One of the great resources available to creatives in Chicago is Improvisation training at The Second City. This training center has been around since 1959 and has been turning out incredible talent since then. They have a wide variety of classes available from writing to directing to performing to what’s probably the only musical improv curriculum in the country. Chicago is known for it’s improv. We have several other places for training, The Annoyance Theatre, Improv Olympic among others. I went through the Conservatory at Second City and was very proud to “Get the T-Shirt”. See, when you complete the training at Second City, you get a red t-shirt with the original logo on it. The only way you can get that shirt is by graduating from the conservatory. It means a lot to me that I have that shirt. I’m not a improver by discipline but I was very interested in using what I learned to further my acting. And I have to admit, it was a huge help to me. Not only did my co-workers at my previous job think I was hilarious, it made me more present in my auditions and performances.
My training ended there almost 2 years ago. I really miss the practice and the camaraderie. I didn’t realize it until I was in LA a few weeks ago and was hanging with a fellow voice talent who is incredibly funny, Amy Snively. Amy is great at the one line comments that reflect a situation in the perfect hilarious way. Before long, I was adding my 2 cents to her riffs and the fun began. It was a blast. But it also made me realize that I’d lost my funny over the months. All the changes in my life, the sadness, the uncertainty had left my funny hang-tied with no where to come out and play. Amy helped me find my funny all over again. I just have to make sure I don’t lose it anymore.