Submissions

About

Paonessa Talent Agency is a boutique agency representing a broad range of ethnicities, and is dedicated to seeking out, managing, and guiding the careers of actors. PTA is fiercely dedicated to diversity and inclusion, and was the first agency in Chicago to open a trans/non-binary division. PTA prides itself on providing individual focus to its talent to ensure they have the tools and training necessary for ultimate success. Further, PTA is an inclusive company and strives to put the needs of its employees and clients first, while maintaining a professional and positive atmosphere. We are SAG/AFTRA and Equity franchised with a strong Non-Union division.

Paonessa Talent Agency, LLC works to meet our clients and casting directors needs. Our facility is equipped to do on-camera auditions and voiceover recordings.

Fun Fact: The word Paonessa derives from the Italian word for female peacock! 

Meet the Team

Marisa Paonessa, President/Agent

Marisa Paonessa is originally from Albany, New York and graduated with a BFA in Acting from State University of New York at Fredonia. She moved to Chicago in August of 1999 to start her career. Marisa has worked in promotional advertising, as a casting associate and tour manager for Chicago theatre. After realizing her passion for helping Chicago actors, she interned at a talent agency and was soon hired on as an agent. Her former clients urged her to start her own agency, and in January 2010 she opened her own doors. Marisa believes in cultivating personal relationships, giving individual attention and helping guide her talents' careers. When Marisa isn't working she's most likely on the phone with her mother.


Eleanor Axt, Talent Agent

 

Eleanor joined Paonessa as the Theatre Agent in November 2017. Before working as an agent, Eleanor was the Casting Director for Drury Lane Theatre as well as Jackalope Theatre Company. Eleanor got her start under the mentorship of Laura Durham, Erica Sartini-Combs, and Rachael Jimenez by providing freelance casting services to various theaters around Chicago including Windy City Playhouse, Theater Wit, Piven Theatre Workshop, and Griffin Theatre. Eleanor graduated with a BA in Sociology from DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana where she worked as an Admissions advisor and Recruitment Chair for her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma. Eleanor's mission is to fight for actors when the system puts their needs and desires at the bottom of the totem pole. Eleanor loves animals, scheduling things at least a month in advance, and hearing stories about your life!!



 

Siobhan Reddy-Best, Talent Agent

 

Siobhan is delighted to join the team at Paonessa! Originally from Providence, RI, Siobhan has been acting since she was a child. After teaching acting classes to children in her hometown, Siobhan moved to Chicago, where she has worked with Muse of Fire, Collaboraction, and Lifeline Theatre. Siobhan used her experience as a performer to teach sexual assault prevention classes with Catharsis Productions. She is looking forward to bringing her acting experience to the other side of the table in order to serve the talented clients at Paonessa. Siobhan is a proud graduate of Vassar College.


 

Kelly Hovsepian, Talent Agent

Kelly is originally from the Detroit area. She came to Chicago in 2009 to attend Columbia College, where she graduated from in 2013 with a degree in Film & Television. She worked as a Casting PA for the talent shows The Voice and The X- Factor and worked as a Casting Director on independent and short films. From 2015-2017 Kelly worked as an Assistant Stage Manager at the Raven Theatre. In 2017, she decided to get back into casting and joined Goodman Theatre as the casting intern. Kelly is very excited to be joining the Paonessa team!


Chloe Schneider, Talent Associate

Chloe is so excited to be a part of the wonderful Paonessa team! Growing up in sunny San Diego, CA she fell in love with the power of performing and found herself singing and acting all over Southern California. While attending UC Irvine, she found joy in giving voice to actors with her own projects, producing/casting staged readings, comedy masterclasses, short films, and animations. After graduation, she packed up her things and moved to Chicago where she recently interned with O' Connor Casting and Remy Bummpo Theatre. Chloe loves assisting the actors of Chicago and being a part of this welcoming community!

Colleen Claes, Talent Associate

Originally from Chicago, Colleen received a Bachelor of Arts in Digital Cinema and Screenwriting from DePaul University in 2009. After graduating college, she wrote and performed comedy by way of improv and her independent sketch groups. In 2015, Colleen became a graduate of The Second City Conservatory. She also has professional experience in film festival planning, office administration and sales. Colleen is very excited to bring her previous career experience and passionate background in film and comedy to Paonessa! 

 

© 2014 Paonessa Talent. All Rights Reserved. Web Design and Development: Chicago Digital