Tony Hightower (Executive Director, Host, Writer) moved to New York City in 1999 with his band after a decade in the Canadian music business. His band left, but Tony stayed, making friends at local quiz nights and learning about bar trivia. He went on to win $1,400 at Cash Cab in 2008, $23,600 at Jeopardy! In 2011 and $250,000 at Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? in 2015. During Tony’s decade-plus in the quiz business, he’s gone from a once-a-week quiz night in one downtown dive bar to being at the forefront of a national phenomenon, serving thousands of quizzers in all four corners of the continent and around the world. Tony has also written a weekly trivia column for Open Letters Monthly, as well as serving as the Master of Ceremonies for the Trivia Championships of North America, held every summer in Las Vegas. A long-suffering Toronto Maple Leafs fan, his personal Twitter feed is @chicobangs. (1-time Jeopardy Champion: $23,300; Millionaire: $250,000 winner; Cash Cab: $1,400)
New York City born and bred, Jamie Rosler (Managing Director, Host, Writer) has been a performer, a know-it-all, and a leader since the age of 4 (at most). With two degrees in theatre and a decade in hospitality and service, she fumbled her way into the trivia world in 2012 when she answered a casting call that ultimately flew her to London for a week, and introduced Tony Hightower and organized trivia into her adult life. Officially becoming a TriviaNYC host in 2013 with Downtown Trivia Tuesdays at Murphy’s Tavern, you can still see the host Jamie in her natural habitat every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. She now records a more-or-less bimonthly podcast called Casual Misandry: The Bicoastal Ladies Experiment, on the QNA network. Other things Jamie does include performing with and managing Rufus Khan (an indie short form improv team), writing and editing for The Reviews Hub, bicycling wherever and whenever possible (weather and tire pressure permitting), and bonding with her dog Barnaby. She occasionally tweets @jmrosler, and has been paid, several times, to shave her head. See her solo show for details (coming to a stage of some kind at some point).
John Chaneski (Host, Co-Content Director) is a native New Yorker, born in Hoboken, who co-hosts TriviaNYC’s (and NYC’s) only Saturday evening trivia at One Star Bar in Chelsea. He has parlayed his BFA in Drama from NYU into a varied career in games, puzzles, and trivia, initially by hanging out at the offices of GAMES Magazine in the 1980s. A series of interesting gigs followed: puzzle consultant and hand stand-in for Tim Robbins in the 1994 movie “IQ”; writer of questions (and answers) for ABC’s “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”; senior researcher for NBC’s “The Million Second Quiz”; emcee of The Poetry Brothel; Puzzle guy on the public radio show “A Way With Words.” In 2010 he was part of the team that created NPR’s newest game show “Ask Me Another.” He was, and continues to be, its first-ever Puzzle Guru. He lives in Brooklyn with his amazing philosopher-poet wife, Jennifer Michael Hecht, their two talented kids, Max and Jessie, and a black mutt named Goldie.
Stella Zawistowski (Co-Content Director) is a self-described “brainy meathead” whose personal records include a 250-pound back squat and a New York Times Sunday Crossword solving time of 4 minutes, 33 seconds. A lifelong lover of trivia, she has parlayed her knowledge of useless facts into an appearance on Jeopardy! (winning the whole game until Final Jeopardy; yes, she is still bitter), and several top-ten finishes at the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Stella has sung in choirs for most of her life, including the Oratorio Society of New York, a choir that performs regularly at Carnegie Hall. As a result, she is deeply convinced that there needs to be more classical-music trivia in the world. But don’t worry — she promises, as the gal who puts together the TriviaNYC questions, to make all that highbrow stuff fun and accessible. She is a brainy meathead, after all!
Jacquie Chmura (Host) is quite an amusing character, despite her lack of classical training. She studied Art History, and will bore you to death on the subject if you let her dominate the conversation for more than five minutes. Her love of art is actually how she got her start hosting trivia; while working at a Chelsea gallery, she stumbled upon NYC’s only Saturday night trivia at One Star. She thought, “That seems like it would be fun to do…” and the rest, as they say, is her-story. When she’s not hosting trivia, she can be heard providing “fun facts” which are almost never fun, and convincing others that her “fake facts” are 100% true. She also enjoys inserting movie quotes into everyday conversations, posing ridiculously with historical figures, and walking through any park, as long as there isn’t a torrential downpour.
Giana DeGeiso (Host) has been performing her whole life, loves to entertain and finds any excuse she can to be silly on a microphone. Giana started her acting studies and career in Reno, NV then moved to San Francisco in 2006 to further her training at American Conservatory Theater. In 2009 she moved to New York where she studied with the Larry Singer Studios on stage acting and the Magnet Theater for musical improv. She has been hosting with Trivia NYC since 2013 and has loved every moment from general bar nights to private party events. She can also be seen performing with her short form improv group, Rufus Khan, or performing musical improv comedy with various talented folks all around the city. She loves puzzles of all kinds and can’t wait to make you think, laugh, and write legibly at one of her next trivia nights.
