My Second City Dream

Watch Pinky get accepted!

Who I Am

My name is Jon, and yes, it is unfortunately short for Jonathan. I grew up in Utah, the Mormon capital of the world, which would have been really awesome if I had been Mormon.  I went to a traditional university, then dropped out, because I thought, "Why shouldn't I get a loan for something that I'm never going to use?" I moved to Los Angeles and did standup for a couple years, writing and performing sketches, all while enjoying Southern California's sunny skies and breathtaking smog. The chances I had to work on films and commercials in LA made me want to learn more. So I applied to the brand new Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City in Chicago last year and was not accepted. Then a year later I applied again and somehow got in. I was one of 30 people that were accepted. Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Chris Farley, Steve Carell and a host of other successfull entertainers trained at The Second City. Now I have a chance to be there. This strongly supports my suspicion that I really am dreaming and that I will soon wake up. So I probably shouldn't get too excited.

Why I Need Your Support

Although the name implies that this is a school, The Harold Ramis Film School is actually considered professional training. As such, the tuition is not able to be covered by a student loan. This fact also excludes me from most grants as well (I have not been able to locate any so far). The program begins January 22, 2018. I have included a breakdown of my expected costs.

Where I'm Going

The Second City in Chicago is the birthplace of modern improvisational comedy performances. Second City Alumni work throughout the entertainment industry on-stage, in front of the camera and behind the scenes. Not to mention all the teachers and faculty members who work double duty having a career and keeping The Second City Training Center going for future students!

There are so many notable names who have attended The Second City that it is overwhelming to list them all. A few include:

Steve Carell (The Office)
Bill Murray (Groundhog Day)
Keegan-Michael Key (Key & Peele)
Eugene Levy (Schitt's Creek)
Tim Meadows (SNL)
Bob Odenkirk (Better Call Saul)
Martin Short (SNL)
Tina Fey (30 Rock)
Chris Farley (SNL)
John Belushi (Blues Brothers)
Amy Poehler (Parks and Recreation)
Dan Aykroyd (Ghostbusters)
Mike Myers (SNL)

Beyond the famous names and iconic history, I believe that the learning environment The Second City can provide will be invaluable to me as I hone my skills. I think that being there, in a place that accepts and fosters creativity - especially with their specific focus on comedy and storytelling - will allow me to achieve things I would not otherwise be able to achieve.

Here is a link to their site if you want to see more:

The Harold Ramis Film School at The Second City

Something I Wrote For You

When I was growing up I remember watching the old black and white version of the classic movie The Wizard of Oz. As I grew older, I learned how much influence that film had on my culture.

There are many memorable moments in that story. One that always stands out to me in particular is the song that encourages Dorothy to “follow The Yellow Brick Road.” 

As a kid I thought that that road really existed. I thought that if I looked hard enough I would find a road that would take me to exactly where I wanted to go. 

As an adult I’ve learned that’s not the case.  

I’ve since learned that the only road that will take you where you want to go - the only yellow brick road that actually exists - is the one that you make for yourself. 

I struggle justifying my decisions and coming to terms with the impact of those decisions on those surrounding me. I don’t know if just because I am the only one walking this road that it means I have to be the only one who's building it. 

Philosophically speaking, I don’t know what truth is, or what reality is; but my truth is, my reality is, that I have reached a point where I can no longer build this road on my own. 

I don’t intend on keeping my journey a secret, or for that matter, any of the places that I pass by along the way. As an entertainer I am instinctively compelled to share.

If you choose to help me build this road you will not only gain greater access to my journey, you will become a part of it.

Whatever you decide, I hope that the next time you are encouraged to "follow The Yellow Brick Road," that instead you follow your own.

The Nuts And Bolts Of My Dream (Beware: Math Ahead)

My down payment for my tuition is 10%, which is $1,750. I have already paid this with all of my savings. 

My payment schedule is a 16 month term starting February of 2018, with each payment being $984.37/month (now $851.04/ month after scholarship).

Here is a breakdown of my overall training center costs for attending.

Tuition = $17,500
Tuition payment plan fee = $50
Books = $26
Final Draft (screenwriting software) = $130
Adobe Premiere (video editing software) = $240-$600 (depending on what applications are needed)

Total = $17946 - $18306

GoFundMe Fees = %7.9 +$0.30/donation
~8% of $18000 = $1440

Grand Total = ~$19,440

I got a scholarship! It is for $2000.


New Grand Total = $17,440

If I raise more than my goal, I will be donating the remainder to the The Harold Ramis Memorial Scholarship Fund. This fund helps writers and performers like me finance their training.

Whatever your reason is, thank you for being here, and thank you for listening.

***Special thanks to my sister and her family, and everybody at The Second City who helped me make my video!

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Jonathan Percifield 
Michigan City, IN
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