Gaining Confidence at The Second City

For my STEP project, I visited Chicago with  a friend and took classes at The Second City Training Center. Second City is a company located in Chicago (main location), Los Angeles and Toronto that specializes in sketch writing and is known nationally as a launching pad for comedians. Many Saturday Night Live cast members from throughout the years have come from Second City. Some notable alumni are Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Carrell, Steven Colbert, Chris Farley and many more. While in Chicago, I took a class called Writing for The Onion, Improvisation 1 and Writing 1. In Writing for The Onion, we learned how to write fake news in the style of The Onion, possibly the most famous satirical newspaper in the world right now. In that class we also learned how to write headlines that would coincide with said articles. In improvisation 1, we learned to think on our feet which helped in Writing 1, as it is a class that teaches how to write sketches based off improvisation.

Taking these classes at Second City has helped me grow as a person. As a writer, the improvisation class helped me realize that it is okay to not have everything planned out completely. The improv and sketch writing class helped me to gain invaluable comedy skills that have enabled me to come back to Ohio State and lead a sketch writing class that we established this year. The Writing for the Onion class helped me learn more about comedy writing, which helped me as an officer and writer for The Sundial Humor Magazine. I was able to take the information I learned in this class and teach it to the members, who now know how to write better fake news in the style of The Onion.
Apart from the classes we took, I learned a lot from travelling to Chicago on my own. Both myself and the friend that accompanied me are very shy and are not eager to leave our comfort zones. This was the first time we had traveled anywhere without any parents. We booked our own flights, booked the hostel we were going to stay at, find rides to and from the airport, and maneuver the city. One of our biggest accomplishes we were the most proud of was riding the EL by ourselves with no instructions.
This experience was very transformative for me for many reasons. As we were there for two weeks, I was able to get a taste of what it is like to live in Chicago, which is very important since I will probably move their once I graduate. It was also very transformative for me in a personal way, as it helped me get out of my comfort zone by living in a big city and putting myself out there in my classes. This experience was also very beneficial for me on a business level. As an aspiring writer/comedian, I was able to learn valuable skills for going forward in my desired career. I was also able to network and meet many different people that are trying to make it in the same career path, which helps to obtain a support group as I go forward. This experience also helped me gain confidence in myself. These classes were the first time I had ever performed in my life and many of my classmates, and even my teacher, personally told me how well I was doing in improvisation and acting. A lot of my classmates actually assumed that I do theatre a lot, which was a big deal to me since I get very nervous in front of groups. We were also praised in our Writing for the Onion class and a classmate even pitched a movie to us that he wants to write. The experience helped transformed me by giving me the confidence to follow my dreams.

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