To quote Bono as well as my good friend Rufus, yesterday was “A Beautiful Day”. The Sun was out. It was a reasonably mild -1celsius, and it was time to begin Second City Improv Level B.

After meeting up at my place, Rufus and I headed out for the journey to downtown Toronto, only stopping once to fill up on the nector of the gods (Tim Horton’s Coffee). We parked in our usual location, received a smile of recognition from the parking lot attendant (Almost a “Hey, I missed you guys!” kind of look), and then bustling with as much energy as we can muster (and believe me, Rufus has a lot of energy), we trotted up Blue Jay Way to the Second City Training Center, cameras in hand. As we both have photo blogs now, we are always looking for those cool shots that avail themselves to us, especially on warm sunny days.

Our fellow classmates from Level A, Chris and Charlene were at the door as we got there so we chatted for awhile, then all of us headed downstairs together. Studio 4 was our destination this time…right next door to our old class. Soon the other students began trinkling in. Then we had the count – of the 16 students who started Level A in our class, 8 had moved on with us to Level B. Add 6 from different classes and external venues and we had a whole new dynamic on our hands. Plus, we have a new instructor. Herbie Barnes of the most excellent Native Improv Group Tontos Nephews has taken the reins this time, and I get the feeling we are in good hands.

Rufus and I had seen Herbie and his troupe perform along with our Level A instructor, Kerry Griffen during the Christmas break at Bad Dog Theatre in Toronto (to recap that experience, go here., and I remember being impressed by his stage presence. In the classroom setting he is genuinely funny, and extemely informative. He knows his stuff, and is consistantly pushing us on finding the most important aspect of Improvision – The Story. Like Kerry before him, I see Herbie being the kind of person who gives us a reason to continue on to further levels…and I’m more excited than ever before to excel.