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Stand-Up & Storytelling

Discover your unique comic voice in Second City’s Stand-Up and Storytelling courses. Stand-Up uses an improvisational approach to the creation and delivery of solo comic material. Craft your set, learn joke construction and discover how to navigate your first open mic. Storytelling courses help you bring structure and craft to your autobiographical stories, and are intended to be taken with multiple instructors in any order. Many Stand-Up and Storytelling courses end with a casual showcase of student work.

Stand-Up

Stand-Up

  • Stand-Up 101 & 201
  • 3 Hours, 8 Weeks

Stand-Up 101

In Stand-Up 101 you will develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping your own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics evolved, you will experiment outside your comfort zone and experiment until discovering your own unique style. Students will have regular writing assignments during the term. Stand-Up 101 culminates in a final performance on one of the Second City Training Center’s stages.

Stand-Up 201

Build on the skills developed in Stand-Up 101, honing your comedic voice through a variety of exercises and personal feedback. Class culminates in a final performance on one of the Second City Training Center’s stages.

Each Stand-Up class is three hours and runs for eight weeks.

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Cartooning

Steven Fischer's Intro to Cartoon Storytelling

Learn the art of cartoon storytelling, effective communication techniques, and develop personal expression. This course explores story breakdown, character development, page layout, and studies from life. Students will create original characters and an original story based on personal experiences. No previous drawing experience required—if you can create a stick figure,…

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Humor Book Writing

Writing the Comedy Memoir 1

Writing the Comedy Memoir is for anyone considering writing their memoirs. It’s also for anyone who wants to learn to tell the stories of their life in a concise and entertaining way.

What will I learn?

You will learn how to tell your personal stories in a way that is engaging to…

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Writing the Comedy Memoir 2

In Writing the Comedy Memoir 2, students will read excerpts from humor memoir writers as prompts to generate our life’s material.

What will I learn?

What’s different in this level is that revising is added to the mix. Second draft writing in humorous non-fiction is chiefly focused on where to place scenes…

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Making Your Book a Reality

Have a killer idea for a book or three chapters that have been sitting around since 2013? In this class students will learn how to make their book a reality. Students will learn how to create book proposals, pitch a lit agent, and how to make social media benefit your…

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Stand-Up

Radical Comedy: Straight White Men Welcomed

So, you want to do stand-up comedy, but you’re not a bro… We got you!

Radical Comedy covers what open mics are like in Chicago, proper mic etiquette, how to safely navigate your way through the sea of a whitewashed scene! This course will also discuss safe spaces, racism, misogyny, political…

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So You Want to Try Stand-Up

Have you always wanted to try standup but were too intimidated to try? This workshop will take you from “Wish I could” to “Wow! I did!” in a supportive atmosphere, practice finding the comedy in real-life experiences and turn them into a stand-up set. This class will include writing, discussion,…

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Stand Up to Anxiety

This class is designed for people who are looking for ways to face feelings of discomfort and reduce avoidance behaviors in social, work/school, and family settings. Face performance anxiety and develop yourself as a solo comedic performer by writing and workshopping your own material. By understanding how earlier stand-up comics…

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Storytelling

Storytelling: Crafting Your Story

In Storytelling: Crafting Your Story you will discover the craft of shaping the events of your own life into a compelling story. Fans of David Sedaris or The Moth, anyone who is curious about the live lit scene, anyone who simply wants to get better at telling stories to friends…

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Storytelling: Discovering Your Story

Take your personal experience and turn it into a story worth telling. Draw from your own life to find material that is honest and relatable and learn to tell your story in a way that’s compelling and entertaining. Storytelling: Discovering Your Story is for anyone with unique, exciting or intense…

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Storytelling: Performing Your Story

All life is a stage, and all storytelling is performance. Storytelling: Performing Your Story focuses on the performative nature of storytelling and how we can harness our authenticity and use our acting chops to ensure our awesome story has maximum impact on the audience, be it in a live lit…

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Stories & Improv: The Monologue Deconstruction

What is it about the combination of spontaneous true stories and improv that works so well? Many of the longest and most successful improv shows of all time feature a simple combination of a storyteller and improv. In this four week class, we will learn the monologue deconstruction, a form…

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Private Lessons

Private Lessons

One-On-One Coaching

The Second City Training Center offers individual, customized coaching in a variety of areas including, but not limited to:

Acting
Monologue prep
On-camera audition prep
Dialects Accent Coaching

Youth & Teen Coaching
Audition Prep
Monologue Prep

Writing
Advanced sketch critique
Screenplay & Sitcom coaching
Sketch Production (Coaching a group through their first production)
Sketch generation & critique…

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