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How an Improviser Would Realistically Spend Dat $1.5 Billion Powerball Jackpot

With Wednesday night’s Powerball jackpot up to 1.5 billion dollars and counting, everyone who doesn’t hate money is buying tickets. At only two bucks a pop, it’s pretty much the only investment someone “working” in comedy can afford. While it is very, very unlikely that an improviser will be the big winner— it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t fantasize about how you’d spend all that cash.

Paying your parents back

No, seriously. Pay them back. After years of shelling out thousands of dollars so you could attend up to four different training centers at one time, it is literally the very least you could do. They were planning on using that money to put you through medical school at a middle-tier Midwestern university. Or to take a nice trip to Sanibel Island. Or to remodel their master bathroom. Not paying for improv classes.

Never taking public transit again

At least in the dead of winter. Remember that time you rode the ‘L’ to a midnight show in sub-zero temperatures and you made a deal with God that if you could just survive this endless ride on the Red Line with a creep, then you’d never masturbate again? It didn’t feel good to break that promise, did it? Well, worry no more. Soon you’ll be arriving to shows in sensible style in your used Honda Civic, and you’ll actually be able to afford all the parking tickets you inevitably accrue.

Enrolling in extra comedy classes and workshops

“Applying Commedia Dell’Arte Principles to the Modern Poop Joke” will *definitely* come in handy when you make it big! You’ll probably tell some charming anecdote about it on Kimmel one day. Worth it.

Investing in proper performance attire

Stop at an Anne Taylor LOFT, a Nordstrom Rack, hell, even a regular Nordstrom (you’re rich now!) and buy some sensible dress pants, a skirt, even a pair of kitten heels. Who cares if the pretty window display at the Anthropologie across the street distracts you and you leave to buy 1,000 teacups with kitty cats on them? You can swing it!

Eating at Chipotle five times a week instead of three

Get that guac. You know it’s extra. You’re worth it.

Seeing a gastroenterologist to cure your E. coli

See above. No free clinic or discount urgent care center for you! No sirree, Bob! You’re going to a doctor that only takes the expensive Obamacare.

Stop using your “emergency” credit card paid for by your parents

Yes, finishing your beer before intermission IS an emergency, but now it’s one you can pay for yourself. 

Treating your teammates to a fancy dinner

The best time to ask for an honest evaluation of your worth as a team member is after plying your colleagues with the finest wines, meats and cheeses.

Ordering GrubHub while drafting an email to the bank explaining how you’re having  a cash flow problem and really can’t pay your credit card balance this month

They’ll understand. They’ve dealt with lottery winners before.

Good luck, potential future billionaires. Remember, you’ve been broke before, so it’ll be okay on Thursday morning when you’re broke all over again.

_____________________________________________________

Amy Young is an improviser, actress and writer based in Chicago.  She’s a Second City Conservatory graduate and currently on tour understudying for “The Realish Housewives: A Parody.”

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Thereʼs been plenty of advice offered up on this site for the Under-30 set. Die now, live later, you say? That might be all fine and dandy, but what about the rest of us? Those sad saps who were born before 1983? Whether you like it or not, here are the hard and fast truths about aging that you need to face right now. If you are doing– or are about to do– any of the following, STOP IMMEDIATELY. You are too old, my friend.

Attend a Music Festival That Involves Camping/Swedish Electronica/Side Braids

You saw all those awesome Instagrams your friends posted from SXSW. Youʼre pumped for this summerʼs Lolla lineup. Coachella is just a few weeks away… maybe youʼll try to figure out a way to get there? NO YOU WONʼT. Itʼs crowded. Itʼs sweaty. The foot- pump-y hand washing stations outside the porta potties are always out of non-potable water. Admit that a nice brunch with good friends sounds a hell of a lot better way to spend a weekend.

Apply to Medical School

Remember that one time you so knew you had blepharitis? For years, your superior symptom-Googling gave you a certain… I dunno, air of medical quasi-authority. Donʼt pretend like applying to medical school never crossed your mind… because you still had time to consider a career change. So letʼs see. If you start now, you should be a full- fledged M.D. when youʼre about 47 or so. Or maybe marketingʼs not so bad, after all.

Get a Nose Job

Speaking of doctors…. Elective plastic surgery is only fun to fantasize about until a certain age. Then you have kids, and the thought of risking something going wrong for a smaller bump doesnʼt seem (as) worth it. Youʼre just going to just have to be satisfied with the mocked up “before and after” photo you got at that appointment you had a few years ago when you were really, really worried about that potentially deviated septum. On the bright side, once the kids get married, the window opens again– and you can get a whole new face, if youʼve invested your funds wisely.

Flirt with Guys Who Look Like Johnny Depp

Let me save you on this one. Hereʼs what you donʼt want to have happen:

YOU

(breathy whisper, to dirty-hot barista)

Wow. You look just like Johnny Depp.

BARISTA

Thank you, maʼam.

Also, donʼt forget the part where “You” are 9 1/2 months pregnant and are literally out of breath from the human in your gullet sitting on your lungs.

Change Your name to Samantha

If youʼve been holding on to this dream past the age of nine and/or the cancellation of Gimme a Break!, weʼve really gotta talk. Unless your name right now is Arnold, Ralph or Joshua, in which case, I totally support you and want you to know I just want you to be happy. Everyone deserves to live their all of dreams. Mostly.

 

Liz Kozak (Editor) is a writer in Chicago who would take commas and hyphens over cake and ice cream any day. She also contributes regularly at The Huffington Post and blogs about stuff at poseypieproductions.com. Follow Liz: @LizKoz

 

BY THE SECOND CITY | APR 5, 2013

SCTV Sneak Previews

Gene and Roger review the latest Star Wars, “Empires are a Girl’s Best Friend.”

