TJ Simba-Medel

FilAm Vote Manager

Timothy “TJ” Simba-Medel holds a BA in Theater Arts from the University of Arkansas in Little Rock. He is a professional performing artist, creative consultant, and arts educator with pedagogical methods rooted in the art of Spoken Word (2006 New Jersey Youth Slam Team in HBO’s Brave New Voices, 2008 New York Knicks Poetry Slam Top Finalist, and the 2009 Southern Fried “King of the South” Individual Poetry Slam Champion). 

As a 2015 Second City Chicago Bob Curry Fellow, he has become the living embodiment of his ancestors’ wildest dreams. He has understudied Second City Main Stages (A Red Line Runs Through It) and holds stand-up credits in the NBC Breakout Comedy Festival, CBS’s Diversity Showcase, and was a Featured Poet in Fifth Star Honors: A Night Dedicated to the Artists of Chicago at Pritzker Pavillion on behalf of Mayor Rahm Emmanuel. His television credits include a guest spot in EMPIRE on FOX and a special guest spot on CNNPhilippines in promotion of Manila Improv Festival in 2017.

TJ was the first Filipino-American Diversity and Inclusion Facilitator for Second City’s Business to Business Department SCWorks, was awarded the Jim Zulevic Award for Community Excellence and became the first Filipino-American faculty member of The Second City Training Center as well as the first Filipino-American faculty member of the historical Annoyance Theater and iO Improv Olympic Theater. In 2016, TJ co-founded and served as Artistic Director of the World Famous Improvised-Spoken Word Collective PREACH, where he has performed at festivals and taught workshops with universities and theaters across the US and in the Philippines. 

He continues to use his platform to serve and advance underserved communities as a creative consultant to community organizations including but not limited to: the Filipino Young Leaders Program (FYLPRO) as Board Member and COVID-19 Task Force Member, the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C, and the Philippine American Foundation for Charities (PAFC). His most recent collaboration, in partnership with TaxWhiz Mon Abrea and the Asian Consulting Group, resulted in the release of the TaxWhiz App – a mobile all-in-one application tailored for the Philippine market to make taxes easily understandable, accessible, and convenient to do on the go.

At the heart of TJ’s creative profession is being a teaching artist. While in Chicago he was a teaching artist for the American Theater Company, Mudlark Children’s Theater Company, The Poetry Center of Chicago, Chicago Improv Productions, Silk Road Rising Theater, Theater Unspeakable, and collaborate with After School Matters on numerous programs and events geared towards Youth Advocacy and Mentorship. In his return to Arkansas, he has collaborated with UALR’S Children’s International Program and became the first Filipino faculty member for The Arkansas Repertory Theater.