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AA4K Studios


Monica Cortez

Conservatory Director

Monica's arts journey began when she was cast in a Christmas show at the age of 8 in her hometown of San Antonio, TX.  Her love for acting led her to New York City where she studied various forms of acting and completed the William Esper acting program with the esteemed teacher, Terry Knickerbocker.  She has performed on many stages, large and small, and has had the pleasure to embody roles from original scripts to Shakespeare.  When an acting role took her to the Sundance Film Festival, her passion for film was ignited.  She returned to school to study all aspects of filmmaking at NYU Tisch School of the Arts and graduated with honors.  She’s traveled extensively and has experience working with performance and kids through educational programs based in New York City, Canada, Mexico and China.  She is currently writing a TV family drama series based in Orange County.

Chloe Johnson

Video Editor

Chloe is an Orange County native and loves the Acting Academy Program! She has been working with the Acting Academy's Musical Theatre program (as a Technical Director and Activity Director) for many years and is very happy to start work in their film program. Chloe has been interested in filmmaking and acting ever since she was young, and has now been trained in her craft by industry professionals. She has helped produce, edit, direct, and has acted in short films. Chloe recently received her Bachelor's Degree from Azusa Pacific University in Cinematic Arts (concentration in Production and Post). Bringing these student's stories to life is something that Chloe is super excited about!  


Liam Shannon

Production Assistant


Liam has just graduated Mission Viejo High School and will be attending DePaul University in Chicago to study Theatre Arts and Directing. Fun fact, Liam wears a button up shirt every single day because he likes feeling formal. He loves leading, teaching, and directing, and cannot wait to be the Production Assistant Intern for AA4K studios.



Audio Editing


Jeremy Russey-Dysinger grew up in Chandler, Arizona and attended school at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences. While living in the Grand Canyon state, he had his first encounter of studio recording at the age of 6, singing a duet with his grandmother on her first Album. From there, he went on to join his grandmother in his church's music ministry, and learned a few things about their soundboard from the church's live sound engineer. 

As Jeremy grew out of his adolescence, his fascination with audio engineering grew even more as he worked gigs as an electronic DJ for 4 years, and helped his friends set up their equipment onstage at the local punk rock shows. When he started going to school at the Conservatory of Recording Arts and Sciences, he didn't realize there was such a variety of paths to choose from. But once he and his classmates started working on their own radio commercials, audio books, and even editing a movie trailer, he quickly realized that audio editing was not only something that he was good at, but it was what he enjoyed most. When he's away from editing, Jeremy also likes to draw/paint, and skateboard recreationally.

Hannah Mcelfresh

Audio Editing Intern

Hannah grew up in the Pacific Northwest watching lots of movies and going to summer camp! Her senior year of high school she switched gears from chiropractic medicine and decided on film school at Azusa Pacific University in SoCal and this is where she fell in love with sound design. With her degree in Cinematic Production, she hopes to work in children’s entertainment or animation when she graduates. Everything made sense in choosing sound design when she remembered doing her own Foley to Disney movies early in her childhood. If she's not editing audio she’s listening to her record player or meeting Winnie the Pooh at Disneyland. If she could eat one food for the rest of her life it would be really great sushi!

Cailyn Reinhart

Animation Intern

Cailyn is a senior studying at Woodbury University in Burbank. She’s majoring in Animation while also minoring in Writing. She has loved watching cartoons all her life and hopes that one day she can have her own cartoon on the air! She is all about embracing her inner child and tries to find fun in everything she does. When she’s not drawing, you can usually find her playing Pokémon, which also happens to be the cartoon that initially got her interested in animation.


Acting academy for kids

Stephen Zygo

Maggie Zygo

Founder & Director


To learn more about AA4K's staff and their courses in theater, music, and more

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