About – Staff
Christine Verdun – Owner of Creative Endeavors
Christine is an accomplished musician, model and actress with over 20 years of experience in performance and 12 years in teaching. She graduated from Rutgers College with high honors; her studies included educational psychology and communication. She has also studied acting with The School of Film and Television in New York City and voice and piano with teachers from Julliard.
Christine has recently taught several local seminars, including YPO, Mind-Body Bootcamp, Benardsville Library and The Art of Dance.
Other speaking arrangements have included AFLAC, Watersign Creative & Recording, Long Valley Music Fest, Models of the South Scholarship, Fashion Rock Live on NBC, Johnny Zero on Fox, Rutgers College Scholar Program, Campus Fellowships, National Honor Society, and Future Business Leaders of America. She has also been seen as a fashion model for the last 15 years in companies such as The Gap, Lands End, Talbots, J Crew, Jordache, and Levis. She was a semi-finalist in an international fitness and swim wear competition last year and also help promote companies such as Oil of Olay, BMW, Mercedes Benz, and Porche. In addition she has produced and directed the following plays: Grease, Newsies, Highschool Musical 1&2, Annie, Wizard of Oz, Cinderella, Charlotte’s Webb, Hanna Montanna, Little Mermaid.
She is a recording artist who specializes in songwriting and singing. Soon you will be able to hear her on the radio and on television. Christine is currently working on a children’s television show on Channel 21. Students from Creative Endeavors have recently been featured. Her current CD can be found on her website www.christineverdun.com
A natural love of children, fun, teaching, and challenging students to learn in an exciting, encouraging, warm, inspiring way that will make them want to learn more. Worked on children’s plays for Sunday school, church, and the 13th Street theatre in NYC, the city’s oldest Off Broadway theatre. Worked as assistant to the director on the children’s play “Rumble Who?”, which ran off Broadway for 6weeks. BS in Nursing, Assoc of Arts in Public Relations, majoring in Creative Writing, Theater and Communications. Students will learn memorization techniques for studying script, relaxation techniques for stage fright and public speaking, good eye contact when speaking and performing, as well as working as part of a team. There will lots of fun role and character play, creative costume fun, bonding with others, and learning respect, patience and taking turns. Wonderful for the shy child to come out of his or her shell and have fun doing so!
Don Flatt – Beginner to Advanced Guitar, Beginner Piano, and Drama Instructor
Don began practicing and performing in the arts over 17 years ago. His aim is to help students to unlock the expression that is within them by helping them to understand the building blocks of the performing arts and music.
Don graduated from Global University and has studied the guitar privately. Don has more than 9 years of experience working with and teaching children and teens as a Children’s Minister. Don’s guitar playing can be heard on the CDs The Church of the Hills: These are the Mighty, Tribe: You’re So Weird, and East Wind: The Peak.
Chris Conn – Exclusive Media Consultant/National Radio Personality
Conman Productions, LLC is a full service production company that creates programming for Television and the Internet. As an exclusive media consultant for Creative Endeavors, Conman Productions specializes in affordable music videos for Independent recording artists, who need to get their music seen by millions of people on the World Wide Web.
Create a media image for yourself! Now in today’s competitive market you need an informative and compelling YouTube site and Myspace page.
For more information please click here:
Steve Honoshowsky – Percussion Instructor
Steve Honoshowsky has been a percussionist for eighteen years and has professionally performed on drums and percussion for more than ten years. Steve is a facilitator of the TRAP (The Rhythmic Arts Project) program for therapy and to increase coordination and motor skills for all physically and mentally disabled people. Steve also teaches private instruction for beginners and advanced percussionists and has performed for audiences all over the country in a variety of different musical groups ranging from jazz, funk and metal to many solo drum performances as well. In the summer of 2008 Steve took his solo performance to Prague, Czech Republic, to represent the Somerset Hills YMCA as well the United States at the YMCA Europe festival that had over forty five countries represented with over a thousand people in attendance.
Michael Biskup attended New York University where he studied recording technology and guitar, and finished with a bachelors in music. Since then he continues to study jazz guitar and record his own music as well as local musicians. Michael has played, and still plays, in numerous bands, which frequently perform locally, in NYC and have toured the east and west coast. He has been teaching for over 7 years to students of all ages, levels and music of all styles.
