MEET THE CAST
OF THE FUNNIEST SHOW IN AUSTIN
Known as the Mom of the Follies, Shannon manages to produce the show, wrangle the writer's meeting and meet/greet every audience member coming and going through Esther's doors. Her favorite characters are strong political ladies, like Ann Richards, Hillary Clinton, and her all-time front runner, Patsy Cline. Keeping an eye on downtown politics is her secondary career, as Chair of the 6ixth Street Austin and President of the Old Pecan Street Association. Shannon thinks it's almost criminal that she's able to make a living doing what she loves.
Ray Anderson, the featured performer in the show, has blended illusion, comedy, and audience participation into one of the most carefully constructed performances in the magic world. There isn't a dull moment when Anderson is onstage. Performing immaculate and inventive large-scale illusions, or parodying the genre, his talent shines as a Follies treasure.
Shaun has been in Austin and working with Esther's Follies since 1998. He writes, builds props, performs, and is the director of the Esther's Follies School of Comedy, a summer camp for students ages 8-16. When he's not at Esther's, he builds puppets and performs with Fragile Rock, the world's greatest emo puppet band.
Tickling the ivories at Esther’s Follies since 2005, Dougy is a one man orchestra with his amazing arrangements. Other musical direction projects include Bubba and Babe’s Wedding, Texcentric Radio Show, Hillbilly Honey and the world-famous Second City of Chicago.
Ted's life is an answer to the question, “What would happen if Jon Lovitz & Gene Wilder had a love-child?" He teaches improv at The Institution Theater, has appeared in commercials, web series, and films you've never seen, and has not yet been banned from Twitter (@Tedgar3). Ted says"Follow your dreams, and if that doesn't work, follow someone else's dreams."
Billy is an Austin native who followed his dream to attend the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Hollywood. He spent 8 years in Los Angeles, doing national commercials, TV guest-starring roles, and musical comedy roadshows. In Austin, Billy has done improv and stand up comedy shows, and is thrilled to be at Esther's doing what he loves best.
BeckiJo Neil was born and raised in Kansas City. She attended Kansas State University to study Theatre. After several years of performing in theatre, she took a hiatus to make films all over the world. She is absolutely thrilled to be back on stage, performing with this incredibly talented cast.
After graduating from Webster Conservatory, Rachel moved to Chicago to pursue a career in The Arts. While ‘Pounding the (icy) Pavement’ she performed in playhouses, cabarets, and sang with bands. Unable to bear another winter, she relocated to Austin and found her home at the Follies. Rachel teaches at various institutions around town including ZACH Theatre, as well as Stand Up at Esther’s Kids Camp. When off stage, she enjoys evolving her Rainbow Bike and creating Musical Sketch videos. For more laughs, check out her YouTube page. Make (f)Art! www.rachelpallante.com
Patrick was born just south of here in Seguin Texas, a small town known for the worlds largest NUT! He is no stranger to the Austin theatre scene, he’s been seen on the Zilker Hillside stage and at the Scottish Rite. He has directed/choreographed several plays and musicals and is also head of Camp Broadway, a two-week summer camp for children!
Born in Houston, Chelsee grew up performing in the H-town Theatre scene for the last twenty years. She majored in vocal performance and managed to sing her way across America. In her off time, Chelsee, instructs dance master classes, models and dresses up as princesses for children’s birthdays....and the occasional bachelor party.
The man behind the scenes, Michael has built the theatre form top to bottom with its colorful lobby, stage in the windows, and two arenas for comedy, Esther's Follies, and the Velveeta Room. He used his architectural chops designing and creating Austin’s Liberty Lunch, The Tavern at 12th and Lamar, and Patsy's Cowgirl Cafe. Michael remodels East Austin homes during the week and moves the most dilapidated ones to the Follies Art Farm, on 50 acres in far east Austin. You can follow the progress on www.thefarmatz.com.
Steven has been the lead writer for Esther's Follies for four years. He has contributed countless jokes and gags to the show. A New York transplant, Steve is also a guitarist, singer/songwriter, and guitar instructor.