Jason Grabisch (Host) “Hi there, I’m Jason! I like witticism, wordplay, bad jokes, dad jokes, and everything in between. I may not be the king of offhand puns that elicit groans, but I’m definitely in the royal lineage. A woman on the phone once told me I had ‘great diction and a sultry voice’ so when the opportunity presented itself to host trivia, my friends jumped at the chance to tell me I absolutely had to do it. When I’m not hosting trivia, I am an after school STEM/STEAM instructor in various elementary and middle schools. I also spend time beard growing, and grooming myself to one day have a successful turn on Wheel of Fortune and impress Pat Sajak so much that he names me as his successor when he ultimately retires at the age of 97. Don’t worry, Vanna will still be going strong.”
Mike Gregorek (Host) is an actor, host, and comedian in New York City, where he serves as a performer and director at the Jekyll and Hyde Club Times Square. He is also a company manager and player with the improv comedy troupe ComedySportz NYC. Mike also performs standup regularly at such clubs as the Gotham Comedy Club and Broadway Comedy Club and serves as a regular panel moderator for Wizard World Comic Cons. He has been on stage with Rachel Dratch at a Gilda’s Club benefit and was recently featured as one of the “opening contestants” on NBC’s Million Second Quiz. Online, Mike can be seen in the award winning web series, I Live With This, in which he won Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series at the L.A. WebFest. Theatre credits include work with Random Access Theatre, The New York Fringe Festival, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Keegan Theatre, Imagination Stage, Arena Stage, and New London Barn Playhouse.
Nelson Lugo (Host) is a New York City magician and storyteller. He was featured in TimeOut New York as a New York Entertainer To Watch, and co-hosts a popular podcast calledThe EPIC PIEcast for NerdyShow.com. He’s been a guest speaker for The SundayAssembly NYC and was spotlighted on the stories-about-science podcast, The Story Collider, twice. Most recently, he was a guest Ringmaster for The Big Apple Circus show “Metamorphosis.”
Terri Pous (Host) “A picture says a thousand words, and trust me, 80% of words I’d use to describe myself are in my photo. As for the rest of them, well, this is a self-declared judgment-free zone, so here goes. I’ll absorb any kind of trivia you throw at me, but I most prefer the history, politics, geography, and entertainment types. I’m known to recite many a celebrities’ birthdays and children’s first and middle names, so please do me a favor and quiz me on some if you see me so I can feel like it’s taking up useful real estate in my brain. When I’m not co-hosting Tuesday night trivia at the fantastic Gael Pub with the equally fantastic Adam Souza, you can find me cheering on Northwestern’s pathetic sports teams (go Cats!), petting a stranger’s dog, meandering around a museum and/or park, or finding my new favorite dumpling, ice cream, or pizza spot. Suggestions are accepted and encouraged.” (2-time Jeopardy Champion: $38,801)
Adrienne Sowers (Host) hasn’t seen her natural hair color in twenty years. She has a clown phobia. She’s a member of Mensa. One time, she met John Stamos on a plane and he told her she was pretty. Wait, that last bit’s about Regina George from Mean Girls. Anyway, Adrienne’s been working the film/theatre/tv/nightlife scene in NYC for five years, using her nerdliest of nerdy degrees, an MFA in Dramaturgy, to pave her way. She also hosts burlesque, works as a nightlife performer, and coaches young writers. When she’s not doing any of the aforementioned things or on mic for Trivia NYC, Adrienne can be found getting lost in familiar places, thrift shopping, or weightlifting… seriously.
Michael Webster (Host), a professional saxophonist and composer in NYC’s jazz scene, has been a trivia buff since childhood, when his grandmother hooked him onto Jeopardy. A native of Ottawa, Canada, Michael was inspired to join his high school’s trivia team after they won the national championship in a competition known as Reach for the Top (televised on the CBC from 1966-1989). His areas of expertise included geography, music (naturally) and slowly reciting pi to twenty places. His team would go on to place third in Ontario, losing to the eventual national champions. When not hosting trivia for Trivia NYC, Michael can be found writing music for big band & orchestra, performing in venues around NYC, practicing his horn, and teaching music for the New York Jazz Academy. Other interests include watching hockey with his lovely fiancée (fellow trivia host and honorary Canadian) Jessica Wagner, and training for masochistic uphill bicycle races, such as Lake Placid’s Whiteface Race 2015 (8 miles at 8%!). For more information please visit www.michaelwebstermusic.com.