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About

Paonessa Talent Agency, LLC is a boutique agency representing a broad range of ethnicities that is dedicated to seeking out, managing and guiding the careers of Chicago's best talent. We are SAG/AFTRA and Equity franchised with a strong Non-Union division. We provide individual focus to our talent to ensure they have the tools and training necessary for ultimate success in the business.

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.


Deven Casey Hartley, Agent

Deven is so excited to join Paonessa and work with such a badass team! Most recently, Deven served as the TV/film/Theatrical Agent for BMG Talent. Before that, she served as the Casting Director for Two Birds Casting. A Nashville, TN native and Northwestern University graduate, she begun her career in Chicago working with a number of top Chicago talent agencies. When the sun goes down, Deven can be seen performing with her trans*queer project WITCH HAZEL around the city. Deven particularly loves cheese, horses, and the color black.

Ella Rosenfeld, Talent Associate

Ella is honored to join the amazing crew at Paonessa Talent Agency. She hails from Washington, D.C. and received a B.A. in Theatre & Drama from Indiana University. She interned at Paskal Rudnicke Casting in the summer of 2013 and discovered her love of improv while living in Chicago. She was part of IU's longest running improv troupe, Full Frontal Comedy for two years. Ella loves little dogs and pasta.

Robin Hellmann, Agent

Robin Hellmann is beyond psyched to be joining the team of superhuman agents at Paonessa Talent! A Chicagoland native, Robin has been an active participant in the city’s performance community since childhood. She is especially well known for her close ties to the city’s improv scene. Robin has worked as a book editor, ghost writer, costume designer for theatre and feature films, in event management at Piven Theatre Workshop, and as a casting director/owner with The Cast Station. When she is not working at Paonessa, she is playing with the Improvised Jane Austen company, of which she has been a member for 6 years.

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