Our Instructors & Staff
Click on their picture to contact them.
All TBEPA Staff, Core Volunteers, and Instructors have cleared background checks, are fingerprinted through the Department of Justice, and are CPR/First Aid Certified. Many of them have also completed Virtus training as well.
Rica Anonas - Dance Teacher and Choreographer
Whether she is on stage or behind the scenes the performing arts have always been Rica's first love and passion. She taught the colorguard program at Giano Middle School, where she headed after school practices, prepared and choreograph routines for competition and trained students on colorguard and dance technique to prepare them for high school colorguard and dance programs. Rica has had dance training in Ballet, Modern, Contemporary and Hip Hop/Commercial Dance at Fullerton College and Mt. SAC, where she also performed in the faculty and student dance concerts. She then went on to complete a degree in Business Administration from DeVry University in 2013. Rica started taking up voice lessons at the Keener Music Studio and eventually became a part of Top Billing Entertainment where she helped choreographed pieces for numerous shows over the last few years. She has also picked up guitar playing and has grown a new love and appreciate for music. She is grateful for all the opportunities she has been given and feels very blessed to be able to both, pursue her career in the hospitality industry and also have the time to teach and share her love for the arts with others. Rica's goal is to inspire children to share their talents and appreciate the wonderful world of performing arts.
Chen Chu - Violin & Viola Instructor
We are excited to welcome Chen Chu as our new violin and viola teacher! Chen is a music teacher, violinist/violist, and conductor with over 15 years of experience. While attending New York University (NYU), he majored in music education and studied with Mark Steinberg of the Brentano String Quartet. As a firm believer that music changes lives, Chen thinks private lessons is the best way to establishing a solid foundation on which one can further pursue great music making, be it in a solo or group setting. Learning a musical instrument can definitely be a challenge, however, Chen has developed a knack for turns it into a fun experience that is rewarding for both teacher and student. As a teacher, he has conducted several youth orchestras in NYC and LA. A sought after chamber music coach, he also maintains a private studio of violin and viola students. As a performer, he has played at Carnegie Hall, Avery Fisher Hall, and Alice Tully Hall on many occasions with world renowned artists including Lukas Foss, Leon Botstein, Quincy Jones, Michael Kamen, Clark Terry, David Sanborn, Shawn Stockman, and Richard Drefuss. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking and traveling with his wife.
Eileen Goodwin - Acting Coach & Musical Theater Class Instructor
Eileen is so excited to be joining the creative team at Top Billing Entertainment. She first joined the Top Billing family as Motormouth Maybelle in "Hairspray" (2015) and later portrayed Ursula in "The Little Mermaid Jr." (2016).
She has since portrayed various roles in productions throughout the community. Notable roles include: Daniela in "In The Heights" (Pasadena City College), Gary Coleman in "Avenue Q" (No Square Theatre), Reindeer in "There's No Business Like Snow Business" (TBE), and Killer Queen in "We Will Rock You: The Queen Musical" (Southern California Debut) in which her performance earned her an Inland Theatre League nomination. She also directs and produces the adult cabarets held annually at the TBE studio. Doubling as a pediatric nurse, Eileen has a certain passion for working with children and is honored to have the opportunity to share her love of theatre with the kids.
Constance Houghton-Day – Piano Instructor
Constance has been involved with music, dance, and theater since her early childhood. She started playing piano on her concert pianist grandmother's Steinway piano before she can remember and grew up in her mom's dance studio. She studied at the Detroit Conservatory of Music in her youth and went to Marygrove College in Detroit on a full scholarship where she earned a B.F. A. in Dance and Music. She has performed in musicals, operas, film and television and toured. One highlight was performing with the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She is a member of Equity and AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists). Constance believes in the power and benefits of music for all people of all ages and every walk of like. Music is essential for the brain, the mind, the body and the soul
Constance Antoinette Day – Piano, Voice, Guitar, Bass Instructor
Constance first showed an interest in music and performing arts at the age of three and hasn't stopped since. Chasing her dream, she acquired a degree in music from Musicians Institute of Hollywood. While guitar is her “soul instrument”, she is also trained in 5 other instruments as well as voice. Not only does she play music, but she acts, dances (ballet-on pointe, tap, jazz, hip hop, and heels), models and is a black belt in Kung Fu. POW!
She started gigging/touring at the age of 13 and has played in many bands over the years. One of her many tours was with the iconic punk-rock band the “Misfits” playing all over Northern America. You may have spotted her backing up Adam Lambert on the popular TV series Glee or even in various music videos, television shows, and commercials for well known companies (VISA, Starwars, and HTC etc), and on Billboards across the world for USA Network’s The Purge.
She has helped her students achieve their performing dreams and has many alumni staring in Dreamworks series, Cartoon Network shows, and live Broadway shows. Constance teaches electric and acoustic guitar, piano, voice, dance, and stage choreography. Come rock out with her!
