So I am a new student at The Second City Training Center here in Toronto. I am finally staring down my fear of doing an improvisation class.
“But Adri – you do improv all the time!? You fear it?”
To clarify, I do not fear improvisation. I fear improvisation CLASSES. For some reason, and this has been confirmed by not only my experience but other peers I have talked to; that improv classes are full of people who are hell bent on BEING FUNNY. Yes, all caps. BEING FUNNY is not my goal in that classroom, but I get caught up in this vibe, this environment that has been established by the majority of people in the room. Sometimes it even becomes a competition and that makes it worse.
Then there’s the fact that we are all at Second City and the pedigree of Funny People exudes from the very walls – I mean they have pictures of Martin Short, John Candy to name a few Funny People that studied at Second City. And it’s intimidating. Don’t get me wrong, seeing those faces up there is also a testament to the work that comes out from studying there. And it excites me to think that I am learning what they learned and following footsteps and doing my homework to be a good lil actor. I am grateful to be there. But the fact still is: the improv classroom is a bit of a war zone for me.
After day one I have the age old stomach ache that proceeds after intense third-eye judgement. It’s like a headache only in my stomach. And the over analysis begins and I do the “could shoulda woulda” routine as I walk too quickly away from class to get the hell away from everyone. But why?! I LOVE ACTING. I also adore being witty. Just the other day I met a group of people at a Casting Workshop and a gaggle of girls kept telling me I was so funny, so witty, so quick. And here I am loathing a dedicated 3 hours to such an event.
So this is my brick wall. This is the thing I have to conquer over the next 7 weeks of class. I have to not conquer improv – but the improv class itself.
Wish me luck.