Jeris Donovan is an actress and comedian who has performed and directed improv for over twenty-five years. She studied improv at the renowned Second City in Chicago, Improv Olympic-Chicago, and Annoyance Theater, and has taught all levels of improvisation at the Improv Olympic West conservatory in Los Angeles, where she created and directed groundbreaking troupes including Bitch Planet with Lindsey Stoddart (American Housewife), Wendy Molyneaux (Bob’s Burgers, The Great North), Angela Kinsey (The Office), Kate Flannery (The Office), and BIG with Dana Powell (Modern Family), Backyard Kilbasa with Chris Tallman (The Thundermans), Arden Myrin (Insatiable), David Ury (Lodge 49, Breaking Bad). Previous students are comedians, actors, and writers seen in many national commercials and on shows such as The Office, Bob’s Burgers, SNL, Modern Family, Euphoria, American Housewife, The Middle, Breaking Bad, Insatiable, Mr. Mercedes, Gifted, School of Rock, and many, many more. Jeris is a Meisner trained actor, and has worked on such television shows as Spin City, Two Guys and a Girl, and for networks such as ABC, CBS, and more recently, Words on Bathroom Walls, The Walking Dead: The World Beyond and Dopesick.
Since 2014, Jeris taught and coached at Moonlight Stage Company where she built the only youth improv training and performance program of its kind in the country. Her troupes have been selected to perform at festivals throughout the southeast, always earning the privilege of being the youngest troupes selected in each festival's history.
Her clients have booked roles for TV: Stranger Things, DC’s Stargirl, This Country, Just Beyond, Dopesick, Hightown, Mare of Easttown, Queen Sugar, The Gifted, The Resident, Stephen King’s Creep Show, Misfits and Monsters, NCIS: New Orleans, Swamp Thing, Good Behavior, Mr. Mercedes, TURN, Halt and Catch Fire, The Guest Book, Adult Swim. FILM: Spiderman: No Way Home, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret, Black Phone, Troupe Zero, Feel the Beat, Words on Bathroom Walls, Forever Your Girl, What Men Want. Many clients have had callbacks and tested episodic series, movies, sitcoms, and sketch series for Nickelodeon and Disney XD, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon, HBO and Netflix.
“When working with Jeris you’ll find that there is so much depth in the work and effort that she puts into it. She doesn’t only guide you as a teacher, but she puts in just as much work as the student does and leaves you with a different perspective of the character you are trying to portray. She knows the business in and out and knows what’s best for you. Without all of her help I wouldn’t have been able to progress in my career as much and as quickly as I have so far. To say thank you doesn’t nearly touch the amount of gratitude I have towards Jeris.”
- Spencer Fitzgerald
“I have been working with Jeris Donovan for many years now, both as an improv coach and private acting coach. Throughout that time she has been incredibly supportive and imperative to my growth as an actor. I have taped countless auditions with her, and always come out of our sessions with excellent performances which have gotten me in front of producers and directors. Last year, I auditioned for and booked a lead in a Netflix movie. My work with Jeris not only helped me book this role, but she also helped me prepare for my work on set. I am so grateful that I have Jeris as an acting coach!”
“Jeris Donovan has been my coach since I was 7 years old and my improv coach for the past 5 years. She has coached me through every audition, even working with me virtually while I am on set when I have a difficult scene. The techniques she has taught me are invaluable. Every set I have ever worked on, the complement I continually receive is how well I am able to take direction, and that comes from Ms. Jeris’ instruction. Ms. Jeris always pushes me to go outside my comfort zone, challenging me to always grow and improve. She makes me really examine a character to get to know them and how they would react to a situation, so I am better able to embody them for a more believable performance. Through Ms. Jeris' coaching, I have landed leading roles such as Young Kat in HBO’s Euphoria, Smash in Amazon’s Troop Zero, and Lucia in Netflix’s Feel The Beat. I also voice Becky, a lead character, in HBO Max’s Little Ellen, as well as tested for many sitcoms and pilots. Ms. Jeris is an incredible coach and I credit all my skills and accomplishments to her instruction.”
“I have trained in the art of improvisation with Jeris for six years and she has been my private acting coach for three years. Jeris is truly the best thing to happen to my acting career. Since I started private coaching with Jeris, I have found my voice as a performer and I’m actually having fun auditioning again! Together we have booked Spider-Man: No Way Home, Welcome to Flatch (FOX/Hulu), and Florida Man (Netflix) which I attribute to her in-depth study of comedy and character work. I am so thankful for her coaching and mentorship.”