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Second City Level A Improv Class Intensive, Toronto, Canada

A good sense of humour is deemed by many to be one of the sexiest attributes of all. The ability to make others laugh at the realities of life, provide distraction from daily stressors and create a feel good experience is a true gift.

For many years I have wanted to take an Improv class to flex my humour muscle, challenge myself and become more comfortable being spontaneous so my daughter and I registered together for a unique bonding experience. At first glance the numerous interactive exercises appeared to be designed to break down inhibitions, promote comfort when risk taking, build team spirit and create a safe place to let loose. Yet Improv is so much more than simply learning techniques. It fosters a solid foundation for self acceptance and healthy relationships. Our amazing instructor, Lisa Merchant, stated that “Improv could save the world” and it did not take long to understand exactly what she meant. The ability to laugh at oneself, live in the moment, stray away from planning our actions and responses, demonstrating unconditional trust, acceptance and support, and the ability to take a leadership or follower role when needed are traits that if embraced would make the world a much better place.

Looking down at the small piece of wooden stage brought to the new training centre from the origin building, standing where some of the most famous talent in the world began, was a humbling experience. Donating money into the bucket at the end of the Second City performance, in honour of Gilda’s Club, served was a reminder that our love for such talented artists can live on forever as we pay tribute to their legacy.

PROS:

  • My instructor, Lisa Merchant, was absolutely amazing creating a safe place to take risks while also pushing us out of our comfort zone.
  • The activities were naturally progressive and varied from class to class.
  • There was a fun, challenging and supportive environment within the group providing the opportunity to learn with like-minded people.
  • The hours in the Level A Intensive Improv class were manageable and would allow for a short commute if necessary.
  • The Second City Training Centre is in a central, easily accessed location.
  • Our class ended with a field trip to watch a live performance on the Second City Main Stage. Note: The 2 pictures of the stage were graciously provided by Second City and highlight the skilled photography of Kirsten Miccoli.

CONS:

  • There are many levels for some courses so completion of the full series could become financially onerous.
  • Courses are only available at limited locations.
  • Due to the great deal of activity and standing in the class it could prove to be demanding for those with any physical restrictions.

THE VERDICT:

I would give Second City Training Centre a 5 out of 5 rating citing the skilled instructors, central location, weekly / weekend / online options, variety of classes with progressive levels, and the overall atmosphere of having the opportunity to spend time where the greatest comedians in the world were trained. Not only do you have the opportunity to learn more about yourself but also to develop skills that can foster better relationships in your personal and professional life.

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