Engaging young people in advocacy, education & prevention
Creating social change around alcohol, drugs, and more

Our Team

Katherine Kasmir (Founder/Director)

Katherine Kasmir is the Founder and Director of our nonprofit organization, Reality Improv Connection, Inc. and our Straight Up program. It all started with her love of the arts and vision for making connection and meaning through social change theatre and applied improvisation.  She has been creating educational entertainment since her teen years, and teaching improv for 25 years. She is a member of the Applied Improvisation Network, was privileged to learn Theatre of the Oppressed from Augusto Boal and has been facilitating social change theatre since 2001. As a mother of 6, Katherine is passionate about empowering youth and supporting families.

Roland Roberts (Project Coordinator)

Looks like a pirate, talks like a pirate, but his two eyes and respect for women give him away. Roland can be found around the county working with youth and young adult volunteers to create arrr-some prevention projects.

Vanessa Alva (Mental Health and Prevention Specialist)

Vanessa is a Mental Health and Prevention Specialist with Straight Up Reality Improv. Her hobbies include spending time with her family, playing women’s tackle football and DJing. 

Jace Meadows (Video Editor/Workshop Facilitator)

Jace is the tech support, videographer, sound engineer, and anything else that is needed for Straight Up. In his spare time, he likes to make music, play games, and brainstorm his next big creative idea!

Debbie Curtis (Graphic Designer)

Debbie has been working with Straight Up since January 2016, and is a graphic design freelancer who creates the marketing collateral for Straight Up. In her free time, Debbie sings barbershop/a cappella music with Carpe Diem Chorus in Santa Barbara, cheers for her hometown Pittsburgh Steelers, and loves on her 2 kitties, Cheeto and Toby.

Mitchell Boring (Video Editor/Workshop Facilitator)

Mitchell is an editor and animator who likes to spend his time doing digital art projects or being outside and exploring nature. He prides himself in his ability to jump over his own leg. He once got stuck on a rock in the middle of a rushing river rapid and he saved himself by tossing 28 chairs in to the dangerous water below him which is just one of his many strange accomplishments. Whether it’s editing a video about drunk driving to the beat of funky music or climbing a mountain, Mitchell will approach the challenge with full force and enthusiasm. 

Ashley Heatherly (Administrative Assistant/Social Media Manager)

Ashley is the Administrative Assistant and Social Media Manager for Straight Up and is passionate about mental health advocacy and prevention, LGBTQIA advocacy, snacks, and social justice. In her spare time, she enjoys the beach, making music, collecting stuffed animals and making resin jewelry. If she is ever late, it is because of her cat.