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  • May 29 2014

    Student Spotlight with Mollie Rehner and Chicago Women's Funny Festival

    The Chicago Women's Funny Festival - Chicago's THIRD annual festival celebrating women in comedy - has lots of Second City students and grads performing this year. One of our favorites is the wonderful Mollie Rehner, Conservatory student and Head Writer for the de Maat Theater's 'The Midnight Parade' Saturdays at Midnight. We were able to talk to Mollie about the festival and more.

    What will you be performing at the Women's Funny Festival and when?
    Sketch and musical comedy with my group Prostitute Tears on Thursday June 5 @9pm in The Pro Theatre, Stage 773.

    Tell us about your group!
    Prostitute Tears is very talented and every person in the group has a ton of creativity. With our shows you can expect music, dance numbers, and material that exposes the comedic seediness of every day life. We are so excited to be performing in this year's Chicago Women's Funny Festival and we are honored to have been selected!

    What other shows are you excited to see at the festival?
    The Cupid Players, The Fruit Flies, and Brouhaha: An Improvised Puppet Musical

    What training have you went through to be where you are today?
    I was a producer and writer of a sketch comedy show called Sideshow Comedy at Michigan State University, in which we won an Emmy award. I have also done entertainment reporting and hosting, and made some pretty sweet home movies when I was little. In Chicago, I have trained in The Second City's Conservatory program and at iO Theatre. I have also studied at the The Lincoln Lodge and perform regularly at Stage 773.

    What's the coolest thing that has happened to you on stage as a performer in Chicago so far?
    I tripped and fell during my very first stand up show. I guess that's what I get for making fun of people.

    If you had to give a Chicago newbie comedian one piece of advice, what would it be?
    Find a group of people that share your ambitions and passions. I believe if you put in the hard work and have a good attitude, opportunities will present themselves.

    Where can we see you performing after the festival's run?
    Stage 773! My group Prostitute Tears will be performing all summer!

    Anyone you want to shout out to and make them feel special?
    Brian Posen and the hard working staff at Stage 773, my Prostitutes, and of course all of the groups performing in this year's Chicago Women's Funny Festival!

    For more festival info, click here:

    5/29/2014 Comments (0)
  • Apr 25 2014

    Student Spotlight with Ricky Lee Barnes

    We talked with Level E grad and current 'The Reel Deal' contestant, Ricky Lee Barnes about his time at Second City and more. Help him become a finalist on 'The Reel Deal' by voting on his Finalist Page here:

    Where are you from and what made you move to Chicago?
    I grew up in Moraine, Ohio which is a small suburb of Dayton. I knew I wanted a bigger life than I was living and when I was presented with a job opportunity in the city I packed up the Winnebago and took to the open road. …Which was actually a U-Haul and Highway 90.

    What did you think of Chicago when you first moved here?
    I thought it was beautiful and super big. I remember thinking, “This is a city and they have TREES too!?” I also couldn’t believe that I lived in a neighborhood where I could walk to a bar. The only thing you can walk to in my old neighborhood is an abandoned elementary school and a Pentecostal church.

    What do you love most about the city?
    The summer. There is a festival every weekend and people are always ready to let their hair down and celebrate.

    What do you hate most?
    The 9-month winter #SAD… Oh, and the smell of hot-pee on the redline round-about August 1st.

    Did you have a nickname as a child/teen (that you dont mind sharing?)
    My family is from Kentucky & Virginia so…Bubba. My parents actually still call me “Bub”. My grandpa used to call me "Pistol Pete with Stinkin’ Feet" but that one faded once I hit puberty.

    What made you want to be a performer?
    I always wanted to be but I was afraid to admit it. I wasted a ton of time getting a degree I’ll never use (wha, what Bachelors in Communications!?) and trying to live an idealistic, “successful” life. I knew when I moved to Chicago I would perform again but it wasn’t until I started classes at the Second City that the performer actually resurfaced.
    I love to talk and tell stories and make people laugh. I always have. Performing allows me to move people and entertain them using nothing but me. It’s powerful to know that I am the only tool I need.

    What Classes have you taken at the Second City?
    I have taken Improv A-E and performed in the Writing 6 show “Never Change”. I know that’s not a class but I learned so much that I have to count it.

