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March 16, 1995 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-03-16

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Prescription for
This week my column should be
ooked at as a public service message
rather than simply the break from a
stressful week that it usually is. I feel
that as a journalist it is part of my
responsibility to inform the public of
dangers that may be lurking, rather than
merely to entertain. Finding a balance
in this is a struggle that we who are
wedded to the press must face.
But I feel that I would be remiss in
y duties as a journalist if I failed to
warn you seniors out there of the

terrible affliction which is spreading
through campus like wildfire. I'm sure
this message is too late for most of
Oou, but if I can save just one life, then
I have, at least done something.
This plague I speak of is Senioritis.
I've not yet heard of a fatal case, but
nonetheless, it isn't pretty. The symp-
toms range in severity and promise to
worsen as we approach April 29. Even
juniors should beware bf this torturous
disease, for it may sneak upon you
* The outbreaks of Senioritis have
been compounded by a sudden rash of
Spring Fever. If you happen to catch
both, you are in for rough times ahead.
I knew I personally was in trouble
this past Monday. I had just finished
meeting someone for lunch, some-
thing I do with great regularity these
days, and had decided I would actu-
ally venture to class. This in and of
tself was a major decision - I am
tarting to see the importance of class
diminish in my final days as a student.
So I set off toward Angell Hall. This
route was a mistake in the first place
because it meant crossing the Diag.
Now, I don't think I have crossed the
Diag all year without running into some-
one I know and must stop to talk to. And
given that hundreds of people were
sitting there basking in the sunlight,
Were was no hope for me.
Even though I was late, I saw no
need to increase my speed much be-
yond a mosey. I mean why rush to get
to class when I was just going to take
a nap when I got there anyway?
As predicted, I ran into a friend of
mine copping a squat on a bench. Of
course, I had to stop and chat. By this
time I had completely forgotten that I
ven had a class to go to. My com-
lete and utter disregard for my schol-
arly pursuits was not even distressing
to me. I knew at this moment that I
had Senioritis and I had it bad.
Is there hope for me? Is there hope
for any of us? And do we even care?
Being a senior has definitely kept
me on a roller coaster ride of emotion
for the past few months of my life.
every day there seems to be a new
experience or worry to deal with.
Before spring break I did not han-
dle these challenges well at all. The
bleakness of an uncertain future loomed
ahead with little hope for satisfactory
resolution. But since I got away and
had alittle space to think things through,
I have shifted my paradigm on what it
means to be a senior.
We seniors are definitely going
hrough a tough transition. It is not easy
tothink about finding a job and face
leaving friends and familiar settings.
Just about now we are figuring out how
things work around the University and
now we are moving on. Senioritis merely
heightens the intensity of the emotions.
You see, one of the symptoms of
Senioritis is a tendency toward deep
philosophizing and reminiscing.
However, it seems to me that in-
Mtead of letting all of these things weigh
heavily upon our minds, we must look
toward living in the moment. We only
have afew weeks left. Wouldn'twejust
kick ourselves if we let them be filled
with worrv and anxiety?

Right: When they're not on
stage at Second City, the
Touring Company
moonlights as J. Crew
models. From left to right
(Standing) Rico Bruce
Wade, Chuck O'Connor,
David Herbst, Eric Black,
Joshua Funk; (kneeling) .
Lise Lacasse, Peter Gray,
Emily Rose Merrell.
Bottom right: Joshua Funk,
University senior and
Second City Touring
Company member

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04 4


B ill Murray, Jim Belushi, Dan
Aykroyd, Chris Farley, Gilda
Radner... They all had to start
somewlre. At one point in
their careers, before they were
unleashed - first onto the Second City stage
and eventually to the rest of the world - they
had to hone their craft. Their specialized brand
of comedy was improvisation. And though it
appears spontaneous, "improv" is actually one
of the actor's most difficult assignments, and no
actor is incredible from day one.
With this in mind, The Second City in the
Motor City held a set of auditions towards the
end of last year. From a group of nearly 250
hopefuls, eight astonished actors were chosen
for Detroit's first-ever Second City Touring
The Touring Company's responsibilities
are still growing, but they will act, primarily,
as a mobile comedy unit that can be hired out
for public appearances, spreading the gospel
of the Second City to those that are unaware,
unreachable, or unwilling to travel to Detroit
to see the main company.
The audition process to find the lucky
eight was long and tedious. The actors had to
demonstrate a capacity for improv comedy, the
ability to get along well in a group, and the skills
to complement the other members of the com-
The first day of auditions, groups of six
were called in to do 45 minutes of straight
improv; from that group 40 people were called
back for another six straight hours of improv.
Once again, the group was thinned, and fi-
nally 20 hopefuls did improv for nearly seven
straight hours until the final eight cast mem-
bers were chosen.
The University was represented well at these
auditions, with eight students making the first cut
and three making it to the final 20. Of those three,
two made the company: Eric Black, a '94 BFA
Theatre alum, and Joshua Funk, a BFA Musical
Theatre major who will graduate this May.