BY THE SECOND CITY | APR 5, 2013

Your Father’s Approval, and Other Things You Should Stop Striving For.

Some people spend their entire lives chasing their fathers’ approval. From choosing which college to attend to deciding whether or not mom would like that box set of Cheers for Christmas, dads influence our every decision. Well, I’m here to tell you now: stop. Your dad is one of literally billions of people on the planet. The only thing that connects you to him is the fact that he graciously spilled his DNA in your mother one day. If you really can’t live without other people’s approval, at least make a thoughtful selection. Find a community of people that you respect and then push each other to be better, like a cult or a high school wrestling team. Here are some other things that you should stop striving for:

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-A Stress-Free CTA Ride. Yes, the CTA sucks. But looking in the direction of the next train doesn’t make it arrive faster, and working yourself into a quiet rage while squeezed between a DePaul student’s backpack and a lunatic pissing his sweatpants doesn’t get you to work any faster. Instead, force a smile and accept the CTA for what it is: a poorly-run public service.

-That Million-Dollar App Idea. You know that simple-yet-amazing iPhone app idea you have? Someone else developed it last year. Just play Powerball.

-A Full Understanding of the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. Even International Relations professors don’t know what is going on over there. Read some Wikipedia articles and call it a day.

-A Productive Day Off. So you have MLK Day off, and you’re planning on knocking out that laundry list of chores? Your bottle of Lubriderm, box of tissues, and web browser have different plans. Don’t forget to turn on “private browsing.”

-A Drinkable Beer with Fewer Than 100 Calories. No number of ads featuring giggling gal pals on a night out can change the fact that Miller64 tastes like carbonated cat urine.

-The Perfect Fedora. If Justin Timberlake looks silly wearing something, rest assured you look even sillier.

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-A Use for Your Philosophy Degree. It’s not that you’re unemployable. After all, there are lots of customer service and retail jobs available. Plus, college wasn’t a total waste of time. I’m sure you had a great time debating Ayn Rand with your buddies in the student union.

-A Valuable LinkedIn Profile. LinkedIn is an extra-boring Facebook. “I would like to add you to my professional network” might as well read “I have nothing to do today and, well, why not?”

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-Writing the Next Great American Novel. After a decade of writing sessions, all you’ve accomplished is getting the Starbucks barista to memorize your order. And she totally hates you.

-Fame. The odds of achieving this are so low it’s laughable. Just have a good time and push your kid into piano classes at age 3. You never know.

-Fortune. The odds of achieving this are so low it’s laughable. Just have a good time and push your failed musician of a child into an MBA program. You can live off him.

-Convincing People That Disagree With You On Something That You Are Correct. This sounds defeatist, but it’s really intended to save you time. You are not Noam Chomsky or Christopher Hitchens, so you don’t stand a chance. Just hang out with people who already agree with you and high-five each other constantly.

-Flossing Everyday. Every… day…

-Being Cool. Coolness is overrated and silly. You know those brooding quiet guys at the party who look super badass and complicated? Me neither, because they’re boring. Unless you’re Johnny Depp or a main character in a nouveau vampire movie, just be energetic and emotionally open. It’s way more fun.

Happy man doing push ups

-A Perfect Pushup. This is completely unattainable unless you have perfect patience and everything fun in your house perfectly breaks at the perfect time.

Occupy_630x407

-An Occupy Movement That Accomplishes Anything. I like camping too, but come on.

-A BMI in the “Healthy Range.” Diets are boring and so are conversations that revolve around them. Just put a belt on it or something if you want to feel different. You’re beautiful.

-World Peace… Ah, what the heck, we need dreams. Keep striving for this one.

 

Asher Perlman performs with iO, Second City, and Comedysportz. He also writes and performs comedy with ATV and is a winner of the Gimme 5 solo sketch competition at The Playground.

 

 

BY THE SECOND CITY | APR 4, 2013

Maribeth Monroe on No Jacket Required

This episode Chris sits down with the very hilarious Maribeth Monroe from Comedy Central’s Workaholics.

BY THE SECOND CITY | APR 4, 2013

A Word on Marriage

I didn’t change my facebook profile picture to a pink equal sign.  Don’t get me wrong I support empty gestures as much as the next guy; and there’s nothing like a picture of Ernie and Burt superimposed over parallel lines to legitimize a serious political issue.  I’m just not entirely on board with gay marriage or heterosexual marriage either.  Sure, I’m a married man (very happily if my wife is reading this) but marriage is an institution that blurs the line between Church and State.  A couple can get married in a church or a courthouse by a reverend or a judge, where else does this crossover exist?  You can’t serve your jury duty in a church choir (although that could make for an hilarious Jack McBrayer movie).  You can’t pay your taxes with prayers (I tried).

This whole debate could be clarified if the government left recognizing marriage to the churches, temples, synagogues, and covens and simply let two people of whatever gender, race, or religion merge like corporations do.  That’s basically what marriage is in the eyes of the government, isn’t it?  Two people combine their assets, tax responsibility, and such.  Taking the word “marriage” out of the equation eliminates any questions of morality and then people who did oppose gay mergers would have to come out and say, “I oppose this because I’m a hateful, ignorant, prick”.  The U.S. does not need to legislate morality, leave that to the Taliban.  So if your church is progressive and approves of gay marriage, great; if your church opposes gay marriage, fine but the male prostitute your pastor visits is free to legally spend his life with the person he loves.  That’s win-win.  I hope the day comes soon when any U.S. citizen can get down on one knee and ask the person they love, “Will you file jointly with me?”

Ed Furman is a Second City alumni and a co-founder of the Annoyance Theater. He is a playwright and co-authored the hits Co-ed Prison Slutsand Rod Blagojevich: Superstar.

BY THE SECOND CITY | APR 3, 2013

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