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UI improv student aiming for SNL, Second City

BY ERIC HAWKINSON | NOVEMBER 30, 2010 7:20 AM

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Chloe Metzger has been a nomad her whole life.

Moving from place to place, the University of Iowa student never really had a hometown growing up. Michigan, Pennsylvania, Florida, Georgia, California, Hawaii, and now Iowa — Metzger said it herself, she's lived "everywhere."

"She has a great personality; I think she just naturally draws people to her," said friend and UI junior Cassidy Bell. "She's been tested a lot in her young life, but she definitely doesn't let that stop her at all."

As a sophomore, Metzger filled her schedule to the brim with hobbies and work, while setting aside some time for fun. She's a journalist, an editor, an English student, a dancer, and an improv comedian.

"You know those people who like to be really stressed and like to have a lot on their plate so they can function well?" she said. "I am not one of those people. I just have a lot of stuff on my plate."

UI senior Crystal Alft said she's been able to confide in Metzger throughout their friendship.

"She's always there. Well, she's very busy, but when she has the time, she's there," Alft said. "She's been though a lot, so she gives good advice. Always assures [you] that things are gonna get better. She's usually able to cheer me up with a good joke or sarcasm."

Metzger is returning to a past love in improv comedy. When she arrived at the UI, she saw a flier for the comedy group Paperback Rhino and pushed herself to audition for a spot on the roster. She now performs with the group twice a month at Public Space One, located in the Jefferson Building's basement.

Paperback Rhino is an Iowa City comedy crew that uses improvisation. Metzger compared it to the likes of "Whose Line is it Anyways?" and said some of the previous members have went on to audition for and star in such groups as "Saturday Night Live" and Chicago's Second City.

This is not Metzger's first brush with performing improv. In high school, she started a comedy group with her brother that never amounted to much. She said it was "short-lived and not great," but it didn't "squash" her love for the form.

Metzger and the other members of Paperback Rhino will joke with audiences, but they are not kidding about what they do. KCRG radio's A-List ranked Paperback Rhino as the best improv group in eastern Iowa. But she has bigger hopes than just that.

"[A career in improv is] really uncertain, so of course I wanna do that," she said. "I would like to take some classes at Second City and become a magazine editor by day and funny girl by night. I think that would be fun."

Her friends believe she's destined to make it somewhere big based on her ability to make people laugh and her passion for what she does.

"She's been so successful here at Iowa and everywhere, and I think we're definitely gonna see great things from her," Bell said. "She's probably one of the most passionate people I know."

Wherever she ends up, she'll be keeping busy and seeing the lighter side of life. Whether it's Second City, "Saturday Night Live," or eastern Iowa's best improv group, Metzger is far from giving up on her dreams.

"I'm doing what makes me happy and crossing my fingers for the rest," she said.


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