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About the founders

“Our participants loved Gymnasium for the Mind! What a delightful, fun way to mentally stay in shape.

Thank you, Robert and Michael, for a great program.”

Pam Forrest - Activities Coordinator - Seniors Services Department, L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center

Michael D. Nye has been teaching innovative improvisational exercises to performers and businesses for over twenty years, including eight years as a motivational teacher of creativity through the Los Angeles Public Library. As an improvisor, Michael has performed with popular troupes such as: The Groundlings, Second Coat, Loose Cannons, and Mockingbird. He has created many of his own improv games, as well as developed new variations on older established games in order to create a dynamic workshop of exercises and games designed to increase mental acuity and verbal fluency, strengthen memory, and stimulate the imagination.

As a performer, Michael has appeared in many theatre productions, including Oliver!, Hello Dolly, Comings and Goings, Mr. President, and The Trial of Susan B. Anthony, as well as major films and television shows. These include, High School High, and recurring roles on HBO’s Carnivale and Big Love. Michael has appeared on House, M.D., Heroes, Lopez Tonight, and most recently, on Torchwood, Eagleheart, and in the feature films, Priest and Little Boy. His new film, Desolate is due out in 2017.

As a professional speaker, Michael has spoken at motivational seminars and conducted creativity workshops in Los Angeles, as well as in Northern California and Texas. 

He is a founding member of the Film Artists Network, and has served on the faculties of The Academy of Converging Arts and The Conscious Living Foundation. He is a co-founder of Gymnasium for the Mind.

Robert Leh studied improvisational theatre at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. After years of performing in dinner theatres, bus-and-truck theatre companies, and summer stock, he became artist-in-residence at Nashville Children’s Theatre, where he taught acting, improvisation, and stage combat.

Robert then served as Business Manager/Director for dozens of commemorative celebrations throughout the mid-west and south for the John B. Rogers Producing Co. In this capacity, he wrote, cast, and directed historical dramas based on the history of the areas. He also oversaw the business aspects of the celebrations.

After coming to Los Angeles, Robert landed roles in the films Rocky I & II, Raid on Entebbe, and The Toolbox Murders and has appeared on television in recurring roles on The Young and the Restless and General Hospital, as well as roles in episodic television, such as Big Time Rush on Nickelodeon.

For five years, he was writer/performer in the popular improvisational sketch comedy group, The Ultimate Crutch, and regularly played The Comedy Store, The Improv, and The Ice House, among other major comedy houses. He was a performer, along with Michael, in the improv group, Loose Cannons. Robert was also head writer and marketing director for The Dreamers Guild, a company which created interactive games for both CD-ROM and on-line. 

Michael and Robert continue to personally lead seminars and workshops, as well as teach other trainers for their unique Gymnasium for the Mind workshops. 

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