Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Headshots Day for Training Center Students

The Training Center is hosting another discounted Headshot Day on Friday March 30th (10am-4pm) with guest artist Sally Blood (www.sallybloodheadshots.com).

Sessions are 1 hour, which include a 15-minute corrective make-up session and 45-minute shoot. Each session is $200 (a $75 deposit is required at the time of reservation). Participants receive access to all unedited photos via a photo share gallery and can include one touched-up, full-color proof for an additional $30, to be arranged directly with the photographer.

Reproductions are not included at this time, although there will be information on-hand for discounted reproductions. Email Andrew Thorp at athorp@secondcity.com with any questions or time requests.

Top Chef Master Rick Bayless Joins Chicago Live! This Week

Top Chef Master and co-creator of Lookingglass Theatre's Cascabel Rick Bayless joins an all-star line-up of guests on Chicago Live! this Thursday at 6:30p in UP Comedy Club (230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor of Piper's Alley). Additional guests include Illinois Comptroller Judy Barr Topinka, Old Town School of Folk Music co-founder Frank Hamilton, Folk musicians Bucky Halker and Ed Holstein, plus The Second City. Click here for tickets.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Flower Memorial Scholarship for Adult Classes

The Second City Training Center has received an anonymous donation in memory of James Scott Flower Sr. that will be used as scholarships to students in our adult programs. Four scholarships are being given to new or existing Training Center students.

The following scholarships will be available:

One (1) beginning scholarship for the Improv program levels A-E

One (1) advanced scholarship to be applied to the Writing program, Conservatory* or Music Improv* program (*auditions required)

Two (2) continuing education scholarships for advanced students to supplement their training with up to two specialty classes

For more information, click here.

Second City's Billy Bungeroth Joins Fear No Art: The Dinner Party

Tune in tonight to catch The Dinner Party at 7:30 pm CST, streaming live from www.FearNoArtChicago.com featuring Soul singer, JC Brooks, Second City Director, Billy Bungeroth, and Luna Negra Choreographer, Gustavo Ramirez Sansano with dinner tastings from extraordinary TRU Restaurant chef, Anthony Martin.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Chicago Live! Tonight with JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound

Join us on tonight at 6:30p for Chicago Live! featuring a live performance by JC Brooks & the Uptown Sound plus Jackie Taylor from Black Ensemble Theater and members of the Windy City Rollers roller derby team. After the show, stick around for the best happy hour in town and mingle with the cast. Click here for tickets.

BuzzKill Director, Steven Kampmann, Interviewed on CNBC

Steven Kampmann, director of BuzzKill, a film Second City helped produce, was interviewed on CNBC about financing for independent film.

Check out the interview here

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

RedEye Interviews Second City Alum, Maribeth Monroe, About Her Experience On "Workaholics"

If you haven't seen "Workaholics" yet, you are missing Maribeth Monroe playing the ice-cold boss of three friends who work together as telemarketers from 9 to 5 and live together from 5 to 9. In reality, the three friends are Anders Holm, Blake Anderson, and Adam Devine, alumni of The Second City Training Center. Maribeth talks with the RedEye about her part in "Workaholics" and how Anders saw her on The Second City's Mainstage when he was a student in Chicago's Conservatory. Read the whole interview.

For more information on classes and summer camps, see our class catalog.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Just Announced: The Bullpen

We're starting a new show! It's a chance for writers to pitch ideas and see them come to life on stage!

Writers get to pitch premises, improvisers get to act them out.

This show is happening bi-weekly, so if your in our Writing Program or Conservatory and trying to wrap your head around the concept of "what's in a premise" or if you are an improviser and want to act out some cool premises, check out our first show! (This will be happening bi-weekly in the JCB!)

Hosted by Kevin Whalen!

Come to our inaugural show FEBRUARY 24TH 7:30-8:30pm. PWYC

Alum Tim Kazurinsky Joins Chicago Live! This Thursday

Second City alumni Tim Kazurinsky joins Chicago Live! this Thursday at 6:30p in UP Comedy Club to talk about his new role in Chicago Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. Additional interviews on this week's show include Morris Robinson, Sam Lewis, Paul Giallorenzo, Fritz Klein, and avery r. young. Tickets are on sale now at UPComedyClub.com. A cocktail reception follows every show.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Second City Faculty Member, Joe Janes, Publishes Second Book!

In 2009, Second City writing instructor Joe Janes took on the task of writing a comedy sketch a day for one year. He did this to do some damage to the notion of writer's block and also to explore writing all the various kinds of forms one might see in a sketch revue.