Jenna Rae Montgomery is delighted to combine her love for teaching and the dramatic arts at Creative Endeavors. As an undergraduate, she earned a Fine and Performing Arts scholarship at Northwest Florida State College where she toured with the award winning Soundations Show Choir. She then transferred to Florida State University and earned a Masters and Educational Specialist Degree in Social Science Education and has taught at the secondary and collegiate levels. While teaching she continued to perform in theater, local commercials and student films.
After attending an acting workshop on summer vacation in New York City, Jenna made a bold decision to move to the Big Apple to pursue an acting career. She attended the School for Film and Television and quickly appeared in featured spots on Law and Order, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, New Amsterdam, Gossip Girl and Lipstick Jungle. Her film roles include the memorable “Pregnant Woman” in The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2 as well as featured roles in Music and Lyrics,The Hoax, Mulberry Street, and Vince Diamond. Jenna is a proud member of the Screen Actors Guild, American Federation of Radio and Television Artists and Actors Equity Association and continues to study privately with her acting coach in New York City.
Frank Amantea has been with Creative Endeavors for over 4 years. He has been an integral staff member and director. He works closely with students, parents, and the owner of the school. Frank’s talents in music composition, recording, drama, writing, guitar, and piano have not gone without notice in the community. As a director he has re-written over 15 shows including;.Grease For Kids, High School Musical 1 and 2, Annie, Hairspray, Charlotte’s Web, Camp Rock and soon High School Musical 3 as well as other original pieces of work. As a teacher he has assisted in designing programs for children with special needs in several schools including the Calis School. As a producer and engineer, he has assisted the school in helping students record music and utilize technology in their studies. Frank has also been continuing his education in professional music and acting while teaching.
Chris Szeluga joined the technical team of Creative Endeavors in 2009. He is a high school student who has spent the last three years working on the lighting and sound crew at his middle school in Basking Ridge. His experience includes working the sound board for the school’s productions of High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast and Annie as well as the school’s orchestra and chorus concerts. He has worked the sound board for the Stars Theater and Dance Academy’s end of year performances. Chris is a member of the Worship Media Ministry at his church working the sound board for Sunday services and other special events including Cub Scout Banquets and Vacation Bible School. He is a highly motivated student with a passion for the technical aspect of the theater. Chris is a member of the high school’s technical crew of the Drama Club as well as a member of the track and field team.
Justin Montero – Video Editor/ Choreographer
Justin is an actor/ singer/ dancer who has been with Creative Endeavors since winter of 2007.. In the past, he was involved with all of his middle school plays, including “Greece” (Eugene) and “The Princess and the Pea” (Prince), as well as the role of Zero in The Growing Stage’s production of “Holes”. High School productions include “The Wizard of OZ” (Hickory), “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” (Bud Frump), and “Lend Me a Tenor” (Max). Currently, Justin is a Senior in high school and is looking to pursue a career in Film and Media Production.
Danielle Barchetto is a recent graduate from Kean University with a BFA in Theatre Performance. She has been studying acting and voice for 9 years. In January Danielle attended the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival in Philly and was 1 of the 16 chosen as a region II finalist in the Irene Ryan acting competition. Favorite roles: Marica Our Lady of 121st Street, Anne Frank And Then They Came For Me.., and Queen Beauty Sleeping Beauty.
Karen Babcock Brassea – As a natural progression from performing professionally, Karen now directs, choreographs and teaches musical theatre workshops in the United States and in Europe. She has performed on Broadway, the West End, Japan, and Austria as well as touring the United States extensively. She has been a member of Actor’s Equity Association since 1980 and a member of the Screen Actor’s Guild since 1982. Karen holds a BFA in drama (musical theatre option) from Carnegie Mellon University, from which she graduated with honors. Her mission is to perpetuate the excellence with which she has been influenced, and to encourage the next generation with theatrical skills that can build confidence in whatever vocation they eventually choose.
Michal Edgerton has been involved in the performing arts for over 20 years. Michal first developed her love for the performance arena with dance classes in Jazz and then found the appeal in acting. Michal studied theater at Montcair State University and has performed in several community theater productions that include The Bald Soprano, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Pajama Game and Once Upon A Mattress, among several others. Currently, Michal is a high school English teacher at Midland Park High School and has taken her love for theater from performing to directing. Michal’s credits in directing include Fame, Romeo and Juliet and Don’t Drink the Water.
