Founder & Studio Director
John Paizis is the founder and director of Performing Arts Studio West in Inglewood, California. He opened PASW in 1998 specifically to provide acting, voice, music, dance, technical training and employment opportunities to adults with developmental disabilities who want to work professionally in the field of entertainment. John has been a professional actor and musician for over thirty years, all the while working with children and adults with developmental disabilities in both public schools and privately operated state funded programs. He has designed award winning educational, social, recreational and vocational programs using a performing arts curriculum.
John studied acting with Sanford Meisner at New York’s famed Neighborhood Playhouse and has worked extensively in theater throughout New England, the Midwest and California. He has also performed as a stand-up comic on both coasts. He trained as a puppeteer with Jim Henson and Frank Oz and appeared in several large-scale children’s television projects. As a musician, singer and songwriter, John founded the Bay Area based show band The Del Pompadours, and was the lead singer in the L.A. based rock bands Kid Twist and World Affairs. Additionally, he has performed as a voice over artist for CD Rom interactive software games, children’s educational music projects and law enforcement training DVDs. In 2001, He had the opportunity to work with Sean Penn in the film, “I Am Sam.”
John now devotes the bulk of his creative energy to developing projects for Performing Arts Studio West. He was the recipient of a Westside Regional Center Excellence 2000 Award for his unique and innovative work with adults with disabilities. He has written, produced and acted in three PASW original musicals, “The Ecstasy of Dogs, Sparks & Giants,” “Kick Me When I’m Down…I’m Dead!” and “The National Cesspool!” John wrote, directed and co-starred in the studio’s first film project, a 1960′s horror genre film spoof, “Cut It Out, Monster…You’re Killing Me!” He recently wrote and produced the urban comedy web series, “Sir Glen of Glenwood,” also for PASW.
John is a contributing writer for Ability Magazine and an on set consultant and acting coach for film projects and television shows which have included “ER,” “CSI:NY,” “Shameless,” “Saving Grace,” “7th Heaven,” “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” the feature film “Any Day Now,” starring Alan Cumming, Garret Dillahunt and PASW actor Isaac Leyva, and the new FX sitcom “Legit” starring Australian stand-up comedian Jim Jefferies and featuring veteran PASW actor Nick Daley in the recurring role of Rodney Jackson.