Steve and I both were hired by the Second City National Touring Company after we did our stint on the ship. It is something that both of us have wanted to do since we were wee. The Touring Company has a website (www.sctourco.com) and encourages its members to contribute to the content. For example, sometimes we donate .jpegs of us on the road - like this gem of myself in Edmonds, Washington (not quite Olympia, I know) meeting RICK STEVES, the travel guru who purred into my ear buds as I listened to his podcasts about Turkey and Italy and beyond while I was on the ship.
They have a section called "What's It Like to..." and they asked me to write a bit for it. Here was my question:
"So Katie, what's it like to... Travel and live with 7 other people for extended periods of time?"
And here is my answer:
I know You. You love The Second City with all your being. You think it is the End-All-Be-All of Comedy. You know that no other institution boasts such an esteemed roster of Comedians. You know Your life will have reached an apex if You were ever to be a performer in the Second City Tradition. And You know one of the first steps in reaching that apex is to wrangle a spot on the Second City Touring Company.
And if this doesn’t describe You, thanks for actually reading this, Mom*!
Dude, I have some news for you: Being a member of The Second City Touring Company is…well…What It Is.
Listen - I am in no way trying to detract from the opportunity I have been given, but let’s be real for a second. My job is to tool around the country in a van with seven folks who have nothing to do with me except that we share a common Bottom Line. Seven random people that I hadn’t really interacted with prior to our first rehearsal together.
This isn’t a Real World-type situation where you get to live, rent-free, in a palatial loft in an urban paradise with these seven strangers. Granted, sometimes you get to go on some killer trips (Vienna, anyone?) But, a lot of the time you get to stay in motels in towns the size of your college Physics class. And not a major university Physics class – a small, Liberal Arts Physics class.
In short, you get stuck with another Family. Another freaking Family that you didn’t have a lick in choosing.
And you can’t move out of this Family’s house. In fact, when you are Touring, you have to live with, eat with, work with, cry with, laugh with, drink with, fight with, play with, write with, compose with, and create with the human beings that the Touring Company Gods of Fate have brought you.
Sometimes you are stuck for 8.5 hours in a van with people who flaunt their staunch Republican values (Tim Sniffen*), or pass gas openly and with gusto (Brian Jack*), or talk too much and too loudly about inane things in the most intolerable, high-pitched, grating voice imaginable (Katie Rich*). And you want to murder those people as soon as you get to the next rest stop.
But, when you’re on stage all of that B.S. doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is the Work.
Here’s the beautiful, gorgeous, tremendous Bottom Line that we all share - The members of the Second City Touring Company have been picked to do a very unique and important job – To Remind People That Life is Funny. And, in the end, when it really counts, we all have each other’s backs.
If that’s not the definition of Family, then I don’t know what is.
(Here is my Touring Company - called The Blue company, or BlueCo - at a very Family-Friendly destination - Mt. Rushmore.)
*Names haven’t been changed at all.