BWW Interview: Emily Fightmaster at NJPAC in Second City's PAVED AND CONFUSED 2 on 10/29
Just in time for Election Day, Chicago's legendary Second City returns to New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC) on Saturday, October 29th for "Paved and Confused 2: Please Don't Feed the Candidates." This biting and hilarious comedy show is a funny, fast-paced look at this year's campaign circus, New Jersey life and the politics that play into it.
The show is directed by Ryan Archibald with musical direction by Mary Mahoney. The Second City troupe of six includes four women and two men. The cast includes Ryan Asher, Emily Fightmaster, Lauren Krabacher, Carley Moseley, Jeffrey Murdoch and Scott Nelson. Broadwayworld.com had the pleasure of interviewing Emily Fightmaster about her career and the upcoming show at NJPAC.
Emily left her hometown of Cincinnati to study at the Second City and DePaul University in Chicago. She just returned from a year at Boom Chicago, a comedy theatre in Amsterdam. She is a proud member of the cast of Burlesque is More at the Annoyance Theatre, plays guitar and piano for her two-person musical sketch group, Coffee Boy, and has traveled coast-to-coast with her two-woman improv troupe, Mr. Beaver.
We asked Emily when she first realized her comedic ability. She said, "I spent two decades being just OK at everything else. I realized I was happiest making people laugh and being the idiot. I love people and comedy is great for group dynamics."
We wondered who encouraged Emily's career. She told us that her mom has always been her best friend and she spent a lot of time as a child hanging out with her mother's friends. "Making adults laugh when you are a kid means everything. My mom and her friends gave me a plenty of positive feedback."
Another one of Emily's important mentors was Sue Gillan. Gillan is an alumnus of Second City and was also the director of the Boom Chicago revue, New Kids on the Gracht. "Without Sue, I would not be the performer I am now. She is a great friend and director."
With a heated election, the Second City Show at NJPAC is being performed at a very critical time. Emily told us her impressions of the upcoming presidential race. "We're not voting for a party, we're voting for a person. This show in particular is a brainchild of all of our frustrations with this election." She told us that the show is very left-leaning, and purposefully so. "This is not a normal election. It is a presidential contest between a woman and a racist."
However, the show will definitely appeal to a broad audience. Emily stated, "Our job is to be creative with the material in this election. We want an audience on both sides of the aisle to come together through laughter. We are at NJPAC to make them laugh about the world we share."
We asked Emily for some advice for aspiring comedians. "You can't just be funny. You have to be polished."
About Second City
The Second City opened its doors on a snowy Chicago night in December of 1959, and has since grown to become the world's premier Comedy Club, theatre and school of improvisation-with live shows every night in Chicago, Toronto and Hollywood. Bernard Sahlins, Howard Alk and Paul Sills, son of teacher Viola Spolin, founded the theater as a place where scenes and story were created improvisationally, using techniques that grew out of the innovative techniques Spolin developed and taught. The Second City chose its self-mocking name from the title of an article about Chicago by A. J. Liebling that appeared in The New Yorker in 1952.
Andrew Alexander and his recently deceased partner Len Stuart acquired The Second City in 1987. Andrew Alexander has helmed the Second City for 42 years and has produced television programs in both the United States and Canada including "SCTV," "Second City Presents" and "Next Comedy Legend." Since its debut, The Second City has been a launching pad for comedians, actors, directors and others working in show business. Notable alumni include Alan Arkin, Dan Aykroyd, James Belushi, John Belushi, John Candy, Steve Carell, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Dratch, Chris Farley, Tina Fey, Jeff Garlin, Ian Gomez, Bonnie Hunt, Richard Kind, Eugene Levy, Jane Lynch, Andrea Martin, Jack McBrayer, Tim Meadows, Bill Murray, Mike Myers, Catherine O'Hara, Gilda Radner, Harold Ramis, Joan Rivers, Amy Sedaris, Martin Short, George Wendt and Fred Willard, among many others.
You can follow Emily Fightmaster on social media, Twitter and Instagram: @erfightmaster
Second City's "Paved and Confused 2: Please Don't Feed the Candidates" will be performed at New Jersey Performing Arts Center's Victoria Theater on Saturday, October 29th at 3:00 pm and 8:00 pm. For more information and ticketing, visit: http://www.njpac.org/events/detail/second-citys-paved-confused-2-please-dont-feed-the-candidates.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Emily Fightmaster