‘The Second City: The Essentially Accurate History’ is an essential new read.
No matter what stage of life you’re in, an improv class is guaranteed to magically transform you into a better person overnight. I’ve just finished my first fundamentals class, and already I’ve developed superpowers I never knew could be all mine.
I have become a human lie detector
Improv teaches people to actively listen to their scene partner in order to react authentically to them. In six short weeks, I have become so good at this that I can hear a person’s heartbeat from over ten feet away and determine if they are telling the truth. It works wonders for knowing if my friends thought my student showcase set was funny.
If I snap my fingers, I turn into the Dalai Lama
In order to execute a successful improv scene, one must focus on being fully present with their scene partner. Improv has given me the power to live my life entirely in the moment, which has ended my internal suffering and transformed me into a fully-enlightened Zen master.
By saying “YES,” I can alter the very fabric of reality
Life is one big improv scene, isn’t it? I used to drive a Subaru hatchback to my Level 1 class. Now that I’m in Level 2, I make my commute atop a magical rainbow pegasus that runs on imagination juice.
I speak to the forest creatures
Improv has re-awakened the inner child within me and has given me the power to revert to a state of pure innocence and bliss. In this state of immaculate purity, I can walk through the forest and speak to the birds and squirrels, who lovingly perch themselves on my arms and entrust me with their secrets.
I have mastered the power of suggestion
If you’re 100% committed to your choices onstage, your audience will accept them as true–no matter how zany the idea is. I am an angry little space hotdog…
…or am I?
I am a sex god
I no longer need to wear Axe body spray, because the confidence I have gained from fully embracing the moment has made me irresistible to the opposite sex. Six weeks ago, the very thought of talking to an attractive stranger made my palms sweat. Now, if I wink at them from across Starbucks, they instantly experience earth-shattering orgasms.
Del Close speaks to me in my dreams
I made my teacher laugh in my class last week. Since then, every night when I’ve gone to sleep, improv guru Del Close has appeared before me in a savanna deep in the African Serengeti. Backlit by a crimson sunset, his face materializes from the swirling clouds, and he tells me that I’m going to be on SNL.
And with that, I’m off to sign up for Level 3… and fire my therapist.
Want superpowers of your very own?! Sign up for a class with The Second City Training Center.
David Calkins (@dav_calkins) is a comedian and humor writer living in Portland, OR. He currently spends most of his time at the Brody Theater, where he performs improv and seeks constant validation from others.