Posts Tagged ‘Second City’
Magnet performer Amanda Xeller (The Flood) reached out to one of our performers currently abroad, Ross Taylor (The Wrath, Aquarius). Ross is performing full time on a Second City Cruise Ship. Amanda sent Ross our address and he sent us a lovely update from afar…
Oh how I miss you—your faces and your energy and yes, even you bathroom!
Life at sea is fantastic! Being paid to perform comedy is a gift from Del, and there are so many
ancillary benefits as well.
It all starts with a week of training in Chicago, where the people at Second City treat you like a
real professional and make you feel like a part of the family. All your heroes are on the wall and
you play on the same stage they played upon and the feeling is probably akin to taking batting
practice in Yankee Stadium.
Life on the ship is like living in a luxury bubble, especially compared to the grit and struggle
that NYC requires—food is taken care of, alcohol is ridiculously cheap for crew, and everyone
knows who you are. The sketch shows are usually a packed house of a thousand and the material
works flawlessly. The improv is very different from what we’re used to, of course, but a quick
reminder that it’s providing my livelihood is all I need to sleep well at night. After the first crazy
week on board, rehearsals are few and all in all it’s a pretty light workweek. The passengers are
mainstream America, likely trending a little older, so they aren’t impressed by “improv moves”
but they are pretty good audiences if you give them jokes, which they consume like so much
Aside from work, I get a ton of downtime that I use at the gym, in the sun, reading, writing,
playing music, and hanging out with the rest of the cast and crew. The other performers are great
fun and the crew is pretty friendly. We port every few days and in the first four weeks I’ve gotten
to visit Bermuda, St. Thomas, St. John, Barbados, Caracao, Aruba and Mexico. I’ve zip-lined,
gambled, had beers in the ocean and gotten several layers of sunburn. I’ve chased an iguana and
grabbed a fish and got wifi in the middle of a pack of roosters.
Rooming with Bander is great—I’m somewhat shy at heart, so having a comrade throughout this
experience has made me feel comfortable very quickly. I couldn’t ask for a better cast in that we
all like each other and work well together on and off stage. I’m only a month in, so it’s possible
the turn into cynicism is just around the corner, but thus far I would call it a life-changing
experience and couldn’t be happier to be here.
That said, I miss NYC and the Magnet terribly. The work we do is incomparable and I miss my
teams enormously. The world has a habit of spinning on without you, so I hope that everyone
still remembers me when I return and I look forward to coming home and resuming God’s work
on that stage of ours. All my love to you Magnet—I’ll see you in February!
The Wrath & Aquarius
“The Butterfly Effect” is the newest installment of The Director’s Series, a 5-week series of performances wherein a Director selects a cast and presents a different form. This month Megan Gray (Magnet Artistic Director, Junior Varsity) and Alan Fessenden (The Weave, Hello Laser) team up to bring you The Butterfly Effect. We sat down with them, via email, and asked them why they chose to direct this form.
MAGNET BLOG: What is The Butterfly Effect? Why are you directing it?
MEGAN: “The Butterfly Effect” is an improv long form that borrows from Close Quarters (which was developed in Chicago by Director Noah Gregoropoulos at Second City) and Tracers (which was developed by Kevin Mullaney at the UCB in NY). Based on the suggestion of a location and a time of day, the cast creates a series of scenes that are all happening at the same time. It’s almost like a combination of Monoscene Eventes.
This form requires a great attention to detail and a pretty sharp memory. I first saw it performed at a Del Close Marathon in 2004 and was blown away. The entire piece took place in a mansion with all these secret passageways. The cast remembered every piece of information and kept it really fun. Since then, it’s been a form I’ve been wanting to develop for a Director Series. I was talking to Alan Fessenden about it and he mentioned that he also wanted to work with Tracers. So we decided to direct it together.
ALAN: When I first saw Tracers at the UCB years ago, it was amazing and looked semi impossible, so I wanted to try and recreate that impossible feeling. Additionally, I was working with Matt Antonucci and a a few others in this style and I thought, we need to need to put this up, and I want to do it soon. We were having so much fun.
MAGNET BLOG: What is your favorite type of improv?
MEGAN: I like to watch improv that has a lightness to it. The performers are having fun, making interesting choices and connecting with each other. This may sound stupid, but I love to watch improv that looks improvised — not like the performers are just saying things they’ve been writing in their heads on the backline. I want to be surprised by improvisers making discoveries in the moment.
ALAN: I like it fast, I like it slow, I guess it depends on my mood. But really I like improv where people are really making discoveries in the moment, so the audience, the actor and maybe even the characters are all figuring something out together.
MAGNET BLOG: What is the future of improv?
ALAN: Structured plays with stock characters where all the dialogue is improvised, only now it will take place in a virtual reality and the actors will be able to digitally enhance the world as they create it. Probably.
The Butterfly Effect plays every Thursday in May at 9pm.
Second City Theatricals is seeking actors for ensembles on Norwegian Cruise Line ships. A ship-specific audition will be held at The Magnet Theater Training Center in New York City on Thursday, May 16th, 2013. Auditions will be completely improvised. Performers should be a graduate of a conservatory-level program (such as Peoples Improv Theater, Upright Citizens Brigade or Magnet Theater).
Interested performers should email a headshot and resume to email@example.com ON Tuesday, April 30th or Wednesday, May 1st. Please include “Second City Theatricals – NYC – May 16” in the subject line of your email. On May 15th, there will be a Q&A with Second City Director of Talent, Beth Kligerman, at The Magnet Training Center from 4:30-5:45. Callbacks will be held on Friday, May 17th.
