Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Student Spotlight: Sharon Sprague

Check Out The Second City's Student Spotlight! Get to know these awesome students and what makes them tick! Do you know a SC student that deserves the limelight? Email Andrew Thorp at with your recommendation.

Who are you?

Sharon Sprague. I'm a Senior Copywriter in Advertising.

Where are you from?

Ironwood, Michigan. Up 'der.

Why did you start taking classes with The Second City?

I've been a performer since a wee age and have been a professional writer in advertising for nearly 20 years now. I set out to master writing for the stage and couldn't think of a better place than Second City to do just that. When I moved to Chicago, I knew I'd be involved somehow with the center. Plus, I'm damn funny.

What do you like most about the class you are taking this term?

I love how we are really applying what we know and using our frame of reference to build characters. Songwriting has been a great challenge.

What are some of the concepts you have covered in songwriting?

First and foremost, it's important to keep it simple. Have on idea you're trying to get across. One of the concepts we covered was the idea of setting up a point of view in your verse and choruses but then in the B section (bridge) you can flip it and use that section to cover the opposite point of view, giving more color and contrast to your piece. That's how I heard it, but I'm usually busy texting, so who knows.

Who is your current instructor?

Dana Q

Who are some of your past instructors?

Mrs. Gertz - 1st grade. Mr. Boyd - high school band. Eric Gernand - Writing 1 & 2. Joe Janes Writing 3.

If you had to choose, would you rather have dinner with Joe Janes or Mrs. Gertz?

I'd go with Mrs. Gertz. Joe would make me write blackouts and perform them for nearby tables. Mrs. Gertz would just let me feed the fish in the classroom aquarium after dinner.

How has your experience here helped outside of the classroom?

It's helped me be more aware. I'm able to see a situation and retain that information for a future sketch. Able to find the funny. Professionally, I feel it's helped me be more confident in expressing and exploring ideas.

How has TC helped you be more confident in expressing and exploring ideas?

I work in for a big corporation in one of the creative departments as a senior copywriter. In my job, it's my responsibility to come up with new concepts and campaigns to deliver a message to consumers. Before it goes to the consumer I have to think it up and then pitch it. The writing classes have allowed me to be much more uninhibited than ever and trust my instincts. Honoring an idea and seeing where it goes. The confidence I've gained by sharing my work in classes and feeling great about it, has translated to the conference room as well. Now, every idea is a start of something. Something great or something that needs to be refined. Usually the latter but that's cool.

What's your favorite book?

Catcher in the Rye. No, lies. So expected. It's really a little book my aunt gave me when I was 5 called Somewhere Over the Rainbow by someone. Not the typical Dorothy story.

What is your favorite band?

Ask me that at different stages in my life. Age 10 - The Go Gos. Age 17 - Crowded House. Age 24 - TLC. Age 31 - Green Day. Age 39 - The Go Gos

If you were stuck on an island with one Second City Alum, who would it be and why?

Bill Murray. But I don't think I'd be his.

What's the funniest thing someone did in your class?

When Adam read his sketch and played the part of the demon. It was so realistic!

Who is your favorite Second City related comedian presently?

Tina Fey.

What do you love most about Chicago?

Eclectic and rich with history and personalities. It's THE American city. And it's so pretty and twinkly at night.

What do you hate most about Chicago?

The solicitors on the street that pretend they want to talk to me or want to ask a question about my hair.

Any shows you are in or would like to plug

See me in a few months :-)

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