Our Teachers

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Josh Nicols

Josh is the Artistic Director / co-owner of Spectacles Improv Engine in Fullerton, CA. He is the director of The Orange County Improv Festival and founder and former director of the The Improv Cup. He has been performing improv for 24 years and coaching/teaching for a decade. Josh seeks out opportunities to learn from improv’s greatest luminaries. He has studied under instructors from iO West & Chicago, The Annoyance Theater, Groundlings, Second City, and The Pack Theater. Josh is the creator of Spectacles Improv Engine’s unique focus based curriculum. He has performed and taught around the country with a concentration on organic, in-the-moment improvisation which can help build confidence onstage and off.


Sam Forbes

Sam has been improvising since High School. He joined his first serious team immediately after graduating. He attended Cal State Fullerton majoring in Theatre Arts. During his time there he focused on acting and play writing. Sam officially joined Spectacles in April 2013, when he made it on to The FlySpace. From there, he continued to get more and more involved. In 2014, he became the Creative Director of Spectacles Improv Engine. He held that position until 2017, where he stepped down to serve as a Company Member.

Sam loves observing and spreading the joy of improv. It’s a magical art form that highlights an individual’s voice and talents. Sam believes in the future of improv. The more in grows, the more it becomes indistinguishable from scripted theatre. His teaching methods and experience reflect that belief.


Matt Thomas

Matt Thomas is one of the founders of Spectacles Improv Engine in Fullerton, CA, and plays an integral role in its continued growth and success. His efforts both on-stage and off have helped Spectacles rise from a single short-form team into a full blown improv company with over 100 members performing in dozens of teams and shows.

Aside from Spectacles, he has performed at Second City, the Pack Theater, and on the iO West mainstage. His passion for improv is reflected in his meticulous study of the craft. He has studied under the likes of Miles Stroth, Craig Cackowski, Paul Vaillancourt, Bob Dassie, Dave Razowsky, Nick Armstrong, Jason Shotts, Dave Hill, Karen Graci, and more.

He serves as the co-director of the Improv Cup, and he is also an organizer for the Orange County Improv Festival.


Joey Shope

Joey Shope is an improv veteran who has been performing improv for over 10 years. He’s trained and performed with many of the major schools in LA including IO West, UCB, and Second City. Joey has also been performing with Spectacles for 5 years and has been teaching there for 2. Joey Shope loves improv so much he got the word tattooed on his body.