Paonessa Talent is a woman-owned and operated boutique agency based in Chicago. Owner and founder Marisa Paonessa first opened her doors in 2010 as a one-woman operation. With a band of loyal actors and a couple of interns, Marisa worked tirelessly to grow her agency, creating numerous valued relationships with Chicago/LA/New York casting directors and major network executives. Over the years, Paonessa Talent has established itself as a distinguished and sought-after agency, with talent seen on major TV series such as Netflix's Stranger Things, HBO's Mrs. Fletcher, FOX's Empire and The Resident, Showtime's The Chi, Netflix's Tales of the City and Anne with an E, ABC's How To Get Away with Murder, to name a few. Paonessa Talent prides itself on repping a strong, inclusive roster, promoting people of color, non-binary, transgender and LGBTQ actors.
Paonessa Talent has become known for representing the top comedy talent in Chicago. Marisa, a former sketch comedy performer and improviser, has a passion for working directly with improvisers and sketch comedians. The agency has booked talent on Saturday Night Live every year for the past three years. In addition to comedy, Paonessa Talent prides itself on representing premiere theatre actors, who can be seen on the stages of Steppenwolf, The Goodman, Broadway and beyond. While the agency has grown in its breadth and scope, the team remains dedicated to Marisa's original mission: to maintain a boutique agency dedicated to giving personal attention to each individual actor. Small, Mighty & Powerful.