Second City performers are contracted for 4 months at a time.
The Second City was founded in Chicago in 1959 as a hub for sketch and improvisational comedy, and has held a contract with Norwegian Cruise Line since 2005.
This Thursday Sept. 6th at 10pm marks the debut of The Magnet Theater’s 8th Director’s Series! This month, Neil McNamara directs Deep Dish, a long form improv show interspersed with character monologues, a staple of Chicago-style improvisation. In Chicago, McNamara has worked with Second City, The Annoyance, iO and Boom Chicago. Fresh to New York, McNamara is bringing a Chicago staple to the east coast, DEEP DISH!
Featuring Peter McNerney, Beth Newell, Nick Kanellis, Julia Hynes and Neil McNamara.
Every Thursday at 10pm in September! More Info HERE.
This Saturday at 11am at The Magnet Theater, Megan Gray will be moderating a Q & A with improv legends Susan Messing and Christina Gausas!
Messing is a director and actress living in Chicago. Best known for her work with Second City, iO and The Annoyance Theatre, she is well revered in the NYC, Chicago and L.A. improv and acting communities.
Christina Gausas is an actress, writer and director living in NYC. She has appeared on 30 Rock, Delocated, Important Things w/ Dimitri Martin, and Late Night w/ Conan O’Brien. Christina was named one of “The 10 Funniest New Yorker’s You’ve Never Heard Of” by New York Magazine. She is also directing “The Subject” at The Magnet Theater, opening Thursday May 3rd at 10pm and running until May 31st!
The Q & A is completely free, RSVP at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot!
Dave Razowsky and Ed Herbstman answered questions from Alex Marino and the audience on January 29th at Magnet Theater, and somebody recorded it. Wanna listen to it? Well here it is. Enjoy.
Oh, and if you’d like to see them perform together in the very clearly titled, ‘Razowsky and Herbstman’, you can do so on Saturday night, April 28th at 9pm, on the Magnet Mainstage.
Make a reservation here.
And if you’d like to train with these guys (along with Rachel Hamilton and Armando Diaz and others) while enjoying swimming, kayaking, and campfires, you can sign up for Camp Magnet 2012!
We are very happy to share the following announcement with the Magnet community. Break a leg.
JUST ANNOUNCED FROM THE SECOND CITY CHICAGO
General auditions for The Second City
The Second City primarily seeks actors to become Understudies to The Second City Touring Company (based in Chicago) – other projects actors are considered for – once they make the call back process: Second City Theatricals, Ship ensemble members, SCC actors (corporate division)
For my money, Stephen Colbert is the funniest man alive. He’s probably also the most interesting. I mean, come on! He’s a Sunday School teacher who hosts a subversive late night TV show and who once, at a taping I saw, answered a pre-show question of, “Are you f***ing Matt Damon?” with, “Why? Doe his d*** taste like me?”
- adam mckay
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- Billy Merritt
- Bob Dassie
- brian mcann
- Brian Stack
- Catherine Wing
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- Craig Cackowski
- Dan Bakkedahl
- dan weiss
- David Pasquesi
- David Razowsky
- ed herbstman
- Eric Hunicutt
- Gary Austin
- Ian Roberts
- Improv Interviews
- Improv Resource Center
- J.T.S. Brown
- james grace
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- laura krafft
- Magnet Theater Online Resource Library and Archives
- Matt Besser
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- Matt Walsh
- Miles Stroth
- neil Flynn
- noah gregoropolous
- pat finn
- paul vaillancourt
- Peter Gwinn
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- rebecca sohn
- rich talarico
- Rob Huebel
- Second City
- Susan Messing
- Tami Sagher
- theresa mulligan
- Thomas Middleditch
- Todd Stashwick
TJ, Megan, Desiree, Rick, Louis, and Rocco…
Hired by The Second City?
It’s no surprise that our auditioning instructor had such a good audition that he got hired by Second City to perform in their ensemble at sea which sends top improvisers on Norwegian Cruise Line ships to the Caribbean. Congrats to you, TJ Mannix!
And Congrats to Magnet’s outstanding Level 1 Instructor and super funny Junior Varsity member, Megan Gray. She was also hired by Second City after they conducted their first ever New York audition for their cruise ship ensembles.
Let’s not stop there, though – –
Congratulations to Louis Kornfeld, our wicked smart Level 2 Instructor, House Manager, and most bearded member of long-time house team, The Boss. You deserve all the success in the world, Louis!
And Desiree Nash, painfully funny member of Ransom Family and a musical improv heroine! Congratulations, Desiree. Send us photos, please.
And Rocco Privetera, who stars in this hilarious video, produced by the Magnet Media Engine (with TJ Mannix, Adam Taylor, and Shawn Amaro). Rocco will be taking his magical fingers to the ocean as a Musical Director for a a Second City cruise ship ensemble. Yes. The fingers are magical.
Let’s not forget Magnet’s Rick Andrews who was also offered a spot on the big boat. Rick is a tall grad school drop-out and all around wonderful person who is currently teaching at Magnet. He is also the co-creator and co-star of The Cascade with Jennifer Dunne Monday nights at Magnet.
While getting tan, they’ll be performing classic Second City scenes, improv sets and teaching workshops. Basically it’s like the nerd version of Dirty Dancing without the sexual awakening. Have fun. Represent America and Magnet well, please. When you get back to the island of Manhattan, we’ll be here waiting.