James Mastraieni is the original founder and director of The Shared Experience Studio. James became a huge comedy nerd in middle school and feels enormous gratitude that he still gets to be one all these years later.
In the past two decades James has accumulated a vast amount of experience in almost every style of comedy imaginable. As a live performer he’s performed sketch, improv and stand up for tens of thousands of people on both land and at sea.
He toured with Second City, has performed regularly for well over a decade at both the comedy institution “The Upright Citizen’s Brigade” in Los Angeles as well as the now deceased iOWest. He’s created, produced and performed in multiple popular and long running live comedy shows around the city of Los Angeles including “I’m Too Effing High”, “How I Met your Sitcom”, “Outside Dog Gets One Star”, “Spectacle” and “The Shared Experience Show”.
As a writer he’s written for Comedy Central, Donut Media and Funny or Die and was a joke consultant on the show “Florida Girls.” He’s also appeared on numerous comedy podcasts and wrote and hosted his own called I’m Too Effing High which had almost 200 episodes. However, James didn’t just get his comedy fix from performing and producing.
He has amassed at least 20,000 hours of instructing, directing or coaching improv and sketch comedy before the age of 40. He’s taught at iOWest, Second City, The Upright Citizen’s Brigade and The Beverly
Hills Playhouse in Los Angeles. He also ran a program called “Improv Bootcamp” for five years which provided daily improv classes for intermediate and advanced students. He has also directed 15 different Harold teams, his favorite form, and has coached dozens and dozens of ensembles.
As a talent evaluator he sat on the committees to cast the theater’s improvisers for many years at both iOWest and UCBT-LA. He was also a talent evaluator at the Hollywood Improv on Melrose where he helped scout stand up comedians.
All of this is to say that James really loves comedy. He has a deep sense of mutuality with comedians and an emotional investment in their growth. James’ specialty as a teacher is demystifying the art form by using a consistent practical process that helps the comedian learn how to understand, trust and use their entire instrument. As opposed to breaking the mold, James reveals it so the comedian sees how they fit in it.
He’s created The Shared Experience Studio to be a place for people who love comedy like he does and he’s excited to continue his journey of helping people get closer to having their comedy match their standards.