David Ivy - Director & Videographer
was excited to make his stage directing debut with Top Billing Entertainment. David graduated with honors from USC's School of Cinema-Television and currently works as a music composer for film and television. He is also currently in pre-production for his first feature film scheduled to start shooting later this year. David is excited to share his passion for the performing arts with the younger generation and looking forward to putting on the best show the TBE kids can perform.
Kristina Keener Ivy - Executive Director, Master Music Teacher, Dance Teacher, Musical Producer & Director
is a professional performer and private instructor. She has won Best Theater Director in the USA in the American Prize National Competition multiple times. She has performed with various jazz bands, as a member of church worship teams, on three film soundtracks, and in numerous musical theater productions throughout the Southwest. She recorded a self-titled album in 2006 featuring some of her favorite jazz charts and show tunes. Some of her favorite past musical theater roles include Kate in "Kiss Me Kate" and Brenda in "Smokey Joe's Cafe" both at the Covina Valley Playhouse, Miss Sandra in "All Shook Up" at The Candlelight Pavilion, Nancy in "Oliver!", Sister Mary Amnesia in "Nunsense", Adelaide in "Guys and Dolls", and Dorabella in Mozart’'s "Cosi Fan Tutte" to name a few.
Her training is in opera, and she graduated Summa Cum Laude with Honors from Northern Arizona University with a BA in Operatic Performance and a second BA in Music Education. In addition to teaching private lessons in piano, voice and guitar for all ages, she has also worked as a musical director for over 100 local productions including Peter Pan, Beauty and the Beast, Seussical and High School Musical. She is looking forward to producing many more main stage productions and touring shows with Top Billing Entertainment.
She would like to thank Jesus for all the good gifts around us, her husband, David, for his unending love and patience, and her family, friends, and especially her students for their continued support.
Melanie Rabajante - Assistant Manager, Dance Teacher, and Head Choreographer
Melanie started her performance career at age seven and has competitively danced with America's Best Dance Crews (Team Millennium & Kaba Modern). Within the San Gabriel Valley community she has performed in numerous productions including "West Side Story" playing Anita and was awarded Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Bombluarina in "Cats" by Inland Empire Theater League in 2008. She was a founding member of Top Billing Entertainment performing in "Best of Broadway", "Glee Gala", & "High School Musical." After graduating from high school, Melanie attended American Musical & Dramatic Academy in Hollywood earning her BFA in Musical Theater and was ranked Top 7 in WORLD'S ALL-STAR in 2015. Her most recent work was playing Mother Mary/Gypsy in “Hunchback of Notre Dame” with an outstanding cast at Broadway at the Gardens.
As a choreographer, she has worked on over 15 musicals with Top Billing Entertainment and four productions with Sacred Heart School in Covina. As a freelance choreographer she has also worked on Quinceañeras, Debuts, Weddings and Flash Mobs. I'd like to thank my family who played a BIG part in my craft, not only do they support me, but they trained me to dream BIG! Most importantly I want to thank God for giving me the gift of performance and the ability to spread love and to care for those around me. "We do musical theater because words are not enough to express one's story."
Amanda Rueda - Voice & Piano Instructor
Amanda "Mandee" Rueda received her Bachelor’s degree from San Diego State University emphasizing in Vocal Performance and minored in Women’s Studies. Mandee’s experience spans many genres ranging from classical to more contemporary styles such as pop and musical theatre. Her prior experiences include roles in West Side Story, The Magic Flute, as well as performing in various vocal ensembles. Mandee has been coached by renowned vocalists in the industry such as Lori Laitman, Lee Gregory, Kristina Keener Ivy, and Lucas Meachem just to name a few. Mandee is a vivacious, passionate, and confident teacher who enjoys working with kids of all ages and different walks of life. Mandee believes a strong understanding of basic theory, and technique can lead to a successful vocalist and musician.
Christian Sandoval - Assistant to the Director
Christian First joined the Top Billing family in 2013 when he played Tommy Djilas in “The Music Man” and has been involved with the company ever since. His other roles with TBE including Gaston in their 2014 production of “Beauty and the Beast,” The Lion in “The Wizard of Oz,” and Link Larkin in “Hairspray.” He was also honored to have been given the opportunity to write Top Billing’s 2015 Christmas show “There’s No Business Like Snow Business.” Some of his other favorite roles outside of Top Billing include Charlie Brown in “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” The Lion in “The Wiz,” and Shrek in “Shrek: The Musical.” Christian also has many years of experience as a professional magician and party performer playing characters such as Batman, Superman, Captain America, and Santa Claus. With the firm belief that children are the future Christian cares deeply about Top Billing Entertainment and the wonderful opportunities they provide for all children. He’d like to thank God, his parents, his two older brothers Seth and Andrew for inspiring him, and his little sister Alina for always supporting him in his creative endeavors.
