STACEY SMITH JOINS THE BOOM CHICAGO CAST
I met Boom Chicago’s newest cast member, Stacey Smith, about a year ago when we brought her in to give the then cast a workshop in musical improv comedy. At the time, the cast and I were in a brutal show process. We were meeting every day from 11:00am to about 3:00am to write and rehearse a new show, perform and stay late for notes nearly every day. The last thing we wanted to do was a musical improv workshop (or anything requiring the least bit of extra energy). I can only imagine what Stacey was thinking when she laid eyes on us. Nevertheless she persisted. And, really, she didn’t even skip a beat. We were immediately swept up in the Stacejam (title of her one woman improvised musical that will blow your mind). Within minutes we were all cracking up and belting out hilarity at the top of our lungs. That workshop, to this day, is one of the highlights of my entire 2018.
Since then, I have had the pleasure of watching Stacey in her amazing, above mentioned, one-woman musical improv comedy show, Stacejam. She made weaving together three separate loveable characters, each with their own show-stopping song, look easy and had me beside myself cracking up.
And now, I get to share the stage with Stacey at Boom Chicago! I can’t wait to play and to get to know her better. I figured you all would be jealous as hell of me so I asked her some things I was curious about to share with you.
Check it out! Stacey Smith, ya’ll:
What got you into improv comedy?
I grew up doing scripted theater (mostly musical theater) and always got cast as the comic relief. So while I was in college, I read thousands of biographies on autobiographies on the women I really admired and their journeys all pointed me towards Chicago. So I took a class at Second City because they had.
What do you love the most about improv comedy?
It sounds cliche, but I love fun. I love being able to invoke the childlike wonderment within me to play with my friends for any length of time.
You excel at musical improv comedy, do you have a background with music or did you learn via improvising?
I’ve been a musician my whole life. Woodwinds, specifically. I play clarinet, bass clarinet, tenor and soprano sax. I played all through college and even studied music in college. I was the biggest band geek in the entire world. The only time I ever skipped a class was to practice my clarinet. I didn’t sing or find my voice really until after college. Being an alto, there’s not a ton of roles for you. So I sang in chorus, show choir and in the school musicals. And I was bass in an all-female a cappella group. But that was my extend of knowing anything about these sweet secret pipes. When I moved to Chicago, I took musical improv classes simultaneously with regular improv courses and realised that I had more to uncover. I’ve been belting since.
You’ve been to the Netherlands before, what’s your favourite thing about it?
Mini stroopwafels and the endless amount of bridges. I feel so romantic in Amsterdam.
Who’s your favourite Boom Chicago alumnus?
I have the pleasure of being friends with many Boom alumni, so I feel like it’s cheating to say them (although shout-out to Sam Super who I am onstage with weekly in Chicago and who’s a literal dream scene partner). I had the opportunity to play with Amber Ruffin a few years ago in Omaha (random) and I’m a big fan of her work. She’s lovely, playful and insanely talented.
Multiple choice; Who’s your favourite current Boom Chicago Actor?
A: Lizz Kemery
B: Lizz Kemery
C: Lizz Kemery
Lizz Kemery. Hands down.
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
I’m unfortunately/fortunately an open book. I collected dinner bells as a kid and broke my nose on a guardrail trying to “skateboard” with a sneaker on one foot and a roller blade on the other.
Top 3 people at a dinner party and why? Amy Sedaris. Lucille Ball. Miss Piggy. My heroes.
What you’ll miss the most about Chicago?
So many things. But mostly my students, the one good bagel place and my cast-mates on Musical Armando and Deltones.
Any other question you want to answer?
Yes, my fiancé is messy. But boy do I love that guy.
Stacey Smith’s Bio
Stacey Smith is a loud Long Islander who’s home base for the past decade has been Chicago. Stacey currently teaches at Second City and iO, and performs weekly at iO in The Musical Armando and The Deltones. She has been the Training Center director at both ComedySportz Chicago and ImprovBoston. Stacey performed in many theatricals at The Second City, including Life Hacks, #DateMe and two cruise contracts on The Norwegian Breakaway.
Stacey recently toured her solo musical improv show STACEJAM and taught musical improv in Bulgaria, Germany, Amsterdam, Greece, Belgium, France, Norway, Italy, Denmark and Estonia. She’s been lucky enough to headline comedy festivals all over the globe, playing alongside many famous comedians and actors like Amber Ruffin, Mary Holland, Seth Morris, Kevin McDonald, Chris Redd, Terry O’Quinn and Dickie Smothers. She is also the creator of The Chicago Musical Improv Festival. Stacey has had the distinct honor of auditioning for SNL twice. To find out if she was hired, watch tv or check out www.staceysmithcomedy.com
|by Lizz Kemery
Lizz Kemery is a comedian, actor, writer and true crime aficionado. She studied improv comedy at The Groundlings, The Upright Citizens Brigade and The Free Association. Originally from Philadelphia, she has also performed in Los Angeles, London and finally here in Amsterdam.
She was a reoccurring guest player with London super group – Shoot From The Hip and member of their sister troupe Sweet Nelson – teaching workshops all over the world including places like London and Istanbul.