Our Staff

Jo-Ann Pantoja
“Confidence is an actor’s greatest asset. I teach actors how to embrace the uncertainty of the audition process, transforming fear into an empowered resolve that assures the best results in “the room”. By transferring my love for auditioning to the actors I work with and teaching them reliable techniques that will diminish their anxiety and increase their excitement, I can help actors get the most out of their abilities as storytellers and thrive in any situation.”

Jo-­Ann is a working actor in both film and television who has appeared in over 20 national commercials to date. Her relationship with Annie Grindlay began in 2005 at Margie Haber Studio. When Annie left in 2009 to start Annie Grindlay Studio, Jo-­Ann joined her to become an instructor and Studio Director. Jo­-Ann has taught and coached hundreds of actors since and created the taped audition with private coaching service now offered at Annie Grindlay Studio.

Her students and private coaching clients have appeared on every major television network including “Mad Men” (AMC), “New Girl” (FOX), “Modern Family” (ABC), “Ray Donovan” (Showtime), “Jane the Virgin” (CW), “30 Rock” (NBC), “Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders” (CBS), “Brooklyn Nine Nine” (FOX), “Breaking Bad” (AMC) and “Better Call Saul” (AMC) and many, many more.

With almost two decades of industry experience, Jo­-Ann has worked alongside the likes of James Franco, Mark Pellegrino and Jamie Anne Allman and studied with some of the most respected Los Angeles based acting instructors including Robert Carnegie, Lesly Kahn, Diane Castle, Harry Mastrogeorge and Larry Moss with improv training at both UCB and The Groundlings.

Jo­-Ann’s recent credits include the feature film “Confessions of a Womanizer”, a recurring spot on “After Chelsea Lately” and appearing on the ABC daytime soap “General Hospital”.

Transforming an actor’s fear from a liability to a superpower is what Jo­Ann specializes in and her students continue to book role after role after applying her techniques.


“Jo-Ann has coached me on many auditions that have led to bookings. She helps me layer my work and add specificity. I always walk away with a fuller understanding of the character and story–which makes me feel very confident.”
– Eileen Fogarty

“I coached with Jo-Ann for the audition and, as always, I came away feeling like we succeeded in what we needed to accomplish. Her insight and experience allows her to bring out the best in every actor and help find the important emotional moments we may have missed. Thanks Jo-Ann!!”
– George Stumpf

“Working with Jo-Ann has been an evolutionary journey for me. She challenged my self doubt which has allowed me to trust my strength and instincts as an actor and as a human”
– Marilyn Mark

Carla Rosati
I believe that every actor has the ability to truly embrace this reality. Auditioning is the act of story telling. Most times this is forgotten because the focus is on “booking the job”. I teach actors where to put that focus and how to be compelled to create the world for the words written on the page. This then allows you the freedom to express yourself through the story you are being asked to tell in the auditioning room.”

Carla has been teaching in many areas of acting since 2001 to adults, teens, kids and at risk youth. She has taught on camera audition technique at Annie Grindlay Studio for over 5 years. She has also taught at the John Sudol Studio and Thexposure Studio. Her love of improvisation lead her to teach for Deborah Gibson and direct Impro Theatre’s young actor program.

She has been very fortunate to help guide the growth of many actors. Their work lead them to be seen on such successful shows as This Is Us, Modern Family, Westworld, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, American Horror Story, Shameless, Grey’s Anatomy, Scorpion, NCIS, Criminal Minds & many notable others as well.

Some of Carla’s credits include Lifetime’s Hallmark film “Dog Gone Love” and “Wish” the winner of the Edgefest film festival along with a variety of national and regional commercial spots. She has a BFA from the University of the Arts and has studied with Howard Fine, Annie Grindlay, The Second City, Improv Olympic and Impro Theatre. Carla is overjoyed and feels privileged to be a part of the Annie Grindlay Studio.


“Carla’s insight with audition techniques are invaluable. This year alone I have worked with her to book 3 pilots and her coaching continues to help me book the part. The way she breaks down a script and character is why I walk into any casting room confident.”
– Christian Ochoa

“I honestly work with Carla before every single audition I have. Every time. A session with her gives me the confidence to go into any audition room and know I’m ready for whatever comes my way because she helps you to use who you are & not put something else onto you.”
– Bryan Safi

Carla has helped me SO much in making all of my auditions specific and unique to me, which I believe is what truly books. Not only that, she has been such a strong source of encouragement and hope when it come to the business!”
– Kosha Patel

Patrick Cohen
Instructor – Comedy Intensive
“If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. Acting is playing! It’s make-believe. And it should feel that way. I teach actors to find the joy in their process. To free themselves from the need to “get it right” in the room, and instead to find the fun. To play. The result is always a deeper, more engaging experience for the viewer, not to mention a much more pleasant audition process for the actor! Find the fun.”

A graduate of Providence College, Patrick is a working actor/director/writer and producer in Los Angeles and has been a member of Annie Grindlay Studio since 2009.

Working with Annie has fundamentally changed the way he approaches all aspects of his craft, and, with over 15 years in the business, Patrick is now thrilled to add “Teacher” to his resume. With Patrick, students work to discover a deeper, more satisfying way to approach the work, resulting in richer, more authentic “experiences” in the audition room, and on set.


“Patrick is GREAT! I really enjoy taking class with him. He does such great breakdowns of the scenes, is really supportive with redirection and adjustments and highlighting strengths — it’s about time he had his own intensive!”
-Jill Maglione

“Being part of the Annie Grindlay studio has truly been a game changer for my career. I remember coaching with Patrick before an audition and his insight and infectious electric energy took my performance in that auditioning room from 0 to 100. I’m so grateful to Annie Grindlay Studio for their knowledge, support, and positive community.”
-Julia Rios

“Patrick Cohen was one the most direct and detailed teachers I’ve had. He was able to explain with such clarity and ease what each moment was portraying and how the characters felt and reacted. His humor and relatable analogies made the learning process both fun and educational. He kept it real!”
-Ryan Bravo