Hannah Okerson - Instructor for City of Glendora Classes
Ms. Hannah has participated in Top Billing Entertainment productions since Beauty and the Beast in 2014. She has maintained a busy schedule since with roles in Royal Oak Drama, Charter Oak Drama, and Top Billing Entertainment shows. During the summers of 2019 and 2020 Hannah directed as a volunteer the summer camp productions which included, "School House Rock Jr.", "Junie B. Jones Jr.", "Moana Jr.", and "Alice in Wonderland Jr." She also choreographed the tap section in "In Summer" for Frozen Jr. and "Put on a Happy Face" for "Bye Bye Birdie." Some of her favorite roles have been Jessica in "Curtians", Mr. Smee in "Peter Pan", and Rafiki in the "Lion King." Hannah recognizes that she has been helped and mentored by many great people along her journey to where she is today and is grateful for the opportunity to pay it forward. "In theater, we are the art."
Juli Vermilion Sison - Tap Instructor & Choreographer
A former student of Ms. K's, Juli has been tapping since 2003. While developing her skills, she quickly rose to the rank of student choreographer for Citrus College's Dance Company from 2006-2008. Throughout her time at Citrus College, she also served as a principal dancer for the world-renowned Citrus Singers, in addition to singing for Citrus' internationally touring pop/rock band, 'Night Shift'. During her career at Citrus College, she was also selected to choreograph for Rowland Unified School District's Annual Summer Arts Academy from 2005-2010. Juli is heavily inspired by the big band era, including tap dance legends Gene Kelly and the Nicholas Brothers. She is elated to be a part of the TBE Family!
Rose Szczepanski - Front Desk
Rose is so excited to be joining the Top Billing staff family! She has been a student at Top Billing since 2018, and a lover of theatre and music since she can remember. She plans to attend the University of California Irvine to major in drama. Rose loves performing, and been a part of many musicals and plays. Some of her favorite roles include Anna in “Frozen”, Emily in “Our Town”, Genie in “Aladdin”, Penny in “You Can’t Take It With You”, and Miranda in “Tempest”. Rose trains vocally with Kristina Keener Ivy, and has acting instruction from Citrus College, along with her many directors and mentors. Joining Top Billing has brought so many wonderful opportunities and lifelong friendships for Rose. She is so excited to have the chance to help give other performers the same experience.
Temria Airmet - Master Dance Teacher & Choreographer
Temria Airmet holds her MFA in Dance from California State University Long Beach (2019) and her BFA in Modern Dance from the University of Utah (2009). She is the Artistic Director and creator of the project-based dance company, Temria Dance Haus. She was the Co/Creator and Artistic Director of Myriad Dance Company from 2015-2017. Airmet has performed professionally with Tipsy Point Projects, Brine Arts, Arts of Chaos, Transfusion Hype, and Voodoo Productions. She has taught with Ballet West, Millennium Dance Complex, The University of Utah’s Tanner Dance, and other studios throughout the Salt Lake Valley and Los Angeles. Airmet currently teaches in higher education with Oxnard College and in studio with Top-Billing Entertainment. Airmet’s research and choreography celebrates diversity through politically-charged contemporary dance. She sees a country divided by social injustices and she is curious as to where the common ground lives. It is within this space that Airmet takes on complex ideas and turns them into artistic expression. With all her work, she intends to bring clarity to a complicated world and beauty to a disturbing climate. Temria knows art as a means to better understand the human experience and she does everything she can to support her fellow artists and grow the voice of the dance community from a local to global scale.
Emily Gage - Front Desk
Emily has been with Top Billing since 2016, but has been involved in theatre since she was 6. She has always had a love for theatre and has been a part of many musicals over the years. Her favorite roles include Grace Farrell in “Annie”, Grimsby in “The Little Mermaid”, Ms. Darbus in “High School Musical”, and Kassim in “Aladdin”. Emily has taken voice lessons and has played guitar, ukulele, and clarinet for many years. She loves to work with kids and to see them learn and grow in their abilities. Emily is so grateful for all the opportunities that Top Billing has provided for her and is honored to get to spread the love of theatre with a younger generation.
Marco Tacandong - Hip Hop Teacher & Dance Team Choreographer
Marco Tacandong is a dancer, choreographer, and educator from Jacksonville, Florida. He started as a hip-hop dancer and eventually learned other styles as his love and curiosity for dance grew. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Dance from Jacksonville University where he studied various styles from the faculty and guest artists. Marco was a part of a hip-hop dance crew in Jacksonville called WreckLess, and Florida State College at Jacksonville’s Dance Repertory Company, danceWORKS. Being a member of danceWORKS for two years provided him with a diverse set of influences in his craft and leadership skills that have helped him throughout his career. He has created, performed and produced numerous works that were presented on stage, events, and video projects. He also taught hip-hop and contemporary at several dance studios in Jacksonville, St. Augustine and Ponte Vedra. He aims to provide deliberate instruction while cultivating a fun and safe space to dance.
