films, pilots and other projects.
Chris is currently working with his alma mater Seton Hall University's theatre program in the College of Communication and the Arts. He is excited to be serving college students as a mentor while wearing several hats: Theatre Facilitator, Director of the Arts Council, Co-Advisor of the student-run Theatre Council, and Adjunct Professor, where he he has taught University-level courses in Improv for Leadership, Intro to Theatre, and Studio Television.
His experience teaching improv and acting for teens and children goes way back to his very first job with The Actor's Garage and up until most recently with The Paper Mill Playhouse. Chris holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University and graduated from Seton Hall University, where he concentrated in Film & TV and began a career leading his own improv workshops with his fellow students. He's received training from the Upright Citizens Brigade and The Peoples Improv Theater.