Entries by Jimmy Carrane

How I Take Good News

Last Saturday night I opened my one person show, “World’s Greatest Dad(?).” It did not go perfectly; no show ever does. It went well, don’t get me wrong, but I had high expectations. So afterwards I was filled with shame, self-doubt and self-hatred. I wanted to hide. I wanted to die. Some of my friends […]

5 Improv Teachers Who Influenced Me

If you have a kid in any grade from preschool to high school, you’re probably well aware that we’re right in the middle of Teacher Appreciation Week. And this week, as I helped get together a gift bag for my daughter’s teacher, I started reflecting on all of the great improv teachers I have had […]

257: The Crowd Theater

Finally a new episode! The Crowd Theater is great little comedy theater in Chicago that strives to support diversity, inclusion and affordability in the improv community. Jimmy sat down with the three founders — Blair Britt, Dillon Cassidy and Taylor Jones — last fall to talk about how they met and started the theater, how […]

It’s my birthday. Thank you, improv!

Sunday is my birthday. I turn 55 years old. That is not a typo. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true. In improv years, that makes me 104. Even I am amazed I’ve been around that long, teaching and performing improv. My life is not what I imagined it would be when I took my […]

How blaming other people keeps you stuck

Have you ever gotten off stage after a so-called bad show and immediately started blaming your teammates in your head for what went wrong? Even if you don’t tell them you’re blaming them, when you start to focus on other people as the problem, you run the risk of alienating them. Not a good move […]

How improv can help your career

I recently got a call from an old improv friend. He was calling me to tell me that he had gotten a new job. He was excited, almost giddy. He told me that he was now the head of human resources at a prominent TV station. And he said, “I can thank improv for this new […]

How to be More Mindful in Your Improv

The other day I heard someone give a pretty inspiring talk, and at the end of it he said, “The most important thing we can do is be present when we are with other people.” I immediately thought of improv. Today, it’s called mindfulness, and it’s being taught in schools, practiced in offices and become […]

How a Bear Taught Me to Follow the Fun

I have learned in improv that if something is fun in a scene, do more of it. I get that’s how it works in improv, but I’m not as good at applying that same concept in my own life. But the other day, I was driving home from the grocery store with my two-and-half year […]

3 Ways to Grow As an Improviser

Artists take risks. They evolve. They are excited about trying new things, even when they flat-out fail because they know they will have many more failures than successes. They really don’t fail; they learn and grow. And they are always seeking inspiration. That is their rocket fuel. I think about my favorite musicians like Neil Young, […]