Okay – so about a week into my journey with progress to report.
Attended my first class on Monday of this week and it’s the first of 5 classes followed by a 6th Monday which is a Showcase Performance for the class members. So if you’re reading this, Monday, February 11 at the Annoyance Theatre and Bar on Belmont / Clark in Chicago @ 7:00 pm – you’re invited. I think it’s free to attend.
I’m already enjoying the energy of something new. The energy of getting moving on something that you’ve always wanted to. I’m sure it’s like that for many, especially around this time of year.
I wasn’t sure what to expect in terms of the size of the class, but it was fairly large. Maybe 15/16 or something. I’ll count better next week. I can tell it is exactly what I’m looking for. The class description was not deceiving. We are literally looking at the foundations of stand up comedy / joke writing. So some aspects, I’m already very comfortable with such as some of the performance aspects / housekeeping. Like…,i don’t know, using a microphone / stand (and no, they didn’t spend an hour on it, but it was discussed) or creating a set list.
But aside from things like that, it was putting a name to some of the basic things. For instance, we discussed premises and then discussed a couple of classic joke structures. This is new / weird, because theatre and improv comedy is drawn from different places. IN improv, at least at Second City, you’re not trying to be funny. You’re trying to build character and compelling scene work. Sure you’re creating comedic scenes / sketches (more often that’s your goal), but going for laughs was frowned upon. Obviously…if you’re doing standup you want laughs. And that’s going to be fun.
We even spent a few minutes writing jokes. And my homework is drafting jokes and/or premises, and watching comedians do 5 minute sets. If i had this kind of homework my whole life, i probably would have had good enough grades to become a doctor. The downside is that I’d be a really crappy doctor.
It’s interesting because I see my younger self in some of the people there and I’m in a different space in my life. I’m soaking it all in with the intention of adding this into my performance life. No pressure. You can tell that for some, maybe many, the class may be a gateway into developing new relationships within a scene, growing a comedy career, etc. But like I am as a rocker, i love that I’m doing it and I love and am content with my career (you know, the one that pays the bill. ). So there is a different feeling and expectation I’m bringining into this process.
And of course, I’m ancient in comparison to the rest of the class. Hell, the teacher even thinks she’s ancient and I could have babysat her when I was in high school. So another first is that I’m the “oldest”. That’s fun. I wonder how old I appear?
Next class on Monday. I’ll get back to you with more!
Thanks for your support.