Stanley: Going big time? Central grad has a foot(ball) in the door
BY BRIAN STANLEY Life of Brianemail@example.com September 21, 2013 10:15PM
Tim Baltz | Supplied photo
Updated: October 23, 2013 6:43AM
Last week, I wrote about Emilie Baltz — a Joliet Central graduate and published author with an extensive background in art, design, photography, dance and cooking.
What’s left, you might ask? Finding success by combining improv comedy and sports knowledge?
Meet Emilie’s little brother, Tim Baltz.
Tim went to Loyola after graduating from Central in 1999 and started moving through the ranks of the nationally renowned ImprovOlympic and Second City programs.
“I loved doing shows in high school but didn’t like the (off-stage) drama involved,” he said. Going to see a friend’s older brother in an improv group showed Tim a different avenue.
His performances have gotten the attention of casting directors. In 2012, he was among the finalists to audition for the cast of “Saturday Night Live,” which he considers “the holy grail of comedy.”
Though he wasn’t selected last year, Baltz is flattered to remain on the producers’ radar while getting support. In May, Rolling Stone magazine listed him as one of the top 10 performers most likely to end up on SNL.
Currently, Tim is starring in webisodes of “Tough Season,” which shows what might happen if the owner of a fantasy football team went through the same level of media coverage and player interaction as an actual NFL owner.
“Tough Season” is a parody of HBO’s “Hard Knocks” reality series and is produced by The Onion, a satirical newspaper and website, in partnership with the NFL and Lenovo.
The technology company appears to have a sense of humor, because Baltz’s “Brad Blevins” has an easier time using his Lenovo than remembering what it’s called in the early episodes.
The NFL is represented with Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck, Arizona Cardinals receiver Larry Fitzgerald and Bears running back Matt Forte among Tim’s co-stars.
The Chicago sports franchises are his favorites, but Tim “ardently follows” the professional baseball, football and basketball leagues in their entireties.
“I’ve never gotten into fantasy football because I know, without a doubt, I would obsess over it, and I already am too much of a sports fanatic,” he said.
So instead of needing Forte to pad his stats, the huge Bears fan got to witness a side of the running back that hasn’t gotten as much of the spotlight.
“The show is scripted, but after he and I did one of our scenes, the director had us go again and play around with it more,” Baltz said.
Usually the veteran performers will have to lead when they work with someone who doesn’t have a lot of experience, but the running back forced Tim to change the game plan.
“He was great. He was coming up with things and throwing it back. I was really impressed,” Baltz said of the Pro Bowler.
The positive feedback Baltz has gotten on “Tough Season” confirms his belief fans enjoy seeing athletes or celebrities doing something unexpected with their image.
Baltz may soon offer that opinion from the other side of the coin as well. The Chicago resident will be “going Hollywood” with a move to Los Angeles next year. Before settling in, he’s scheduled to guest star on HBO’s “Veep” as well.