We don't give ourselves the agency to really feel the profound truth of what somebody else could say to us and understand about us. And oftentimes, for the sake of efficacy, we don't offer that to other people. Because truth is hard. But there is an absolute feeling of love, and acceptance, that can come from somebody really seeing you how you want to be seen, not just in the way of the best parts of you to have somebody look at you as a whole person and not just one facet of you is really profoundly valuable. Every class I teach is really about that. I want people to be their authentic selves and I also want them to challenge what that means.
— Jen Ellison
Jen Ellison is an actress, writer, director, and professor focusing on comedy and theatre. Throughout her career, Jen performed and directed at ComedySportz, Collaboraction, The Neo-Futurists, and The Second City (the legendary improv theater where Steve Carell, Tina Fey, Key and Peele, and Stephen Colbert first learned how to be be funny on stage). As a professor, she is the former lead of an Ethics in Gaming class, analyzing how we—as players—can become somebody else, living through another point of view, experience empahty, and how videogames and cinema are powerful tools of storytelling and human connection. Ms. Ellison also mentors students on how to become funnier at Columbia College Chicago, by teaching comedy classes in the Comedy Studies program. You can check out her work both on stage, and on “Drunk JCrew You Guys”, a parody of JCrew models' shots on Tumblr, Twitter and Facebook.