I'm an undergrad at UNC Chapel Hill, from which I recently received a grant to study improv in Chicago over the summer. I'm currently a member of my university's sketch/improv comedy team, and have had exposure to a hefty regimen of theatrical training.
I'll be in town from May to early August, and I know that I'd like to experience everything that the city has to offer in terms of improv. So far I'm looking at courses at Second City, iO and Annoyance. I've looked into Second City's immersion schools, their conservatory and their evening classes; have looked at the evening classes and summer intensive of iO and know that I'd like to take an evening class with Annoyance (since their intensive is sold out). I'm still determining whether it would be more worthwhile to do a series of intensive while in town or to take several weekly night classes, in which case I'd be looking to fill my day time hours with something, perhaps an internship? Would it be a bit much to take intensives and evening courses simultaneously?
I just recently stumbled upon Jimmy Carrane's courses and am wondering what else have I not considered. Any suggestions for additional courses? Any suggestions for comedy/improv related internships?
Thanks for wading through all of that text,
And thanks for your help,
i'd definitely say do the iO intensive. it's a ton of fun and a great experience to grow with a group for 5 weeks. see all the iO shows you can during that time, they're free if you're a student.
the iO intensive doesn't start til july, though, so in may and june (and continuing into july and august, if there's a saturday class and you want to continue), take annoyance classes. if you have previous improv experience, i believe you can start at level 2. looks like there's one starting may 6th: http://www.annoyanceproductions.com/classes/index.shtml
go do the playground's the mixer. thursday nights at 10, it's a longform jam.
go to the upstairs gallery as much as possible, it's the best.
there are a lot of small spaces around chicago where you can see some great and weird improv. seek them out.
there are a lot of workshops around, you can find some advertised on this board, i think that's how people find out about em.
a lot of learning is done through just watching shows. see as many as you can in every venue here.
Thanks for the advidce scook.
You reaffirmed some ideas that I had and pointed out some that I didn't. I'll definitely check out the mixer and other workshops, and I've just signed up for the iO intensive. I'll make a point of hunting down all the improv I can find (on a previous visit to the city I had a chance to check out Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind).
The only puzzle that remains is what I'll do with the free time I'll have before iO. I won't be able to get into town until after May 8th. I plan on taking at least one annoyance class, but, before, I was thinking of doing so in conjunction with a series of immersions at Second City. Now, it now looks like my budget will only be able to sustain a couple, which will leave me with wide open mornings and afternoons. Ideally I'd be able to spend that time lingering around some sort of comedy venue, if only as an unpaid intern/lackey of sorts. Any ideas on that end?
iO, Annoyance, and Second City all offer internships and you will probably get a discount or credit for classes.
Thanks Minderbinder and Jasmine. It really is invaluable to hear from those who've had experience in the area.
I've reached out to several companies in the hopes of acquiring an internship. I know I'm a bit late in the game, but I definitely will keep trying. At this point, I won't allow myself to be in the city without some sort of internship experience. I am just THAT determined.
Jasmine, I really appreciated your insights on how to achieve a balanced course load. That's something I really would like get right, for balance is crucial. I will certainly consider your advice when signing up for more classes. Yet, given the length of time that I can potentially be in Chicago, I really am going to aim to get a taste of all of the schools of comedy up there, even if I primarily gorge myself on one.
Once again, thanks everyone for your advice.
If anyone reading this would like to contribute more words of wisdom, by all means, please do so.
I'm also looking into a summer course or courses in chicago and I'm learning a lot from this thread!
The iO intensive sounds great, but I'm a little more interested in sketch/writing. It seems like the iO program is strictly about performance. Is that accurate? Even so, I'm conflicted because I'm guessing that building up some performance experience is important for writers.
I'm leaning toward the Second City summer writing courses but really the course that appeals to me the most (based on what I've read) is the Annoyance Theater's Ultimate Beginner course. I'm not sure if they offer that during the summer though. (I won't be in Chicago until late June or early July.)
I guess my basic question is: what would be the best summer program for someone who wants a little bit of everything (performance, writing, sketch, etc.)?
I believe that Second City offers one-week intensives in writing and improv. You can do improv in the morning and writing in the afternoon, so that would give you a little bit of everything.
Originally Posted by Muckleberry
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