Rant posts are unimaginative and not fun to read. Here's one anyway.

I guess Second City auditions are/were happening. My improv-world friends auditioned.

It would be pretty stupid to launch into a tirade about Second City – since to be fair I’ve never taken a class or… ah, even seen a show.

Although I *was* in a show produced by Second City Theatricals, which I love touting on my resume, but that’s another story altogether.

POINT BEING: I do know this:
Since I moved to Chicago, I have had several friends who have worked for Second City as teachers, directors, mainstage performers, etc performers, touring performers, and touring understudies.
They have all, in varying amounts of time, quit in disgust, frustration and disillusionment.

I also know this:
Second City makes a lot of money. My friends have seen very, very little of this money.

And finally, this:
There are a lot of legitimate schools that teach the nuts and bolts of trades like modeling, acting, improvising, and also gymnastics. They have good, honest teachers and want to see people succeed and they will be very realistic about your chances of doing so.
There are also ones that exist to take your money while promising you’re juuust about to break into the big time. You’ve got some real promise, kid. Just take another class.

(post ends here)

In case I don’t make it abundantly clear in this blog, I love performing for a living. It’s a wonderful thing. And if you do it right, it’s also very hard work. It involves long hours, a lot of stress and accountability, giving up any dividing line between your personal life and your professional life. Among other things. And I absolutely believe that you should be able to do your hard work, and if you make that commitment to work your 40 hours a week, you should expect to earn a living wage. A. LIVING. WAGE.

The attitude of ‘if you don’t like it, there are a hundred people just dying to take your place” is probably fair in a free market, capitalistic sort of way, but it absolutely infuriates me.

Think Yosemite Sam. At a union rally.


Ryan said...

That was loads of fun.

It was like being on an amusement park ride.

Lacy said...

Just wait till I post my version of Yosemite Sam singing Woody Guthrie's "Union Song."

Jeremy said...

Isn't this just your "When do you quit doing sketch comedy" post rewritten as a rant? I know the two things were tied up for me.

Also, I only think Second City makes 'a lot' of money when you look at it from the perspective of the average neighborhood theater. Next to, say, Sara Lee or McDonald's or (closer to home) Viacom or Time Warner, Second City is strictly Our Gang. Kinda cute, really.

If Kraft Foods could make macaroni and cheese the cheesiest for pennies, because everyone thought they could do food chemistry, they would. They would do that. And I bet the macaroni and cheese wouldn't be any cheesier at all.


Lacy said...

ah, to be fair, this is probably a lot of stuff I've already said (wga strike, sketch) and will probably say again ... Rewritten as a rant.

on a side note - never again. no more rants. that's the opposite of what i want this blog to be. No more.

I have to respectfully disagree, though, with the 'our gang' bit. It's no Time Warner, but when you're looking at the real estate alone, then you start to factor in SEVERAL open runs that are the envy of every box office in town with their group ticket sales alone, the bar, not one but three (maybe more?) touring companies, bizco, classes for kids as well as adults, four tiers of each 'program' AND merchandising and branding rights ...that's not even touching the satellite locations in Vegas and where else? Canada? Detroit? Look, my hat is off. It's a brilliant business model and I wish the same success to Annoyance and anyone else. It's very smart and very well done.

But no one in Chicago -sketch or theater- is that successful from a diversified-business point of view. And I'm very willing to bet, that as a result, no one else is that solvent.

I think they could find a way to pay touring performers better, or at least offer more consideration for the inconsistency of the schedule.

But, there will always be more people dying to say they perform for Second City, so they only motivation they will ever have will be their own conscience.

And... they're a successful business. And successful businesses and consciences don't get together very often.

The Kraft Foods remark, ah, I'm ashamed to admit I don't quite get it. I'm sorry.