Her er et lite intervju med Jet, Anthony, Marc og Dionna om det de elsker mest.
Is there anything you'd like to talk about?
Everyone: We love improooov!!
Ok, so how did you start improvising?
Anthony: I was in charge of our dorm in college and the theatre kids wanted to start a sketch group and they asked me to be in it because they thought I was funny, so I kind of randomly fell into it. That's something that's cool about Chicago, a lot of sciency people get into improv as students, whereas in other places it's often theatre people that do improv.
Marc: I saw a Second City show and liked it! I think that's a common experience in general, I think a lot of people do come and see a Second City show and like it and decide to start training in it, taking classes.
Jet: I think one of the reasons why improv is growing so fast in the United States the last years is all the different college groups that emerge. I think that's a good thing, it's kind of like a drug, the younger the people the better, if you 're trying to sell the drug.. *raw laughter
Is recruiting young people something you focus on at The Second City?
Marc: Yeah, we have classes all the way down to four and five year olds, and we have a really active teen and youth ensemble that actively come in each week and write their own show.
Jet: Any attempt to mainstream the art form is great, our goal is to get the art we love to reach the masses. I can imagine many art forms had a similar path, like blues and jazz I feel that improv is now on that path of getting more and more mainstream.
Why do you do improv, personally?
Dionna: I do it because it's a great tool to have transformation in humans. It's a great tool for adults and children to continue playing.
Anthony: For me, I do improv because I think it's fun. And it's a great way to make people think about things. I like it if people go home after the show and have a discussion about politics or what's happening socially in our country.
Is it important for you to deal with the political situation?
Marc: It is for The Second City for sure.
Jet: It's the spirit of the place. In the very beginning these people who went to the University of Chicago had something to say and The Second City became their platform.
Do you do different kinds of shows at your theatre?
Anthony: We do have several different shows, but our main show is the sketch review which have some improv elements. Improv is used to develop all of those sketches though, and it's mostly social political satire.
There are a lot of famous comedic actors that origin from Second City, why is this?
Jet: We still don't know..
Anthony: I think people end up doing so well because the idea and concepts of improv translates so well into being a great cast member, a team mate. Producers and industry people will talk about how easy it is to work with The Second City people because they're always willing to jump into things and Yes, and'ing things. Whilst others, although talented might not have the same spirit of playing and being an ensemble.
Jet: Improv teaches you to make choices but not to be attached, so that you can be directed, that's really useful in for instance a movie set. Steve Carrell can shoot a whole scene, whilst other movie stars often want to do moment by moment, which is far more expencive.
It's not only actors that come from The Second City, it's also writers. Are these separate roles in your company?
Marc: The improvisors always do both writing and acting at The Second City. We're not often sitting down writing several drafts of scenes, we improvise them for a number of times and then write them down.
Some people that have been at The Second City have said that it feels a bit competitive, is that something you recognize?
Marc: It certainly is competitive if your goal is to be employed as an actor. There's only a handful of fulltime jobs and thousands of people moving to Chicago wanting to get those jobs every year.
Anthony: But once you're in The Second City world, or family, people are very supportive.
Name one thing that improv has given you.
Marc: The ability to work in groups of people and brainstorm. That's the biggest thing for me.
Jet: I think it's made me a much happier, better person.. *raw laughter again
No, but seriously, if you do it enough it starts to affect your life. I'm able to laugh at myself now, unlike ten years ago.
Dionna: Turning the bath tub into a pirate ship while bathing my four year old son. It allows me to be silly.
Anthony: This might sound weird, but I feel that improv gives me an ability or a language to communicate to other people my love of science. Being able to be an explorer, we're still trying out new things in improv.
Do you have any advice for people who are curious about improv?
Dionna: See shows!
Jet: And see different shows, if you like it, start doing classes. It's the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
Marc: The principles of improv can affect every aspect of your life, so I think it's valuable to take improv classes even if you don't want to become a performer in the end.