5 Ways to Screw Up Your Comedy Festival Application

There are a ton of improv and comedy festivals in the spring that are all starting to accept submissions. In interviews with festival directors and producers there are a number of pitfalls that seem to come up again and again. Here are a few things to avoid as you begin festival application season!

Improv like Traffic

Improv is an area where skeletal rules structure free movement such that efficient systems are created. This kind of limiting the movement of autonomous individuals and structuring their choices is readily apparent in many areas of human life.

Consider traffic.

Our roads have rules that are essentially limitations. Speed limits, passing lanes, stop signs. These all structure the experience of driving such that we have a go-to set of actions in each set of circumstances we encounter. When these rules are broken or ignored we create accidents that slow the momentum and fluidness of the overall system.

Traffic also creates some very interesting questions about these kind of systems as well as about improv itself.

Continue reading…

Improv is Asking Questions

A good improviser has a natural inclination to ask questions and does so constantly. In the process  of unfolding a story and its meaning for an audience, our role as both the architects and enactors of that fantasy is to constantly be pushing ourselves one step ahead of the audience in constructing their experience. The […]

Continue reading...

How To Audition at Second City (Or Anywhere Else)

Advice from Second City Musical Director Steph McCollough The overall message here is to be professional, but it’s clear every round of auditions that some people just don’t know what that means. So here’s what it means:

Continue reading...

Why Chicago is A Lab for Group Creativity

1) Del Close was right: Your first idea probably isn’t your best idea. “David Palermo and James Jenkins, began amassing a huge table of word associations…Palermo and Jenkins soon discovered that the vast majority of these associations were utterly predictable…When asked to free-associate about “Green” nearly everyone says: “Grass.” “Even the most creative people are […]

Continue reading...

Bobcat Goldthwait: Stop chasing fame and do what you love.

  “ My point is this—if you want to be happy in showbiz (or any creative field), listen to that voice inside you. Even if it says “Fuck it” sometimes. Work with your friends. Avoid chasing fame or money. Just do what you want to do, when and how you want to do it. And if […]

Continue reading...

Improv Nerd: An Interview with Jimmy Carrane

  For a city devoted to and proud of its process, Chicago has remarkably few events or venues devoted to talking about improv. We refine our ability to use it as a tool, but seldom spend time reflecting on its meanings or how it affects us personally.

Continue reading...

Go Meet Your Mentor

I was talking to a friend the yesterday and she told me that of all the people in the world who she would most like to meet and talk to, her choice would be a notable Chicago improviser and writer. I don’t know the guy, neither does she. But I was taken aback… In the […]

Continue reading...

7 Tips for Second City Conservatory Auditions

7 tips for conservtory auditions

Great feature on the Second City Network blog today… I’ve abbreviated it for you below: Make sure you have an audition slot! Show up for it! Don’t be a Slob! Do the Paperwork! Do the Audition! Be Patient! Repeat! As per usual the real message here (as we keep saying) is be professional. If you […]

Continue reading...

Launch Day Video!

Follow the Launch on Facebook and/or Twitter. Preview copy of the book is http://bit.ly/1alcCaw

Continue reading...