On Tuesday night I saw a good friend of mine take part in a Toronto Amateur Stand Up competition for new talent in the city. This was the 2nd round and he killed (and got sent to the 3rd round!).
The thing that really got to me was that 2 of the 3 other comics who made it through were, in my opinion which is skewed because I am a self-aware comedy snob, really not that good. Two female comedians and two male comedians made it. The female comedians (it pains me to say) were hard to sit through. Their sets were about how sad it is to be a woman.
I try to implicitly as possibly state my femaleness proudly. I can’t stand when a woman is using her womanhood as a punchline, or an excuse for self-deprecation. Or when someone’s only world view is from a sad bachelor apartment filled with cats and cheap snack food.
I KNOW THIS IS A RANT BUT: from this comes clarity!
I am different.
I have a voice that is unique.
I am smart and funny.
… and I
can should be doing this.
In a few weeks my friend will be starting a new comedy room with some of his friends. I have been invited to come and tell jokes. I think I might be the only chick there. But I don’t think I will come off as a “chick”. I will not be out of place. I will play with the boys and make them fear how much they respect female comedians! MWAHAHAHAHAHA!!
I think I wrote my favourite joke today.
going to workshop my Jewish Stripper character tonight at improv.
There’s a long form set, 2 game scenes and a musical improv set!
tonight I will have videos from my main stage show to share!
April 20, some sort of crazy random happenstance? Congrats girl!
I know right? It really was the most joyous day of the year. 4/20 2013 was easily one of my best/favourites! Hope the day treated you well too!
Thanks! I can’t believe it really happened! What a great life choice haha. I framed this as soon as I could, and my university degree is in a box somewhere… This is easily the accomplishment I’m more proud of!
The Second City Training Centre Congratulates
for successfully completing
The Improvisation Program
[April 20 2013]
was easily one of the greatest experiences of my life.
We performed for the biggest audience we’d ever done improv for (the entire main floor of the main stage was filled!) At first we we’re a little shaky but as soon as I was being active in scenes I was fine. Also I saw a good friend of mine from previous classes in the front row and he nodded and smiled at me right away so I decided to just play to him if I felt nervous.
We started with “we are the world” which is a musical improv game where everyone stands in a line and sings a song of hope and inspiration about a given topic. Our suggestion was street lights. I originally decided in my head that I wouldn’t be going up for this, because I’ve been fighting off a cold all week and my throat felt pretty raw/dry on stage… but literally no one was jumping in so I found myself just walking up before I even had something to sing! It ended up working out and I not only got a big laugh, but got to say that I sung live in front of like 100 people.
The next scene I did was called Scene Three Ways. The first suggestion was Yo-yo’s so our first scene was very basic; about a yo-yo master and two idiots trying but failing to do tricks. The second scene was that same thing, but in a science fiction genre. Which you’d think would be simple but is actually pretty difficult in improv due to lack of y’know, expensive set pieces and technology. That scene was okay, we got some good laughs. The third was easily my favourite. I worried about having to do an accent but luckily someone yelled our Russia for a country suggestion and I can actually do a Russian accent! So we got big laughs for committing to that - I also got to refer to someone as Comrade in a Russian accent on the main stage so that was awesome. And my boyfriend even got in a well placed Russian “Fuck”! haha
The next scene I was a part of was sentences. I had a blast with this one because I played it with my boyfriend and one of our best friends. I felt like this scene ran short and we didn’t get to go through a ton of sentences BUT the ones we got out were hilarious, we did a great job at making them work in the scene and at one point one of the lines was “Shut up and kiss me” or something like that and I had started by addressing my friend Naomi, who I then had to stage kiss. (which is no problem cause I loves her) but obviously we got the lights after and they ended the scene on that note because it’s a good closure point BUT I would have liked the scene to go a liiiiiittle longer, maybe use 3 or 4 more sentences, but that’s okay.
