About once a week the Second City teaches a workshop for folks aged 13 – 17 in the Teen Club. The Teen Club is a hilariously decorated place, with “things” on the wall that “teens” would think are “cool.”
For example, the walls are covered in tagging – words like “Bodacious” and “Keeping it Real” don the walls in the same style as “Latin Kings” would don the overpass of a highway. I’m sure they paid an artist thousands of dollars to do what a 12-year old kid does for free everyday.
Thinking I was doing a nice service, during our improv set the night before the workshop I happily wore my Kid’s Club shirt (colored for me by the lovely Youth Counselor, Junkyard) during my intro and plugged the workshop, saying it was open to 10 – 17 year olds. Oops!
We decided to just go with the flow and do the workshop with the big age gap between some of the participants.
Guess what? It ruled. It was awesome to see these kids/young adults play so well together. And the greatest thing about kids is that they aren’t self-conscious enough to worry about being funny. In essence, kiddies are the best improvisers because their responses are pure reactions to what has just been said. They aren’t really into being clever or impressive. Yet. It was evident what puberty and a few years of high school will do to your ability to not care what other people think.
The funniest workshop participant by far was this adorable, tow-headed 10 year old, pictured here doing a game called, “Conducted Story.” I was the conductor and the rules are when I point to you, you must speak, and the group works together to tell a story.
This kid did this Dr. Phil/Oprah thing that was so funny that he looked shocked at how much we all were laughing. Because he didn’t think it was funny. He was just responding to what the previous person had said and logically followed it up. It killed.
I hope he never grows up. Improv-wise.