    What is the coolest thing that happened to you in class so far?
    Learning that everyone fails. Also coming to the realization that usually we each perceive our own failure as catastrophic when, in reality, it wasn’t thatterrible.

    What is the silliest improv scene you have done in class so far?
    Once I was a metrosexual business man arguing with my manicurist about her attitude while reminding her that I basically pay her Comed bill. Also when I was a 19-year old Hollister employee who couldn’t let his hair down because it was so sexy it would distract all the other employees.

    If you had to give one piece of advice to someone just starting the Beginning Improv program, what would it be?
    Don’t try to be good - just be real. And expect to be scared the first time you ask for a suggestion.

    You are a semi-finalist on The Reel Deal! How has the experience been so far?
    You know, I never thought I’d be on reality tv but when I read the description of The Reel Deal I thought it would be a great experience for a few reasons: I'd be a part of the film-making process from beginning to end AND I’d be able to showcase my personality. I'd get to be Ricky and Ricky Lee Barnes in the same show.

    I made my personality video and so many people encouraged me and shared it and liked it on Youtube… It was moving. Coming to the realization that I have a support network that is willing to help me achieve a goal and pursue my passion is paramount. This process has shown me what I’m capable of and inspired me to continue to fight so that I can live the life I want rather than the life I thought I wanted.

    i.e. It’s been a really amazing ride so far

    Right now, The Reel Deal is collecting votes for each of the actors online - what can we do to help?
    Each contestant was challenged to create an initial audition/personality video as well as filmed, monologue callback videos. You can view my submissions on my personal finalist page and click the “Vote for Me” button under my headshot.

    Voting is done through Squerb and I am ranked in 6 categories: Person, Acting, Appearance, Life Story, Personality, and Social Media Savviness. This system is in place to allow a more comprehensive picture of each contestant rather than being a simple “like” contest. Words like “interesting”, “convincing”, “flawless” etc. are attached to each vote. It sounds confusing but just think of it as throwing darts at a dart board covered in opinions.

    Voting is open until May 15th so I have until then to get as many votes in as many categories as I can!
    Finalist Page:

    4/25/2014 Comments (0)
  • Nov 4 2013

    Student Spotlight: Writing 6 Grads Talk About Skybox Show 'Kiss My Past' with Nancy Fast

    Writing 6 Grads Christina Honan, Katie Stasiak and Jill Frank stop by the Training Center Office to talk with Nancy Fast about their latest Skybox show, 'Kiss My Past'
    Saturdays at 7:30 PM Oct 26, Nov 2, 9 & 16

    Listen to the Podcast!

    Starring: Sheena Laird, Damian Jason White, Miguel Lepe, Chris Hauser, Lauren Summers, Laura Marsh and Meg Grunewald
    Written by Hot Town Comedy: Amanda Fawley, Jill Frank, Christina Honan, Matt Lynch, Abbie Lynch, Kevin O'Brien, Katie Stasiak and Ruby Vega
    Directed by: Aaron Sjoholm
    Musical Director: Tilliski Ramey
    Technical Director: Keri Mack
    Saturdays at 7:30 PM |Oct 26, Nov 2, 9 & 16
    Tickets: $13 General Admission, $10 for students, $8 for SCTC students

    11/4/2013 Comments (0)
  • Aug 21 2013

    Congrats to Second City Student and Volunteer, Tunisha Hubbard, for Booking a Ford Commercial

    When she isn’t acting in high-profile commercials, Tunisha Hubbard can be found welcoming new students to the Training Center, working the box office for student shows and improvising with friends. Tunisha’s kindness and ability to think quick on her feet make her a valuable volunteer and fun scene partner. You can check out her Ford Focus commercial here:

    The Second City Training Center is now registering students for classes in Improv, Acting, Comedy Writing and more. Visit for more info

    8/21/2013 Comments (1)
  • May 15 2013

    Nancy Fast Interviews Super-Intern Miguel Lepe On His Last Day

    Nancy snagged Miguel from his post on his last day of interning to talk about what’s next in his life! Find out all about Miguel’s Production Company Digital Cake, his upcoming one-man show, his wonderful fiancé Ruby Vega and more!