Lastly was our long form game that I got to ask the suggestion for. I decided to pick on one person specifically so I could really hear the suggestion instead of people yelling over each other. I chose the people who looked like the smallest group and like they were having the least amount of fun. It was an older couple sitting alone. And I said “IF I were to put you on the spot and ask for a one word suggestion, what is the first word that comes to your head?!” and the woman responded with “NO” … which is the WORST thing you can say in an improv show and is by far the worst suggestion I’ve ever heard. So I quickly retorted with “Ma’am, I’m sure, he’s (in reference to husband) heard that one enough, [BIG LAUGH from audience] can you please give me another word. Maybe some kind of noun - a person, place or thing. Something our players can really sink their teeth into?” (because if you’re not going to co-operate I’ll lead you there like a small child through shame and degradation) Her husband ended up shouting out Blue Jays to get me to go away. Our long form went really well. I chose to play a guy at one point which I seldom do - so that was cool. I really tried to push myself.
The one note I have about the show is that it was way too short. 45 minutes FLYS by when you’re having that much fun with your friends!
I can’t wait till the next chance I get to perform! :)
Now we’re starting our own troupe… so goodbye second city - for now - and hello scary real world of trying to make successful comedy!
Tonight we went to the Second City Main Stage again to see the show.
It was incredible and also took a lot of big risks in regards to content and vulgarity. (in the best ways and it paid off).
We commented that this must be because of the new director (the old one was our coach at one point and we didn’t see eye to eye… he would never have allowed them to do half of the things they did tonight)
I personally loved the show… at one point a player stated that when he cums a dust cloud comes out. There was a scene about teachers being given guns in schools. Even a great satirical commentary on legitimate rape! which is way funnier than it sounds.
After the show we stayed for their improv set which was easily my favourite part.
and by final class I mean I’ve completed my levels and all that’s left is our show this Saturday April 20th at the Second City Main Stage.
Speaking of main stage, I WAS ON IT TONIGHT!
I seriously did improv on the Second City Main Stage tonight!
We started class by meeting at the main stage to basically get oriented on where the stage mics are, what to expect back stage, lighting, voice projection, running order, etc. …and we also did a quick bit of improv, which was really the best part.
You could tell that all of us were so giddy to be on the main stage, and I think/hope that spirit is really going to come out in our show this Saturday.
We also decided tonight who will be asking for suggestions for what and I get to ask for our suggestion for the closer… my favourite… LONG FORM!
I’m so excited I feel like a kid again!!
(will post updates after the show this weekend!)
in regards to above: seeing Fleetwood Mac down the street from Second City next Tuesday, so leaving class an hour or so in. Also, next class we’re basically going to be doing “orientation” for the main stage (knowing where mics are, how loud to project yourself, the lights, etc.) Anyways, back to the goods!
Class this week was musical improv!
The musical director came to our class with a keyboard and it was tons of fun.
We’ve done musical improv before so this time he was having us focus on singing in metaphors rather than telling a story with a song. Improv song writing isn’t always easy when your suggestion is ham… or rake.
Improv Night in Canada at the John Candy Box Theatre.
Second City Training Centre, Toronto.
Left to Right: Jared Deraj (real last name irrelevant because comedy trumps all), Me (Sam Wiech), Naomi Nelson (the tiniest ball of fire I’ve ever known), Anna Vysochyna (that’s not how you spell it but that’s the best Russian I can do.)
[edit: that is how you spell Vysochyna, go me!]
So this is my final level of the Second City Improv Program and I was planning on taking long form next.
Starting next term however, Second City has implemented a new set of prerequisites for the long form program. Rather than just completing your levels, you must also submit head shots (which I -or any of us for that matter- do not have) and worst of all: audition for a spot in class.
Auditions are the reason my friends and I are avoiding the Conservatory program…. not because we think we wont make it, but we’re terrified of even just one person out of the 5 or 6 of us not making it. We don’t want to move on without anyone.
NOT TO FRET - WE HAVE A SOLUTION!
We are going to be running our own sessions to practice / write sketches / put a performance group together. We’ll be keeping the one night a week (maybe two) dedicated to the improv group the same way we did with class. We’ve got a ton of ideas and there will be tons more info to follow soon… this is the next phase. I can feel it. I’m actually so excited.
Tonight’s class was incredible. I hate to say it but there was a person missing from class who doesn’t necessarily mesh well with the rest of the group, so everyone seemed a lot more connected and really worked as a team in every scene.
The focus of tonight was justification. Everything has purpose and is valid and effects the stakes of whatever follows…