Fourth week, fifth day of class: The End

Hard to believe, but today was the last of my twenty days here at the illustrious Second City. My last walk to the building felt so strange. I didn’t feel like listening to music, as I usually do. In this case, the sounds of North Wells were interesting enough. Before we began our last day of improv, Sam had us warm up with some fun games. We played the egg-chicken-dinosaur-human-supreme being / rock, paper, scissors game and then began class. Sam split our class into two groups and asked us to put together a running order of some of the more developed sketches we performed, including some improv games and a few blackouts from writing class. Each group got a chance to run their running order and it was super fun. The way we worked improv scenes out to be more like sketches is the same format the MainStage and ETC casts put together their shows. Feeling like a MainStage performer was definitely a highlight. At the end of class, Sam let us ask him some questions about improv, performing, and Second City in general which was great.

I usually sat with friends in the atrium on the second floor of Piper’s Alley (Second City’s building’s name). Above the atrium is a huge mural of all the famous alumni. Talk about inspirational!

For sketch writing, we started class with performing our historical/time-based sketches. I performed in a few that were super fun but still had a serious point of view, always the best. My sketch went well, but I think I may have made my point of view a little too clear (I was going for the idea that social media is all we will have left of us when we’re gone, but it doesn’t represent us accurately). Anthony gave me the feedback to clean up the sections that belabor the point, which I look forward to doing. For the rest of class, we talked about joke construction. By both watching a video where Jerry Seinfeld talks about his standup process and reading an essay by comedian Demetri Martin. I find joke science so fascinating and I look forward to using those tips in my own writing.

Week 4 Improv – what a crew!

One of my classmates who has been with me since week 2 auditioned for the Second City Conservatory, the year-long college-like training program for writers and improvisers. He said the audition went well. It was just two scenes, one where you support and the second where you initiate the scene. I am definitely not ready for the conservatory now, but hopefully after some more improv training, I will be.

Overall, this four-week experience has been beyond my imagination. I have grown SO much, learned UNREAL amounts of information, and definitely realized comedy is where I need to be. I see where I have weaknesses, but I am glad to know where I want to focus. If I want to write for TV, produce, perform, or all of the above, I need the training I just began. I am so glad to have been exposed to the brilliance of the Chicago comedy community. As of now, I hope to get a day job in Chicago after graduation and then start taking the yearlong Improv A through E program. After that first year, I would hope to audition for the conservatory. After that, who knows? Thanks for joining me on this journey. It was a wild ride.

It’s been great, Piper’s Alley.

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