It’s all about the journey: graduating from iO

As of yesterday, August 19, 2012, I’ve officially graduated from iO, an improv comedy theater in Chicago. This past year has been some of the most fun I have ever had in my life. I have met the greatest people and had amazing experiences with each and every one of them. It was through this place that I met friends I know I’ll be friends with for the rest of my life. Sounds sappy, but it’s true. I look up to the people I share the stage with as I look at each one of them and think “can I ever be that talented?” I’m a true believer in the concept that ‘everything happens for a reason.’ Had I not gone to this place, my life would be drastically different. I would be on a different path. I strongly encourage people to take classes because you can never stop learning. If you think you know it all, you’re sadly mistaken.

I love the different responses you get when you tell someone you do comedy. “Oh you’re a comedian, tell me a joke.” “Oh you have to pay to be funny?” It’s ignorant. I typically disregard these comments even though I want to respond with “what do you do for a living? Oh, you work at a restaurant, make me something to eat!” I didn’t decide to take classes to be funny. I took classes because I was trying to meet people that I shared a common interest with. And…I needed something to do. Sitting in the house every day with nothing to do is enough to drive you insane. “No TV and No BEER make Homer go crazy!”

I waited some time after college to finally muster the courage to sign up for my first class at iO. To be honest, I was terrified. I had butterflies in my stomach and couldn’t stop thinking “what if they don’t like me?” It was freshman year of high school all over again. In my head, I imagined everyone just staring at me confused after I said anything. As if I was an alien speaking a foreign language. However, I quickly realized that going to iO was like being in an special club together. We were all there for the same reason. We like to make people laugh. Sure, you have the people who say “I wanna be on SNL” or “I want to be famous.” If that’s your goal, then good-luck. All the power to you. That’s not my goal though. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t, great. I just like making people laugh. It’s as simple as that.

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