Thursday, October 29, 2009

How Does That Taste, Improvisers?

I was curious how local improvisers would feel about this:

Comedian Fills Big Shoes At Second City

In summary, a 21-year-old from the KC area took one improv class on a whim to fulfill an elective. Her teacher (EDIT: Brian Posen, who is actually a teacher at Second City, not Brian Posehn, who Bull correctly suggests would not be allowed near college students) suggested she try out for SECOND FREAKING CITY.

Of course, she was accepted.

After one improv class.

Now, granted, she IS a musical theater major, so she had already honed a lot of the tools that would make her a valuable commodity to Second City.

But how does that make you feel?

I admittedly rolled my eyes and thought, well yeah...she probably got accepted into the training program, or MAYBE the touring company.

But I don't know the details, and those thoughts were only to minimize her accomplishments to make me feel better.

If I'm being truthful with myself, my emotions were as follows: jealousy and resentment.


Bull E. Vard said...

The teacher was Brian Posen, not Brian Pohsen. I don't think Brian Posehn is allowed near schools.

This is good news, it means I'm one class away from joining Second City.

To answer your question on my blog, Stella works for STFM which is affiliated with AAFP and it's all in the same building. Is that a match?

kcimprovgeek said...

Hmm. The article is pretty vague—it doesn't specify Mainstage or etc or TourCo (which it should, if that's what she's doing) and it says she's training, not rehearsing (which are different) and the ensembles around Chicago aren't specificed as "Second City."

My guess is that she auditioned for their Conservatory program and got in, and that the drama teacher sent a press release to the Star, and the reporter doesn't know enough about how the Second City's system works to know it's not exactly...newsworthy.

I mean, it's great news for her, there are a bunch of other folks from KC who've done exactly the same thing.

kcimprovgeek said...

OK. All that being said...

Not jealous or resentful. Several years ago, when I was NOT having a great time in my adult job, I thought seriously about whether I wanted to move to Chicago and pursue the dream. Turns out no.

If what I wanted was the fame, then yeah—the idea of a 22-year-old non-improviser making it into even the TourCo would be annoying. But I'm good with the small pond, and all the stuff I get to do in it that I wouldn't get to do in a bigger city.

JJSKCK said...

@Bull - You are correct, sir. I assumed the reporter misspelled the name instead of just googling the name, which resulted in my edit. It all makes more sense now.

And my fiancee is the teaching and learning manager at the AAFP, so there's a match.

@KCIG - That's what I suspected, but didn't want to jump to conclusions. I figured that you, Corey, or Mo would have set that straight. So when she assumes she's on the fast track to making a career of it, she might be jumping the gun just a little?

JJSKCK said...

Well, from what I read in an article Corey posted years ago on the boards, I wouldn't want anything to do with TourCo anyway. The lifestyle sounds borderline miserable.

JJSKCK said...

And to be fair, I would never even have the nerve to move up there and try to live the ol' dream, so the jealousy part of it is ridiculous. Sure, moving away crosses just about everyone's mind. But after taking an honest assessment of my talent coupled with my strong lack of desire to worry about money (after having done so the first 25 years of my life), it was an easy choice.

To be honest, I couldn't stand to do that much improv anyway.

kcimprovgeek said...

I think the dream died for me at the first Austin Improv Fest, when I sat with Adam McKay and David Koechner (both of them new to SNL) and they talked about it like I did a bad day at my corporate job. Hearing Mo talk about what it takes to play politics in Chicago made me realize you have to really want the end result BADLY to put up with it.

Plus, ultimately, no one improvises. They write scripts—for sketches, TV shows, movies. Which, ironically enough, I'm not that interested in.

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

I'm happy that she made it into Second City. If memory serves, her story is similar to Andi Woody's. I assume Corey & Mo will have better insight into this, though.

When I read the article, I saw the same word that jumped out at me Trish did - training. If that's accurate, then it simply means she's doing what most other improvisers in Chicago are doing - paying for classes in the hopes to make it one day to the Main Stage or TourCo (I'm sure TourCo a thrill, but like you said, bleh).

I think if you really wanted to, you could send a press release about a local boy with a heart of gold from the 'Dotte who overcame tremendous socioeconomic adversity, the lure of contraband, and family dysfunction to train with instructors from Second City, iO, and The Annoyance Theater. That story would trump one from the OP. :)

Steaming bowl o' Calderone said...

Ugh, apparently proof reading isn't on my TO-DO list today.


Jared Brustad said...

I thought it was a good story. I feel no jealousy or resentment at all.

Corey said...

OK, calm down. Trish hit the nail on the head. The girl got accepted into the Conservatory. You do have to audition for it, but it's their training center. She's not on the Mainstage, not on ETC, not on TourCo, not on BoatCo. The reporter has no idea how it works. She's one of several hundred people who is now learning improv there. Which is a step up from learning improv at Columbia College. Successful completion of the SC Conservatory provides no guarantee or advantage in getting hired by the Second City in any capacity.

JJSKCK said...

Yeah, I thought the article sounded contradictory to every single thing I've heard you and Mo say about the process. Thanks for clearing it up.