Let me just cut to the obvious before I start breaking this down like the last five minutes of an episode of “Full House” when good ol’ Danny Tanner teaches all of the people a valuable life lesson, with the typical ‘90s background music to complete the set.
“Now, Uncle Jesse, cut off that mullet. You look like a Shetland pony. DJ, stop getting eating disorders for 7 hours and dramatically fainting on treadmills. Kimmy, stop breathing. And Michelle, go sit in the corner. Man, guys. I really think we learned a valuable lesson today…”
So. I’m leaving Chicago. In two days.
Yeah, I know?! It’s a very weird situation. It’s on par with watching a dog walk on its hind legs. Or me giving up peanut butter forever.
And I wish I could figure out an easy way to describe the reasons why I’m leaving. It’s not because I’m lonely or I don’t have friends or any other subject that might be what most emo-poems are based off of. Not at all. ‘Cause I actually have made quite a few friends since I’ve been here and gallivanting through the city has actually been quite fun, although it is more fun and less loner-y to have someone to explore it with you.
No, it’s more like this overwhelming feeling of “THIS IS WRONG. DO NOT PASS GO. DO NOT COLLECT $200” is flashing around in my brain like strobe lights at a European Discotheque. It’s this feeling that hey, I really enjoy this place but I really am here at the wrong time in my life.
I’m nineteen, after all. The youngest person in my Second City Improv acting class. There is no rush for me to be here. No reason for me to rush out of school to come here. It’s not like SNL will suddenly be let to sail the seas on an ice-floe within the next two years that I need to rush myself up here.
Especially since that being here has made me realized how much of a hardcore nerd I am that I really, really want to go back to school.
And if this picture doesn’t prove that, I don’t know what will. Yes, that is me in ((** Da LiBrArY Of MaH Dr3Amz**)) at UChicago. And I reaaaally tried to suppress my squeals as I entered it.
Because this trip made me realize a lot of things and, as I’m sure some people expect me to, I really don’t regret this little trip at all because…
-It was just a really long, weird, awkward,yet fun and hilarious vacation when it comes down to it.
-I have SO MUCH MATERIAL FOR STAND-UP now. So much. Including moments of the last two weeks where :
1. I was asleep on the floor in my room and overheard, for lack of less dirty terms, moments that Barry White and Marvin Gaye would’ve liked to have sung background music to in the room next door.On my second day here. And oh yes, it was awkward.
2. Incredibly ridiculous amounts of delusional, drunk screaming in Polish until 3 a.m. as I am still trying to sleep on the aforementioned floor.
3. Sitting next to a neo-Nazi calling this poor black man a “filthy cockroach” for 20 minutes on the El. Yeah, that wasn’t freaky or horrible at all.
4. Most Chicago train stations are really speedy and efficient and actually kind of fun to go on. But they ALL also smell like a combination of freshly-baked chocolate chip cookies, poop, and hairspray. Yes, I have tried to find out why this is.
– I also realized how much life is better when you eat at Panera Bread almost every day and finally order tomato soup in a bread bowl. Why did it take me nineteen years to learn this?
– I’m not ready for big-girl pants, even though this trip really confirmed that Improv acting and comedy are what I want to do. Like I said, I’m nineteen. I have plenty of time to come to Tina-Fey-dom. And it doesn’t always have to be on some set path, like I’ve come to believe from obsessively studying the Wikipedia pages of all SNL cast members. Not everyone has to go through the same path in order to get there. I’ll be back in Chicago some day, but just not right now. No need to rush it.
-I love Second City. And I’m also pretty sure that one day I’ll become that place’s extremely creepy and clingy lover. It’s amazing. And I just can’t say how much it lived up to my expectations. The feeling from Second City was on par with my tomato-soup-in-a-bread-bowl epiphany. For now, I just want to figure out what school I want to go to and go from there. No rush. ‘Cause rushing gets you nowhere and I’m pretty sure I came to Chicago due to my frustration with the academics at my other school. I still really want to do some sort of fusion of writing, linguistics, and theatre as a major, and that was kind of shot down at my other school by my advisor. Thus a very angst-ridden Mackenzie decided to use up all of her “Frivolous Teenage Decision” cards all in one go. No regrets. Just a realization.
And I’m truly happy with this decision. So happy. Not only because this gives me about 39067948698745 new pieces of material for stand-up, but also because it has given me another chapter in my expectedly ridiculous memoir one day. That chapter will obviously be called:
“Why screams in Polish, sleeping on hardwood floors, and Chicagoan tomato bread bowl soups got me on ‘SNL’ “
And hopefully it will be as cool and ridiculous as Steve Martin’s “Born Standing up”.
‘Cause seriously, that book’s basic doctrine is that it’s okay to screw up, make terrible jokes, wear bunny ears, travel the country without knowing anything or anyone, and be an all-around “wild and craaaaazy guy” and still making something of yourself.
And that concludes “Deep Thoughts with Mackenzie” for the day.