Our Field Trip to Second City
Hidden in an upstairs theater at 6650 W. Hollywood Blvd is the gem Second City. Known as one of the preeminent theaters in the country, Second City is also a training ground for improv comedy, responsible for training the likes of Joan Rivers, Chris Farley, Gilda Radner, John Belushi and Tina Fey just to name a few. Founded in 1959 on the near north side of Chicago, Second City has expanded to other cities such as Toronto, Las Vegas and London, England.
I personally have some history in that I studied at the training center in Chicago where I was fortunate enough to work with and be mentored by Sheldon Patinkin, one of the founding members.
On Saturday Aug. 3, 2016 the Center’s Acting and Improv group was lucky enough to attend a performance in Hollywood of The Totally Awesome Improv Show put on by recent graduates of Second City’s training program. The only fault I could find with the performance is that it went too fast and I wanted more. The venue holds only 99 seats and the intimate size only added to the enjoyment of the show as it put the front row within 3 feet of the stage.
It was a good outing for the group to see just how improv works and what goes into putting on that type of show. Second City offers improv classes to students of all ages. They regularly offer free workshops open to the general public to introduce their classes and at the end of the day the participants can enjoy a free show.
– By Chris Boyd