Nicolas and Daniel both graduated from Highland Park High School and continued to the University of Miami's School of Communication for higher education. Josh Tallo, though a native of St. Louis Missouri, has spent over a decade in Chicago honing his talents in the filmmaking industry. Nicolas earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Visual Communication (focusing on motion picture/television writing & production), a Bachelor of Science in Cultural and Physical Anthropology, and a minor in Photography. Daniel earned a Bachelor of Communications (focusing on motion picture/television writing & cinematography), a Bachelor of Science in Cultural and Physical Anthropology, and a minor in Art History. Josh attended Columbia College where he studied Cinematography, receiving a Bachelor of Science.
As Creative Director, Nicolas oversees and facilitates a smoothly functioning production team from concept through completion. Nicolas primarily focuses his time and talent on the people in front of the lens. His expertise lies in getting the best out of other people when the lights are on and the cameras are rolling. On set he is the guy conducting the interviews or directing the actors. Nicolas loves being immersed in a production – collaborating with a team of professional, creative, enthusiastic people. Apart from video production, Nic is a writer/director of and a performer in The Comic Thread sketch comedy troupe. Originally formed in 1998 under another name, Nic and The Comic Thread have produced nearly two dozen original productions in Highland Park, at The Second City Chicago, and at the Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival (the largest of its kind in the world). His favorite part is being able to completely immerse himself in the process from start to finish.
As Director of Photography, Daniel works on the technical side of each production. During the beginning stages of a project he works with Nicolas to determine how best to tell that particular story and what tools are needed to make it happen. On set he can be found adjusting the lights, operating a camera, or conferring with the other members of the crew on how to make the project look its absolute best. Daniel loves the process of creating with a team of energetic and like-minded people. Apart from video production, Dan enjoys working on personal photo projects and is currently photographing the food and people surrounding Chicago's Community Sustainable Agriculture, a collective of local farmers who grow organic food. His favorite part is getting to eat tasty pulled pork nachos.
As a cinematographer and camera operator with a handful of short films, documentaries, and extensive on-the-job training, Josh continues to hone his skills in lighting and camera techniques almost daily. Josh has worked in the documentary television arena, working for such clients as TLC, Discovery, Oprah, MSNBC, ABC, CNN, The Travel Channel, The Weather Channel and Nike, to name just a few. He brings a plethora of other skills to the Bitter Jester team, including audio mixing, and editing, working with staying up all night working with clients, and just plain being a nice guy. He has even been known to dabble in the stop motion animation arena, producing work for the Fannie Mae Chocolate company. Josh brings a passion and creative mindset to everything he works on, driving projects well beyond expectation. And while he strives to advance himself in every aspect of production, Josh's ultimate talents are revealed through his cinematography work. His passion for imagery and lighting continues to be the basis for everything he creates.
Also a graduate of Highland Park High School's intensive arts program, Mark is the entire brains and brawn behind the webpages for both Bitter Jester Creative and The Comic Thread sketch comedy troupe. He continued his learning at Carnegie Mellon University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems, followed by a Masters Degree in Information Systems Management. As Site Administrator, Mark is responsible for the upkeep and functionality of the websites and all web/stage-related questions/concerns should be addressed to him.
Dr. Charles J Turck co-founded Bitter Jester with Nicolas DeGrazia when they were but seniors in college. In 2003 he sold his shares to longtime frenemy (and current co-owner) Daniel Kullman. Dr. Turck has been a board member of Bitter Jester since 2006 and is a founding member of and contributor to The Comic Thread sketch comedy troupe.
Charles holds a pharmacy doctorate and is a Board Certified Pharmacotherapy Specialist practicing in one of the ICUs at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, Massachusetts. Past endeavors include acting, directing, editing, and writing for the stage during his ongoing tenure with TCT as well as Oak Lawn, Illinois' very own Christ Medical Center Pharmacy Department Repertory. A freelance medical writer, consultant, and aspiring philanthropist, Dr. Turck hosts the show "FDA Voice" on ReachMD XM 160.