Melanie Martell - Dance Teacher & Dance Team Choreographer
Melanie has been trained in various dance styles since the age of 5, these including contemporary, hip hop, jazz, military, pom, tap, and heels. She has competed and performed at USA Collegiate Dance Championships and World of Dance, as well as has been a in various music videos and an extra on Dancing with the Stars. Melanie received her B.A. at Azusa Pacific University in Public Relations where she also performed with APU’s Dance Team. Having also been on the Citrus College Dance Team she has learned the value in being on a team. Currently, Melanie works with Vixens Dance Company as a team performer and Insomniac events as character performer. She trains at Millennium Dance Studio, Offstage, and Dynamic Duo to further grow her expertise in various styles of dance. Melanie loves to share her passion for dance and the ability to tell stories through specific movement. She hopes to positively guide and inspire students through dance to share these stories.
Caroline Dergazarian - Front Desk
Caroline has been a part of Top Billing Entertainment since its first ever musical, “High School Musical,” in 2011, and is so excited to join the staff family! Theatre has always been a major part of her life, and she has loved the music & arts for as long as she can remember. Some of her favorite past roles include Belle in “Beauty and the Beast,” Carlotta in “The Little Mermaid,” and Kassim in “Aladdin.” Caroline plans to major in English at University of California Irvine in hopes of becoming a screenwriter one day. Caroline has trained vocally with Kristina Keener Ivy, and has played musical instruments for many years. She is excited to now not just be a past student, but a new staff member here at Top Billing. Caroline is thrilled to be a part of such a wonderful staff, and looks forward to watching the next generation of performers grow.
Sofie Ortega - Front Desk
Sofie has been involved in the performing arts since 2011 and has been with Top Billing Entertainment since 2017. She has been in countless musicals, has taken classes in lyrical, jazz, and musical theater dance and has had years of vocal training. She was also a member of the show choir at Sandburg Middle School and Glendora High School for seven years where she was choir president her senior year. She eventually began helping as a choreographer for summer camp shows “Descendants Jr.” and “Annie Jr.”, and has also choreographed numbers for Sandburg Middle School show choirs. Sofie finds joy in helping young performers learn and grow and fulfill their dreams and is excited to continue this journey as a part of the TBE staff!
Welcome our newer staff members!
Hannah Reyna Manuit - Acting & Dance Teacher
Hannah Reyna has been in the Top Billing Family for almost a decade and is excited to join this amazing team of instructors. She recently earned a BFA in Acting for the Stage and Screen at Azusa Pacific University and continues to master her craft and learn more and more each day. She is also a trained singer and dancer. (And a founding member of our Top Billing dance team.) Straight out of college, she was able to land a commercial agent and several paid stage shows! Her most recent theater credits include: Three Sisters (Irina), Spongebob the Musical (Sardine, Sea Anemone, Ensemble), The Addams Family (Wednesday). She can not wait to teach what she has learned with those who share the same passion for performing as she does.
Christopher Severino - Pop Rock Bands, Guitar, Ukulele, Bass, Drums
Christopher (they/them) is a musician from the Los Angeles area who has been honing their craft for nine years as a guitar player. They were inspired by their father to take up music and have been passionate about it ever since, believing in its power to bring people from all walks of life together. They have been dedicated to mastering the guitar, developing a versatile style that allows them to navigate a wide range of genres. They have enjoyed playing live shows for the past few years, and are excited to now be recording an album with their band Black Zone, which showcases their unique style and talents. They are also looking forward to sharing their skills and expertise with the younger generations, and inspire them to pursue their passion for music.
Yvette Reyes - Office Manager
Yvette found her love of performing in front of a crowd at the age of just three years old when she became a recreational cheerleader for her local community. She then grew a passion for music and especially singing performing in elementary, junior high, and her high school show choir - where she first started working with Ms. K. Since then, she has been a part of over a dozen productions at Top Billing Entertainment including playing Babette in Beauty and the Beast, Ariel in the Disney Spectacular Showcase and many roles in all the Christmas shows. She enjoys doing the Christmas shows the most because “Christmas is the best time of the year.” Along with performing, Yvette has also been a party performer portraying characters such as Ariel, Moana, Princess Jasmine, Sophia the 1st, Princess Elena, Isabella from Encanto, and Wonder Woman at countless birthday parties and events. Her involvement and passion for working with children and entertainment has led her to pursue this next chapter in her career. She is excited to now be a part of the TBE team as the Office Manager and Executive Assistant to Ms. K. She looks forward to getting to know all the TBE Families!