Entries by Jimmy Carrane

Prepare to Fail

If there is one thing that is certain in improv, it’s that you are going to fail. Hopefully, you will continue to fail throughout your career, because in improv, if you don’t give up, that failure eventually turns into success. No matter how hard you try to avoid it, you cannot have one with other. Unfortunately, […]

244: Scott Goldstein

Scott Goldstein is an improviser, director, teacher and writer. He directed The National Touring Company at Second City and The Annoyance Theater, where he also performed. He was the Artistic Director of Flat Iron Comedy and teaches writing and improv at the Second City Training Center. We talk to him about taking long breaks in […]

Why is Chicago the Mecca of Improv?

Have you ever thought about why Chicago is the mecca of improv? Well, I recently had the chance to explore this question in depth when WBEZ, the public radio station in Chicago, contacted me about doing a story about it for their Curious City show. If you ask me, Chicago really has all the right […]

Is It OK to Say ‘No’ In an Improv Scene?

Is ok to say ‘no’ in an improv scene? The answer is yes. Improvisers have struggled with this one for years. They feel if they don’t say “yes and…” to everything, they are betraying their scene partner. But if they always avoid saying “no,” they’re usually just betraying themselves. I cannot tell you how many […]

12 Tips for Doing a Great Long-Form Improv Show

I was looking over some my old blogs recently and came across one I had written in 2013 about tips for doing a great long-form improv show. As I re-read it, I had two reactions. One was, “Hey! I’m a pretty good writer! This is some good information.” And the second one was, “Hmm, I […]

243: Pete Holmes

Pete Holmes is a stand-up comedian and the star and creator of the HBO show “Crashing.” He is also the host of the podcast You Made It Weird. We talked to him about finding improv in the sixth grade, what was like moving to Chicago to purse improv back in 2001, how to bring more […]

A Letter to My Daughter

Dear Betsy, This is your Daddy. I know you are too young to read this, but I wanted to write this because your Daddy needs a blog this week and I love writing about you. I pretty much love you, except for last Sunday when you were really whiney. It was one of those days […]

An Alternative to Resolutions

I know by now some of you have already come up with your New Year’s resolutions. Had I made any this year, I would have broke them already. They never seem to work for me. If resolutions work for you, God Bless, keep it up. I am envious of you. Of course, I would like to […]

242: Sam Wasson

Sam Wasson is the author of the new book, Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art. Jimmy talks to Sam about the history of improv, from beginning of improv with The Compass Players to Del Close and The Harold, Bill Murray, the Chicago improv scene in the ’90s and more. If you want to […]

My Wishes for You in 2018

We are about to start a new year very shorty, and before we get there, I wanted to share with you my 10 wishes for you in 2018. To not take yourself so seriously. Being able to make fun of yourself is sign you have a real sense of humor. To not care as much […]