I had my good friend John visit a few weeks ago, and while he was here we got along to the Chicago rendition of Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s religious satire The Book of Mormon. There were elements of South Park in there, but ever so slight. It really is a departure from their overarching crude style we’ve become accustomed to, in favor of a more family friendly crude style.Last Friday, my friend Garret—an actor training at The Second City—texted me last minute to say they were having a Q&A session at school with Nic Rouleau and Ben Platt, the two leads from The Book of Mormon. With only a matter of weeks to go until the end of the semester, we’re in the depths of final assignments, but this was an opportunity I was going to make time for.
I hadn’t yet been to The Second City, so that in itself was also a big deal. I’m a big fan of Tina Fey, not jut for her performance, but also as a writer/producer. Having created and acted as showrunner on 30 Rock, she has one of my many ideal careers. She is a mere fraction of the talent that has gone through The Second City doors. It was inspiring even to walk around the building, and despite the main stage being empty, the room still harbored an energy, remnant of the performances that had passed through the stage in it’s fifty-four years, that I couldn’t help but feel steeped in and inspired by.[flickr id=”8683295663″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]
The Q&A was on a different stage, and the guys were as impressive as the surrounds. There, on stage, the utterly charismatic twenty-four-year-old Nic and equal-parts funny and humble nineteen-year-old Ben made me question what I had done at such a young age. Their talent, drive, and humor was infectious; they charmed the room, and had us laughing almost as much as we did during the show itself. When asked how they feel when an offended audience member gets up and leaves during the show, Nic comically offered that he ‘sees it as a small victory.’ And with that, they were whisked back to the theatre for that night’s performance. I left feeling all the more inspired by the guys and the surrounds, and with a massively renewed sense of motivation.
If you have even half the chance, go see these guys at work.