Lionel Ruland has been entertaining since the age of 6 and has performed as an Actor, Musician, Puppeteer, and Stand-Up Comic in NYC and across the country. Holding a BA in Drama from William Paterson College and having studied Puppetry at the University of Connecticut, Lionel has shared his love of performing with children for the past 15 years teaching workshops in theatre, music, and puppetry. Lionel is guitarist and vocalist for The Crimson Pirates, a Celtic/Maritime Folk Group, and has recorded five albums. You can hear him at www.crimsonpirates.com.
Ken Kaissar’s directing work has been seen in New York at such venues as The Culture Project, Manhattan Repertory Theatre, The American Globe Theatre, Theatre Row, and The Epiphany Theatre Company where he recently directed a new production of A DOLL’S HOUSE. This past year he was commissioned by Columbia University to adapt THE CANTERBURY TALES to the stage. For the last seven years, he has served as an acting coach, working with New York’s most exciting up and coming talent. He holds a BFA in Directing from Carnegie Mellon University and an MFA in Playwriting from Columbia University, and has served on the artistic staffs of The Goodman Theatre, the Florida Studio Theatre and the Rattlestick Theater.
Mylene Lacap is known as a triple threat, singer, dancer and actor. She has been singing and dancing since the age of four. She’s worked with kids for the past five years. She has and is currently training in funk, jazz, ballet, and hiphop at Broadway Dance Center in New York City and has also trained in ballroom dancing at Battista’s Dance Studio in New Jersey. One major opportunity she attended was in Hollywood, CA. for IMTA which was a major convention to showcase models, singers, dancers and actors. She feels the best way to express emotions are through singing and dancing. She says with dancing the feelings are in every movement you make without words. Also with singing its feelings through words directly from your heart and there is no better feeling than that! She hopes one day to become a famous and successful singer, dancer, actor, and fashion designer. In her own words, “This is what I do, who I am, and what I was meant to be and I wouldn’t change who I am for the world!”
Rachel Dunwoody has performed in community theatre productions throughout Morris County and New York City. She has over 10 years of private vocal and piano instruction, and has taught Choral and Orchestral Music, as well as Theatre, at the middle and high school levels. She received her B.A. in Theatre Arts: Directing and Acting, from Dordt College in Sioux Center, IA, and holds a M.A. in Music and Music Education from Teachers College Columbia University. Favorite past roles include Clytemnestra (Agamemnon, Electra), Laurey (Oklahoma!), Ann Deever (All My Sons), Lorraine Taylor (The Receptionist), and Cecile Leroux (Is He Dead?).
Bryan Ramirez entered the world of performing arts at the age of seven, playing the piano at a recital for Mr. Paz’s music school in Kearny, New Jersey. He later followed his uncle’s footsteps to the stage and became familiar with musicals like “Godspell” and “Jesus Christ Superstar”. At the age of nine, he then enrolled in The Children’s Theatre of Livingston continuing to discover his potential in acting in a production named “Forget Me Not”. Through years in high school, Ramirez worked with his youth community program to further develop a Stations of the Cross performance. Toni Bilotti Cecere, whom Ramirez met at his parish of St. Raphael’s shaped his public speech and diction gracefully taking him under her wing endowing him with valuable skills he would need for the rest of his career. Bryan then attended Fordham University where he studied psychology and performing arts. He vigorously studied the classical guitar and took classes to learn more about the fundamentals of acting and performance. After returning to New Jersey, he was given the opportunity to work with director Angelo Uccello in the production “Say Yes to Life!” A community program geared towards the youth in an anti-drug and alcohol campaign. Given the opportunity to further use his talents in Trinity Theatrical Productions, Ramirez enthusiastically accepted the co-producer position focusing on creating original productions further developing community values. Ramirez went on to be nominated by NJACT in 2008 for Outstanding Original Production/Musical. Soon after separating from Trinity Theatrical he would go on to contribute his talents with Creative Endeavors. Bryan continues working with children and fostering creative growth while continuing to elaborate on his artistic abilities. He hopes to pass on the many valuable lessons he has learned and share many good memories with others.