In 2010, they were all produced in a festival at Strawdog Theater over 11 nights with 200 actors and directors. In 2011, he wrote 50 Plays - most of them short ten-minute one-acts - which were also produced at the Strawdog with 50 directors and over 200 actors. A "Best of, Sort of" was produced at the Skybox later that summer and was described by The Chicago Reader as "silly, bizarre, violent, and provocative...the pieces showcase Janes's willingness to take risks of all kinds."

Both 365 Sketches and 50 Plays are available for sale at the training center reception desk. Not in Chicago? Buy Joe's books here.

This year's project is still in development, but it will likely involve sharks and ferris wheels.

The Second City HOOK UP Promotion!

Did you spend Valentine's alone? Well, The Second City is going to hook you up!

The Second City Toronto is giving away a block of FREE single tickets to our Thursday February 16, 8pm performance!

In this preview for our Spring '12 Mainstage Comedy Revue, you'll enjoy hilarious highlights from our recent hit show, Dreams Really Do Come True, plus brand new sketches, songs, and improvisations created and performed by Toronto's legendary comedy troupe.

If you'd like a ticket, just email boxoffice@secondcity.com, with "Hook me up" in the subject line.

Or tweet @secondcityTO and include #hookmeup

If you'd like, let us know your age, gender, sexual orientation, level of hotness, net worth, fetishes ...whatever

We'll try to seat you next to someone compatible.

* Limited number of tickets available. We reserve the right to select winners based on availability of suitable match-ups. Available only for The Second City's Toronto location, at 51 Mercer St.

Deadline to enter Thursday Feb 16. So email or tweet us, and we'll hook do our best to hook you up!

Q and A with Steven Kampmann, Writer and Director of BuzzKill

BuzzKill is a film that is in part produced by Second City. It has won numerous awards at festivals and comes out today! To buy or watch BuzzKill visit secondcitysbuzzkill.com.

Q: Was directing War Horse a challenge?

SK: I didn't direct War Horse. That's Steven Spielberg

Q: I meant Contagion.

SK: That's Steven Soderbergh. This "Steven" (meaning me) directed BuzzKill.

Q: Sorry. My brain is a bit fuzzy today. What exactly is a "buzzkill?"

SK: Pretty much what's happening in this interview.

Q: What inspired you to make BuzzKill?

SK: I've always wanted to co-write and direct a film that would take seven years to make – as a practicing Buddhist, it's all part of working on my patience. May I scream now?

Q: BuzzKill is being released on Valentine's Day. Is it a love story?

SK: Let's just say I will love you if you watch it and leave it at that. Go to secondcitysbuzzkill.com - there are two links at the top of the page: one to rent the film through Netflix and one to buy it through Amazon. The film will also be available as a VOD with many local cable companies.

Q: It feels weird to admit but as I watched BuzzKill, I actually lost some weight, looked years younger, and my sex drive went through the roof. Is that a common reaction?

SK: Absolutely. Watching BuzzKill is a powerful health supplement. And it can make you smarter too. In previews, students consistently scored higher on their SATs after watching the film.

Q: Should people who see BuzzKill keep it a secret like they are in al-Qaeda or something?

SK: That would be both incredibly odd and stupid. Believe it or not, films are supposed to be seen by as many people as possible.

Q: Really? That's so interesting. I didn't know that. Of course I barely go to the movies anymore what with DVDs and "streaming" (whatever that is). What should people do after reading this interview?

SK: Drink something to recover, preferably strong, and then forward this email to all their friends telling them to rent or buy BuzzKill. They can also text, Facebook, and tweet.

Q: What is a tweet?

SK: No one knows. But when I drink martinis, I tweet a lot.

Q: Who's your target audience?

SK: Fans of Second City and SNL and all my former students and colleagues at Blair Academy – the best boarding school in America.

Q: Okay, so what should people who know nothing about BuzzKill do? Should they quit their jobs or get divorced or give up all together? I'm lost here.

SK: I can see that. All they need to do is check out the trailer, read a couple of short reviews, and watch the Black Santa video (below on this page) They’ll be hooked.

Q: What is next for you?

SK: Make more movies or maybe just get some dinner.

Q: Thank you for your time, Steven. I just want to say I have enjoyed all your action films like Under Siege and Under Siege 2: Dark Territory. It's wonderful you are "spreading your wings" into comedy with BuzzKill. Best of luck.

SK: That's Steven Segal. But thank you anyway.

