Lauren Corl is a student of The Torch Theatre‘s training center in Phoenix where she also performs with Adult Bakery. She’s in Chicago for the summer with her Adult Bakery compatriots Maria Konopken and Chris Hooper, taking the improv intensive at iO Chicago in Wrigleyville. The Torch Theatre’s 4721 Blog is happy to have her take on her Chicago experiences!
Goodbye Dry Heat, Hello Humidity
by Lauren Corl
As I enter the Del Close Theater at iO, I feel like it’s a flashback to college. Everyone’s crammed into a tight space, it’s sweaty, and I feel anxious. I’m hoping this summer intensive is everything I’ve imagined and more.
Over a year ago, I began taking improv classes at The Torch. I’ve moved through Levels 1 to 5 and have loved every minute of it. What I appreciate most about Torch is the instant sense of community you feel. Even as a beginner I felt support and encouragement. Walking into iO, I wondered will I fit in? Will people like me?? Will I like them???
After a morning of orientation and pizza, I finally get to meet the people I will be spending the next five weeks with. I’m in a class of 16 students; most are in the age range of 20 to 25. I think, “Great, I’m the oldest person here — cue the Price is Right loser horn.” It seemed like everyone was talking about what college the we’re currently going to, or where they just graduated from. And I’m like, “College, yeah I graduated … seven years ago!” I thought of what my college self would think of the me now with my sensible walking shoes and the lack of the want to party — BORING!
Then, with the help of fellow Torchie Maria Konopken, I remembered my improv education. I needed to stop judging the situation and myself. Judging myself and others will only lead to a subpar experience and limit my growth. Once I came to this realization, my experience in the class shifted. I saw that no one cared if I was older, and I enjoyed my classmates youthful imagination. Huge sigh of relief, cue the winner sound.
This first week as a whole has been amazing. Our teacher, Charlie McCrackin, was great at going over basics and pointing out our areas for improvement. It was fun to watch someone do The Invocation for their first time. My first invocation I thought “What the hell is going on?” I was glad to see I’m not alone. The iO shows have really blown me away; the talent here is beyond. My favorite thus far has been Blessing with Blaine Swen and Susan Messing. The two have great chemistry and even greater characters. I was laughing hysterically when a scene about a young girl who just lost her mother devolved; they’re that good.
To sum it up, my summer in Chicago has had a great start and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next.