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Hollywood Training Center Hollywood Training Center FAQ
  • Where do I begin?

    Let's channel our inner Maria Von Trapp and start at the very beginning. For improvisation training most of our students begin with Improv Level 1. You do not need to have any previous acting or improvisation experience to begin the Improvisation program. Students who have completed three consecutive levels of Improvisation at Second City or another comparable Improv School are eligible to audition for our Conservatory Program and our Musical Improv Program. If you need any help deciding which classes to take, just give us a call at (323) 464-8542. We will always be happy to chat with you about your interests and goals and figure out the best place for you to begin.

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  • What is the difference between Acting and Improv courses?

    Words on a page. In the Acting program you will work with scripted material such as monologues and scenes from plays. The Improv program focuses on unscripted games, exercises and scenes.

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  • Can I receive college credit or get a degree for taking classes?

    Because the Training Center itself is not an accredited institution of higher learning, just an awesome professional training center, students are generally ineligible for college credit. We also cannot file the paperwork for international students to obtain student visas (sorry Mongolians, you may have to wait until we open the Ulan Bator Training Center). However, if you are currently enrolled in college, we have this amazing program called Comedy Studies which is an accredited college program that we run in Chicago in partnership with Columbia College. This is a semester-long study in comedy for which students do receive college credit.

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  • Is there an age limit to attend classes?

    We offer classes in our Youth and Teen Program for students ages 8-18.  Students must be at least 19 to attend classes in our adult programs, but there is no upper age limit.  Why, even Methuselah himself could come in and learn to improvise!

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  • Are there scholarships or work study positions?

    We currently do not offer scholarships for our programs.

    A small number of work study positions are available.  These require five hours of work each week at the Training Center in exchange for free classes.  Work study credits may not apply toward some special workshops.  To be considered, you must be a current student in good financial standing and submit your work resume with a cover letter stating your hours of availability to the Training Center office.  Your information will be placed on file and you will be contacted for an interview if/when a position becomes available.

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  • If I need to take off a term, can I return and continue where I was?

    You mean you have something better to do?  Well, okay.  You have up to one year to return and continue with the next level in your program. (Except for Conservatory 1 and Conservatory 5A.)  If it has been longer than a year, you will need to repeat the last level you completed.  Students returning from hiatus should call the office to be placed in a class or on a waiting list.

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  • When do I pay for classes?

    Tuition fees should be paid at the time of registration in order to hold your spot in the class.  Tuition fees are non-refundable and non-transferrable.  We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover and checks.  If you pay in cash, please bring the exact amount as we may not have change.  We do not accept beads and trinkets...anymore (that’s how we lost the New York Training Center to the Dutch).

    Automated payment plans may also be available with a surcharge. Contact the office for more information.

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  • If I take classes, do I get to be a Second City cast member?

    It takes a great deal of training and experience to become a member of the Mainstage cast.  Most of the resident actors have trained and performed for a number of years before being hired by Second City.  Graduates of the Conservatory are eligible to audition for The Second City National Touring Company.  Although many of the resident company actors are graduates of the Training Center, completion of any program does not guarantee employment with the company.

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  • But wait! I already have Improv experience. Do I still need to audition for the Conservatory/Musical Improv Programs?

    If you have taken three consecutive levels at any of the following Improv schools: UCB, iOWest, Groundlings, ComedySportz, or TheatreSports, then you may skip Improv levels 1-3 and audition for the Conservatory. If you have graduated from any of the aforementioned programs, then congrats! You can enroll directly into the Conservatory Program without auditioning. Please call us directly at (323) 464-8542 so we can verify your graduate status with the other Improv schools and get you started in class. For more information about these auditions, please scroll down!

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  • Can I get more info on your Conservatory Audition policy?

    Why, yes, we’re so glad you asked! Auditions for the Conservatory Program and the Musical Improv Program are once a term. After your Conservatory audition, you may either be placed in Conservatory 1, or in Improv Level 1-3. Students auditioning for the Musical Improv Program will go through the same audition as the Conservatory students, and will either be placed in the Musical Improv Program or will be encouraged to enroll in our Intro to Musical Improv class.

    You must audition for the term in which you are planning to enroll. To talk to us more about auditioning policies or class placement, please don’t hesitate to call us at (323) 464-8542 and we’ll be happy to help you!

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