USC Digital Folklore Archives / Posts Tagged ‘UCB’
Game

Second city and UCB Improv Schools

Informant:

Cameron is an avid improviser who specializes in long form improvisation.

Piece:

There are two main improv schools that teach the craft and those are Second City and the UCB but they both have very different styles. UCB is game based which means that basically they focus more on finding an action or phrase to be funny and then heightening that and using that to make the scene funny. Whereas with second nature they are super character driven and focus on making compelling characters, not really on the action of the scene itself. And I tend to think that ummm Second City has the better format and style, but at the same time Second City uses improv as a means to the ends of writing sketch scenes. But I think that improv can be an ends itself. But overall i think both schools have a lot of good skills that are worth taking.    

 

Collector’s thoughts:

Both schools have tried to, in one way or another, write canonized rules for an improv scene. In doing so they claim that they are able to create the best Improv scenes and have the best style. The reality though is that many improvisers take classes from both schools in order to be well balanced in different techniques. Improvisers take notes and ideas from everywhere and use these to synthesize themselves as a unique improviser.

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