Each week, The Second City Training Center shines the spotlight on a current student to find out more about their greatness! Students in the Spotlight are chosen after they have been submitted by fellow students. This week, we talk with Stacey Smith!
Who are you and what do you do?
Stacey Smith. I’m a full-time Nanny.
Where are you from?
Patchogue aka Long Island, New York
Why did you start taking classes with The Second City?
I used to work at a theater on my college campus, and my boss handed me a brochure and recommended that I would at least try and take a week intensive. And so, during my senior year of college, in the bitter cold winter – I did just that.
What do you like most about the class you are taking this term?
I’m currently in the Music Conservatory final level (5), and this class and program in general is so unique because it’s literally the only program that you are with the same people for over a year building and performing with. So the bond with my classmates is just beyond incredible.
Who is your current instructor?
Jeff Bouthiette / Rebekah Walendzak
Who are some of your past instructors?
Second City: F. Tyler Burnet, Nancy Beckett, Matt Hovde, Tom Flanigan, Dean Evans, Michael Pieper, Michael Gellman, Mike Descoteaux, Steph McCullough, Matt Colton, John Wagner, Andrew Ritter, Erica Elam.
How has your experience here helped outside of the classroom?
I have created my one-woman show, “Confessions of a Chubby Tomboy.” I literally would have never known how to improvise to create material if it weren’t for Second City. Using the guidelines taught in my improv classes, the beat work in my acting class, the clowning in my clowning class, the satire in song – I’ve been fortunate enough to use everything.
A one-woman show! That’s awesome! How do you go about rehearsing for that?
Doing a one woman show is literally the best choice I’ve ever made. I do have a director, and we have both writing meetings where I’ll improvise through characters and premises and also rehearsals where we will rent out a space and try out new material. I could talk about it for hours if you wanna know more!!
What’s your favorite book?
“I like you: Hospitality Under the Influence” Amy Sedaris
What is your favorite band?
Well, singer/band-ish: Ben Kweller
If you were stuck on an island with one Second City alum, who would it be and why?
Amy Sedaris. Not only does she crack my “stuff” up, but she’s crafty and smart. To me, she is one of the most intriguing people in the world. Plus, she makes hysterical faces.
What’s the funniest thing someone did in your class?
I literally find myself laughing at everything. Super hard question.
Who is your favorite Second City related comedian presently?
Okay, not nice. This is almost impossible to answer. Although many of the greats are on primetime television, the talent on these resident stages is unreal. I would feel guilty picking just one, especially being in a place where group work is the main focus.
What do you love most about Chicago?
The friendly atmosphere, the pace, and the abundance of parks.
What do you hate most about Chicago?
Any shows you are in or would like to plug?
I play every Monday night 9PM at Mullen’s Upstairs with FrankenReagan. I’m playing with my musical improv team “Slow Clap” Friday, June 24th at Midnight at iO. My Harold team has their first show July 18th at 10:30PM in the DCT. I also play randomly with a bunch of independent teams, and I am currently touring my one-woman show. So checking out my website is a really neat idea. www.staceyelisabeth.com
How is improvising at a bar?
playing at Mullen’s is always different. The cool thing about it is that it’s free and in a prime location. The audience usually consists of the players on the other teams, plus their friends. We don’t normally get a ton of outsiders, but with Cubs games, we get an occasional surprise. You definitely have to play hard and fast in a bar atmosphere. Super slow organic playing usually doesn’t work. Sometimes there’s people talking and sometimes workers are making a lot of noise, so there’s definitely cons to playing at a bar, however – it’s a weekly opportunity to try new things and meet new teams and get crazy.
Do you know a student who deserves some time in the spotlight? Contact Andrew Thorp at email@example.com