    Listen to the Podcast!

    5/15/2013 Comments (0)
  • Apr 23 2013

    TC Spotlight with Super-Intern Meg McGuire

    Andrew Thorp interviews Meg on her last day of a 2+ year internship before she goes off to get her Masters. Listen in for some of Meg's weirdest and most fun moments while interning and taking classes at The Second City Training Center. Stay tuned to see her 2-person show with fellow intern Katie Hughes!

    Listen to the Podcast!

    4/23/2013 Comments (0)
  • Feb 18 2013

    Teacher Spotlight: Nancy Fast interviews Writing Program Teacher David Wolinsky

    Listen in as Nancy learns all kinds of interesting information about one of The Second City’s newest and most sought after Writing Program teachers, David Wolinsky. (Teaser: David wrote for Rolling Stone and The Onion and dressed up as a professor in his band.)

    About David

    David Wolinsky is an internationally published writer, critic, and the co-author of a book from The Onion's A.V. Club, the straight journalism side of one of the nation's biggest and most respected satire publications. He's also part of the management editorial teams at NBC Chicago and His degree is in music business (not writing) from Middle Tennessee State, which is why he also thinks anyone who wants to write for a living can, if they're determined enough. He's also co-authoring another book, a web series, and writing a handful of scripts (including an hour-long drama pilot about 9/11). Between all that, he freelances for publications as far-flung as Wired and Maxim to Funny or Die and @GAMER. You can follow David on Twitter @davidwolinsky.

    David teaches 'Humor Writing For The Internet' and 'Across The Finish Line' at The Second City Training Center. For more information, call 312.64.3959 or visit

    Listen to the Podcast!

    2/18/2013 Comments (0)
  • Feb 11 2013

    Teacher Spotlight: Nancy Fast Interviews Training Center Music Director and Teacher Amanda Murphy

    Think you’re tone deaf or can’t sing? You’re wrong! Listen in as Nancy and Amanda talk about Second City’s Musical Improv and Vocal classes, Carol Burnett, guinea pigs and much more!

    About Amanda:
    Amanda has studied and worked in comedy and musical theater throughout Toronto, Chicago, and New York. She is a composer and lyricist for several groups, including the award winning musical four play which she also co-wrote. She music directs at iO, ComedySportz, the SCTC, and the Annoyance, and freelances for several groups around the city. She is also a performer, playing in both MIHE and SongCo, and in BattleProv at CSz. She has many musical theater credits and sings professionally with both choirs and big bands.

    Work with Amanda in Vocal Basics: Song and Character! - (Click Here for more info) Focus on vocal technique, both sung and spoken. The curriculum includes group study as well as substantial individual attention. Perfect for those who want to strengthen their singing and speaking voice, improve range, flexibility, and power.
    $150, 4 weeks, 3 hours

    Listen to the Podcast!

    2/11/2013 Comments (0)
  • Dec 3 2012

    Student Spotlight: Karen Revekant

    El Love

    Andrew Thorp sits down with Karen Revekant, December's 'Student in the Spotlight'. Karen is a graduate of the Training Center's Improv and Acting programs, a member of the Dream Team Volunteer Organization, a cast member of 'The Mighty Ted' and an all-around cool lady. Listen in to find out which Second City teacher Karen wouldn't mind being stuck on a desert island with, what bugs scare her and who introduced her to Second City classes!

    For More Information on Classes, Visit:
    For More Information on The Second CIty Dream Team, Visit:
    For more Information on 'The Mighty Ted', Visit:

    Listen to the Podcast!

    12/3/2012 Comments (0)
  • Dec 3 2012

    Performer Spotlight with 'El is for Love' Cast Members Sam Roos and Stephanie Weber

    Nancy Fast interviews Sam Roos and Stephanie Weber, cast members of HouseCo's 'El is for Love'. Coincidentally, Stephanie and Sam are both graduates of Columbia's 'Comedy Studies' program, which takes place at The Second City Training Center. Listen to the interview to find out more about their journey and then check them out live on Saturdays at 10:30pm in The Second City’s de Maat Theater.

    To buy tickets, call 312.337.3992 or visit

    El Love

    12/3/2012 Comments (1)