The main stage IS like an actor's or an
artist's wet dream"
- Joshua Funk,
University senior and Second City Touring Company actor

After receiving the call, Funk was stunned.
"The reason I got into theater is because of
Second City," he said. "I was in shock for a
couple of days. I had to have some friends slap
me around for a while."
Getting into the company was only the
first step in a long and, at times, burdensome
journey..While what the actors do on stage on a
S.C. puts new S
By J. David Berry
For the Daily.
When you put eight young, extremely.
talented and funny individuals, a great pia-
nist, and some of the best scenes Second ity
has ever turned out on the same stage, you're
bound to have an incredible evening of c'om-
edy. This stunning combination is just what
Second City in the Motor City has found in its
newly formed Second City Touring Com-
pany, performing every Tuesday night on the
main stage.
While the material is classic Second City,
the company takes scenes from the Chicago
and Toronto locales, gives them a Detroit
spin, and updates them for a '90s audience..
Though some might question tampering with
proven success, the, updates and additions
only make the material relevant for the D
troit audience. You can almost feel the spirits.
of such Second City greats as Gilda Radner,
John Candy and Jim Belushi handing off the
proverbial comedic torch and sending this
new group of upstarts forward with the old

daily basis looks like spontaneous and zany fun,
a lot of work goes in to making it look easy.
The new cast, primarily strangers, spent the
first two months together, nearly every day.
They ate together, discovered Detroit together,
and got to know everything about each other.
All the while, they were improv-ing and writing
scenes, sifting through old Second City scripts,
in on classics
crew's blessings.
Most impressive is the way this group
has woven the seemingly disconnected
scenes together into a fast-paced show
without any breaks or pauses in the action.
Attacking from all sides - literally and
figuratively - there's barely enough room
for a catch-breath before turning around
to see what's coming next. The comedy
flows seamlessly from one punch line to
the next setup, giving the appearance that
these scenes were together from the start.
In one sequence, three red-neck custom-
ers in a Tennessee diner discuss the philoso-
phy behind killing a bug. The bug gets
squashed, and it turns out that all of civiliza-
tion was just a figment of the bug's imagina-
We then zoom ahead hundreds of years.
and meet two cockroaches (cockroaches be-
ing the only life form which survived the
earth's destruction), As the pair excavates the
See TOURING. Page 8:

and forming a union that would translate well to
the stage.
Fortunately, all of their hard work has paid
off. The Touring Company is traveling to
businesses and entertaining at important meet-
ings. (They recently did a show for Oldsmobile
focusing on the Aurora.) More importantly,
they get an opportunity to perform their "Best
of Second City" show every Tuesday night on
the main stage. (See review, inset.) Future
plans include a hopeful tour of Michigan
cities, possibly as soon as September.
Most importantly, however, are the future
prospects for the Touring Company mem-
bers. "We get all this experience, all this
training, and our next step is the main stage,"
said Funk. Whether or not the big move comes
next week or next year, the management at
Second City has a lot of interest in the future
of these new performers.
While the main stage cast is primarily the
same as it was in September '93, Second City's
opening, the time will come when main stage
cast members decide to move on. Once they do,
some well-practiced, talented, and eager re-
placements will be ready to jump in. "The main
stage is like an actor's or an artist's wet dream,"
attested a desirous Funk, "You get to write your
own stuff, act it, and direct it."
Dreams don't end there, however. Future
prospects also involve the possibility of doing
a Detroit-based comedy show for TV, and of
course, acknowledgment from someone higher
up who could further the cast's careers.
Move to catch this group soon, because
you'd be hard pressed to find a better evening
of comedy, or a more engaging and lively
cast. Funk summed up the Touring Company
best when he said, "It's six bucks, it's cheap. So
take a date - take someone - and have the
time of your life."
For a schedule of times, prices and
directions to the Touring Company and the
Main stage show; see page 6.



Third revue still Second to none

,.. . 111111111P TWIN

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