Happy Valentine's Day - secondcitysbuzzkill.com

Read Reviews from:

Chicago Sun-Times
Digital Hippos review
Reespace blog review

Next UP Spotlight Features Local Comedians at UP

Check out the Next UP Spotlight this Thursday as part of the Grand Opening events at UP Comedy Club.

We'll be featuring brilliant local comedians: Schadenfreude (sketch group), Adam Burke, Neal Dandade, Dean Evans, Jet Eveleth, John Hartman, Ever Mainard, Chris Redd and Dan Telfer

Tickets are only $10! Get your tickets here

Friday, February 10, 2012

Training Center Spotlight - Judy Fabjance

February 10th, 2012 - Teacher - Judy Fabjance
Nancy Fast interviews Training Center faculty member Judy Fabjance! Listen in to learn about Judy's spirit animal, her experience taking classes in the TC and how she developed her currently running show "Are you there Judy? It's me, Cancer." Shows are Fridays in February at 9pm in Donny's Skybox. (Get tickets in advance. It sells out!)

About Judy: Judy Fabjance has been teaching improvisation for The Second City since 1999. She has taught dozens of improv workshops for Emerald City Theatre Company, Chicago Comedy Company, CIF, Camp Keshet, High Schools, Junior Highs, After School Programs, Day Camps, Family Nights and Corporate groups. She is a graduate of Second City's Training Center's Conservatory, Comedy Writing and Acting Programs and IO. She has studied at The Annoyance Theater and Columbia College. Some groups Judy has performed with include: GayCo Productions (founding member), Second City Theatricals (Weddings of Mass Destruction), ComedySportz Family Matinee Series (The Paper Spaceship), Single Box Turn Productions (Understudy Band Geeks and drummer in old time band for Little House on the Parody) and Sulacco Productions (Shadow of the Master; A Kung-Fu Musical). Judy has also done film work.

Interested in spending your summer with us? The Second City has Summer Camps for Kids and Adults! Check out secondcitysummers.com or call 312.664.3959 for more information.

Second City's Buzzkill Featured in Chicago Sun Times

Buzzkill, a feature film written and directed by Second City Alum Steve Kampmann and produced by The Second City, is set for DVD release on Tuesday, February 14. Starring Daniel Raymont, Krysten Ritter and Darrell Hammond, Buzzkill is about a struggling writer who becomes famous when a serial killer steals his car and his latest script. Click here to check out a feature article about the film in the Chicago Sun Times.

Buzzkill won the People's Choice Award as Best Feature Film at the New Jersey Film Festival at Cape May in 2008, Best Feature Comedy at the Big Easy Film Festival in New Orleans in 2009 and Kampmann was named Best Director at that festival the same year.

Click here for pre-order information from Amazon.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

UP Comedy Club Featured on WGN

UP Comedy Club Featured on WGN

Diana Martinez sat down with Dean Richards on WGN's midday news to talk about the opening of UP Comedy Club.

Click here to watch the interview.

Charlie Trotter Joins Chicago Live! Tonight

Come be a part of the audience for tonight's taping of Chicago Live! at UP Comedy Club: Rick Kogan hosts the show featuring guests Charlie Trotter, jazz musician Paulinho Garcia, Albany Park Theater Project, investigative reporters David Jackson and Gary Marx, The Second City and more!


Wednesday, February 8, 2012

"The Scenesters", A Feature Film By Second City Training Center Alums!

Vacationeer Productions, comprised of Training Center alums, produced their first feature length film, "The Scenesters": a winner of multiple awards from The Hollywood and Edmonton Film Festivals.

This trailer contains adult content.

The company was formed in 2006 when The Vacationeers, the comedy group, became an Internet sensation with more than 10,000,000 video views, more than 4,500 subscribers on YouTube and one of the most trafficked web series in history with The Googling (1.4 million views per episode average.) Founded by Jeff Grace, Kevin M. Brennan, Blaise Miller, and Todd Berger, Vacationeer Productions still produce original content for the enjoyment of their fans at www.thevacationeers.com, but are now primarily focused on television, commercial and film projects.

The Vacationeers met in The Second City Training Center's Writing and Conservatory progams.

Sex, Love & The Second City: A Romantic dot Comedy Opens Tonight at UP

Tonight, we're kicking off the Grand Opening Celebration for UP Comedy Club with the Chicago premiere of Sex, Love & The Second City: A Romantic dot Comedy at UP Comedy Club (230 W. North Ave, 3rd Floor of Piper's Alley) featuring Carisa Barreca, Jimmy Carlson, Amanda Blake Davis and Ed Kross.

