My first day of improv was exciting, I had not been to a class like this since my days in high school which were terrifyingly far in my past. Seriously, those last 25 years just snuck up on me! Stepping into The Second City Training Centre was energizing. The space (above Gretzky’s restaurant since since 2005) is three stories up. The stairs are dark but with quotes from famous alumni getting you excited for your class. It opens into a large white space, there’s a welcome desk on your left and comfy chairs and tables where people can gather and chat as well as computers where students could connect to the internet. Despite being shortly after 11 am on a Sunday the room was electric. There were people waiting for classes gathered and chatting with their friends. Parents were waiting for kids who were taking improv classes for children and teens and staff pointed people to the right spots for their first day of classes.
I have until recently approached comedy from the perspective of the enthusiastic enthusiast, I never considered myself a professional and at most I felt I was a comedy nerd with respect for the craft and an obsession with the structure. Yes, in the past I had helped around the writing table of a comedy burlesque troupe, but it was in a supportive role to a bunch of people who were infinitely funnier than I. (I think my biggest contribution in several years of involvement was to come up with the idea of Ed Wood performing Rocket Man in the style of William Shatner... trust me, it worked on stage.) Aside from that, my experience in comedy was confined to watching it lovingly from the audience.
Matthew Ardill & Jason Deline
Partners in crime we collaborate to create the Comedy Album Book Club, a deep dive into comedy history.