Five Weeks at Second City

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Tomorrow marks the fifth class at Second City here in Los Angeles, and boy have I learned a lot! Tuesdays are my favorite days of the week because it’s the day I get to connect with my peers, play a bunch of games, learn how to recover from failure, and basically laugh a lot! Second City generously allows its students to see most shows for $1, so there’s hardly any excuse to skip out! I’ve seen some of the funniest, most talented humans ever on those stages.

Watching an improv team perform, work together, release themselves of expectations, and fail so wonderfully is such an incredible feeling I’m trying to find the words to describe. When you see a team cooperate and have each other’s back, sure the scenes get funnier, but also the show just works better. It’s more entertaining to watch not just for the laughs, but the dynamic. Every person brings their own strength and value to the group, and when the team helps highlight that in others, you can’t take your eyes off the stage.

Although I’m in the Improv 1 class, I’ve been learning and playing improv since I was in middle school. At the very beginning, I was awful. Like really really awful! And not the kind of awful I was okay with, but the kind of awful I’d hide. Thankfully as the years went on, I learned to understand that being awful is a part of the process. If you try and hide your flaws, your mistakes, and your weaknesses, you somehow seem to highlight them more for others to see. When you are 100% okay with failure, that’s when magic happens. When someone fails big, you don’t notice the failure so much as their dedication to it. You see their commitment to letting go of expectations. You see honesty! And on the improv stage, when you commit to failing, you still get laughs.

My last day of class is approaching, and honestly I don’t know how my journey will continue from here. Whichever way I go, I know that this experience alone is worth its weight in gold. At first I was terrified I had made the wrong choice to stay in LA through the winter, but now I know that this was the path I was supposed to follow. For each lesson I’ve learned in the classroom or on the stage is so applicable to life, and a lesson I couldn’t have learned anywhere else. I hope this resonates with you as much as it does me. Happy Monday! When it’s time for you to fail, I hope you fail big.