After 56 weeks of improv at Second City, I’m moving on to try something else. Sure, I had a great time at Second City and met a lot of great people over the past year, but I figured it was time to broaden my horizons as they say. I’m not sure who “they” are or when they said it, but someone said it at some point in time. Anyway, that’s what I’m doing.
At Second City I went through levels A through E, “graduated” from the training center program, and then continued to take a couple more classes after that. Those additional classes were a lot of fun actually, and would definitely recommend both Long Form Improv and Scenic Improv as follow-up classes if you complete the IFA program or full training center program (levels A-E).
If you’re interested, once you complete IFA or the training center program you can audition for the conservatory and go through a bunch more levels. The conservatory program gets more into writing and sketch comedy and sort of prepares you for the touring company or any main stage shows that you may audition for. I may go back to audition for the conservatory program, but at this time I wasn’t really interested in the world of sketch comedy and such.
So, blah blah blah, here I am going into week #3 at IO Chicago. IO is best known for the Harold, a form of longform improv. If you’re not sure what a Harold is, well you can click on that little link I gave you in the previous sentence. Enjoy.
This is the first time in over a year that I’m going into a class without knowing a single person. It’s odd, I feel like I’m the new kid in school again. I’m not sure why I said again. I was never the new kid in school. I actually went to the same school for my entire life, so I was never the new kid. I’m still going to that school. Actually, that’s a lie. I’m not sure why I said that… More importantly, I was sort of the new kid when I went away to college. I guess that’s sort of how I felt going to IO, but not quite as socially awkward and quiet. Ok, maybe a little socially awkward.
IO has a similar type of class setup compared to Second City… levels… and no matter what you have to start at the beginning and work you’re way up. I’m fine with starting at the beginning though. I’ve been doing improv for quite some time now, but I actually feel a little lost and sort of out of place in my new class, so starting out at the first level is probably a good thing. Oh, and the price is about the same as Second City, but I guess it is slightly cheaper.
IO Chicago is located on Clark Street, just south of Addison (yes, that’s right by Wrigley Field). Check out a class or check out one of the many shows that are going on pretty much every night of the week.
If you’re one of those people that says, “Oh no, I could never get up on stage and perform, especially not something that I’m making up on the spot.” Well, you’re probably right and you’ll most likely suck. That’s another lie. The thing about improv is that you’re not supposed to try and be funny, because people can tell when you’re trying to be funny and that sucks. Improv is about support and if you take a class you’ll learn to just be natural and say whatever you feel like saying. Improv classes start out very basic and in the first few weeks you’re learning to support and gain the trust of your fellow improvisers. So, if you think you can’t, well, I think you can.
Some have asked, and no, I’m not performing in the near future. It’s just not something I’m looking to do anytime soon. I’ll let you know if I change my mind…