Expert on unleashing Authentic Confidence in women; improv comedy performer, director & instructor at the world-renowned Groundlings Theater in LA and her own school in NYC, Improvolution; pioneer in women’s empowerment & development with her original program ‘Good Girls Aren’t Funny’; inspirational speaker on going beyond the limits of gender bias for the entire gender spectrum; and founder of iMergence, a company spearheading the use of improvisation in innovating corporate culture.
As a student at UCLA who graduated with a double major in Sociology and Psychology, Mandel pursued improvisation at one of the prominent institutions in the country, The Groundlings, working alongside such artists as Will Ferrell, Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Maya Rudolph, and Lisa Kudrow. After graduating, she began her career as a writer and producer – from Disney Studios to ABC Television to Comedy Central. With one foot in the creative arts and one in the corporate world, she began to see the invaluable skills she had at her disposal. Unique abilities that improvisation had taught her which were instrumental to her success, adaptability, creativity, and talent to lead teams while empowering each individual simultaneously.
EXPERT IN WOMEN’S CONFIDENCE, LEADERSHIP, & INNOVATION
Possessing a rare combination of interests and experience, including her studies at UCLA, she identified and tracked the influences of gender expectations on her female improv students in order to increase their confidence and comedic voice. It led her to develop an original talk and workshop series, GOOD GIRLS AREN’T FUNNY, which has grown in scope and influence into a separate talk and workshop series, GOOD GIRLS AREN’T CEOs. Both explore and explain the origins and implications of “the Good Girl” – a construct in culture with roots in our biological as well as the socio-historical past, but still very much at play today: the need for women to be perfect, to be liked, to please others, and whose source of confidence is not primarily embedded within but obtained outside of herself.
BUSINESS IMPROV PIONEER & DYNAMIC CORPORATE TRAINER
After moving to New York, she founded her own improv school, Improvolution, in 2002. The focus of the school was to offer the myriad of benefits improv provides for professional development, not just artistic. As one of the frontrunners of corporate improvisation, she then founded a sister company, iMergence in 2006, and has worked with companies such as Adidas, American Express, IBM, Merrill Lynch, Baker & McKenzie, Skadden, CNN and Netflix, successfully translating the benefits and tools of improvisation from the classroom to the boardroom.
CREATIVITY CONSULTANT, IMPROV COMEDY PERFORMER & THEATER DIRECTOR
Utilizing her background in both performing and directing comedy improv and sketch, Holly works with individuals and groups to unearth and unleash deeper layers of creativity. She uses the creative process to unlock higher collaborative potentials within a person or company.
INSPIRATIONAL KEYNOTE SPEAKER AND CHANGE CATALYZER
Her talks on women and going beyond gender expectations consistently evoke responses like, “life-changing”, “eye opening”, “pivotal”, “motivating”, and “hilariously entertaining” from audiences worldwide.