I’ve had a few things I’ve wanted to write about in the last week, but life, work and a need for the occasional bout of sleep had caught up with me.
Last Tuesday, my friend Diane and I went to catch a preview showing of the Toronto Second City Mainstage Revue, Good’s Good, Evils’s Bad. We had free tickets for the show as we are both now students of the organization, taking Level A Improvisation on Sundays for the next couple of months. I must say, it was a phenomenal evening.
The Second City shows are drafted quite differently than most other productions. Instead of somebody writing a show, workshopping it and then casting it, Second City stirs the mix up a bit. First they cast the players, and have them improvise multiple sketches over a period of time. Once they have a bit of material compiled from these sessions, they begin molding a show around them, and then workshop them for different test audiences, looking for the moments that work and those that don’t. It’s only on the final night of workshopping, just before the show is to be opened for the paying public, that they actually write it all down. This “script” is not for the main cast’s benefit – it’s only for archival purposes, and if an understudy is needed to fill a role.
I laughed heartily with most of the material that was presented to us. Of that, my favourite sketches included The German Comedy Team,The Miners and the Fart Machine and The Sniper. But what I really pulled out of the deal was a level of inspiration – some of the cast in this show started right where I am now, just taking the improv workshops and improving their skills wherever possible. I’m seeing possibilities!
Jump forward a few days, to Sunday. This was the first actual class of the Level A Improvisation, and it felt great to be in a class setting like this – just playing around and trying new things. I haven’t had an experience in theatre like this since I left high school. Knowing that I’m in a setting where it’s totally okay to make mistakes, where making a fool out of yourself is expected. and where laughter is always good…that’s the place for me.
I found out more information about the advanced levels of the Second City courses and how far I could go. Let’s just say I’m inspired. At this moment in time I’m planning on going straight through to level E and then audition for the Conservatory, but now we are looking at timeframes a year in head of time. We’ll see what happens as I get there.
More to write about….I’ll see if I have time tonight…if not I’ll be back tomorrow.