Jhessye Moore-Thomas: Merlin Works diversity scholarship recipient

Jhessye Moore-Thomas is the most recent Merlin Works student to be awarded the Diversity Scholarship. Merlin Works Diversity Scholarship was created to to foster diversity both onstage and off. It primarily aims to further open the world of Austin Improv to people of color, though individuals who identify with any minority background, culture, or community are welcome to apply.

Jhessye’s personal philosophy is, “Diversity is the spice of life.

A world traveler, she has immersed herself in various cultures. These experiences have led her to Buddhism and practicing “Native American ways of life.”

Her career goals are to be holistic healer, specifically in acupuncture, and a musical performer. She plans to release an album as well as complete her Master’s degree in acupuncture.

“My ultimate hope is to heal people with music and my hands,” she said.

Jhessye really enjoys improv. “It just improves many aspects in my life include (sic) self esteem, confidence and of course being present minded.” In addition it fuels her fearlessness to try new things.

She registered with Merlin Works after taking regular ol’ talkie improv with Kevin Miller and musical improv with Shana Merlin.

“My experiences have helped me maintained (sic) a sense of humor and a tenacity to challenge my perceptions. Improv is a great platform for me to continue with this journey.”


About Karina

Karina Dominguez is the registrar and assistant to the Dean of Merlin Works Institute of Improvisation. She graduated from the Merlin Works program in December 2011 with three performances of "The Amazing Improvised Race." She is a full-time actor with commercial credits such as Burger King, Ford, Totino's, H-E-B and various departments for the State of Texas. She was last seen in the opening episode of the second season of "American Crime", and as the welcome video ranger in the second season of HBO's "The Leftovers", and as Helah in the first season of "The Chosen". She also performs on-stage in various Austin, TX plays including for Capital T Theatre, The Vortex, Vestige Group, Pollyanna Theater among others.

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