Get your tickets here!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Holly Laurent's New Video Hits Rolling Stone

Holly Laurent, current member of the Second City Mainstage Cast, just got picked up by Rolling Stone for her amazing video, "Lana Del Ray's Hunger Games." Rolling Stone writes, "Laurent's video is as ethereal as the Lana Del Rey original with grainy footage from the film, but the combination of Hunger Games and Lana Del Rey is the perfect pop culture sweet spot." Check out the video and read more at RollingStone.com.

Second City Alum Nate Herman Performs in Evanston

Second City alum Nate Herman will be performing live at Space in Evanston on February 22.

His voice has been called "beautiful", his guitar playing "great", his songs "brilliant" and "hilarious" and his wardrobe selection "eclectic bordering on dubious".


Andrew Alexander & Second City to Receive NAB Spirit of Broadcast Award

The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) announced today The Second City will receive the Spirit of Broadcasting Award during the 2012 NAB Show. The Second City's Co-Chairman, CEO and Executive Producer Andrew Alexander will accept the award at the NAB Show Television Luncheon, sponsored by WideOrbit, on April 16 in Las Vegas.

"For over 50 years, The Second City has been a leader in innovative comedy and theater, and a training ground for some of America's finest comedic performers and writers," said NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith. "Every day, millions of broadcast TV viewers bear witness to the influence it has had on both comedy and drama. NAB is proud to honor The Second City with this special award for all its contributions to the entertainment industry."

The Spirit of Broadcasting Award recognizes general excellence and leadership and is given to individuals or organizations that have made lasting contributions to over-the-air broadcasting. Previous recipients include Hubbard Broadcasting founder Stanley E. Hubbard, telecommunications reporter Dawson "Tack" Nail, American Women in Radio and Television, "60 Minutes" creator and executive producer Don Hewitt, and Hispanic broadcasting pioneers Emilio Nicolas Sr. and Raoul A. Cortez.

About NAB Show
NAB Show, held April 14-19 in Las Vegas, is the world's largest electronic media show covering filmed entertainment and the development, management and delivery of content across all mediums. With more than 90,000 attendees from 151 countries and 1,500+ exhibitors, NAB Show is the ultimate marketplace for digital media and entertainment. From creation to consumption, across multiple platforms and countless nationalities, the NAB Show is home to the solutions that transcend traditional broadcasting and embrace content delivery to new screens in new ways. Complete details are available at www.nabshow.com.

News media registration is now available for NAB Show.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Teacher of the Week: Kate Cohen!

The Second City Training Center is honored to announce Kate Cohen as the teacher of the week! Kate teaches in the Beginning Improv Program as well as in the Teen/Youth Program. She also teaches in The Second City's very popular Summer Camps and was once an Adult Program Coordinator with the Training Center. Kate has been improvising in Chicago since 2004 and performs regularly with ComedySportz Chicago, Laugh Out Loud Theater and as one-half of the musical improv duo Kate & Mike: The Musical.

Other credits include Chicago Sketchfest, Infinite Sundaes, and ImprovArcadia in Bar Harbor, Maine. Kate performed for The Second City at sea aboard the Norwegian Jewel and Gem and toured Chicago schools with SCTC's Educational Touring Company. Kate has taught improv workshops aboard NCL and for the Chicago Jewish Community Centers. Kate has a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Arizona and is a graduate of The Second City Training Center's IFA, Conservatory and Musical Improv Conservatory programs.

For more information on Spring and Summer offerings, see our full course schedules here.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Great Review for The Second City's BuzzKill

Maria's Space took a look at The Second City's BuzzKill, which comes out on DVD this Valentine's Day, and had this to say:

"The movie is funny, witty, smart and well acted." - Maria writes in her article

The Second City's BuzzKill is the story of Ray Wyatt, a failed screenwriter who is about to end his own life, when he gets a call from a Hollywood Producer who is interested in his script.

It's is a film about a dream, a twist of fate and an unexpected happy ending.

Read the full review at Maria's Space.

Read more about BuzzKill here

Teen and Youth Program Students Trying To Dance Their Way On To ‘The Ellen DeGenreres Show’

The Second City Training Center has always had an open door policy for 'Class Clowns.' Three students from the Teen/Youth program are no exception to that rule as they take on Ellen's Dance Dare Challenge. Check out the whole article here.

Want to let out your inner Class Clown? We have spring break classes and summer camps for kids and adults! Check out secondcity.com/tc or secondcitysummers.com for more details.