A University of Texas at Dallas alumna has taken her penchant for comedy and improvisation to Los Angeles, where she is honing her craft through classes at The Groundlings Theatre & School.
Emily Joyce enjoys comedy and hopes to make it to a big stage where she can impact a lot more people.
Along with The Second City and a few others, The Groundlings is known for the development of some of the best comedy talents in the country. Including:
Will Ferrell (“Saturday Night Live”)
Will Forte (“Saturday Night Live”)
Ana Gasteyer (“Saturday Night Live”)
Rachael Harris (“Reno 911!”)
Phil Hartman (“Saturday Night Live”)
Cheryl Hines (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”)
Chris Kattan (“Saturday Night Live”)
Lisa Kudrow (“Friends”)
Jon Lovitz (“Saturday Night Live”)
Melissa McCarthy (“Mike and Molly”)
Laraine Newman (“Saturday Night Live”)
Cheri Oteri (“Saturday Night Live”)
Chris Parnell (“Saturday Night Live”)
Jim Rash (“Community”)
Maya Rudolph (“Saturday Night Live”)
Julia Sweeney (“Saturday Night Live”)
Kristen Wiig (“Saturday Night Live”)
“I am an entirely silly person; I just have a knack for making people laugh,” she said.
“A person who wants a career in comedy has to look at places such as The Groundlings, Second City or Upright Citizens Brigade. ‘Saturday Night Live’ pulls from these places, so if you want to be a writer or performer with ‘SNL’, then you have to look into these places.”
While Joyce had learned a lot about theater before she attended UT Dallas, it was at UTD where she discovered her love for improv.
The competitive program, with admission by audition, consists of five levels: basic, intermediate, advanced improv, writing lab, and advanced lab. The ultimate level is the Main Company — performing as The Groundlings — which is composed of no more than 30 members at any time.
“Getting through these classes, you’re learning a ton. It’s a quick pace, but they want to make sure people are ready to handle that kind of work,” she said.
Joyce recently finished the advanced improv class and is preparing for the writing lab. At the same time, like many aspiring performers, she works on the side to make ends meet. But she said she is committed to the process.
“There are only so many places that are going to sit you down and teach you and not give you the runaround,” she said. “This place will make you work for it and make you work hard. Groundlings is one of the places that gives you a higher percentage of succeeding.
“The Groundlings is really for me; I feel it’s what I’m meant to do.”
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