Entries by Jimmy Carrane

240: Nick Johne

Nick Johne is from Canada where he performed with Second City Toronto. He is one of Chicago’s most respected teachers, working with improvisers and actors and teaching improv to people on the Autism spectrum. We talk to Nick about why that brings him so much joy, the difference between Canadian and American improvising and how […]

What It Really Takes to Bond as an Improv Group

Some people think that all it takes to put together a great improv group is picking the right people. Though that it is important, I would argue what is equally important is bonding as group. I have found the formula is pretty simple: Time + play = bonding as a group. I have found as […]

What’s Next?

Recently Saturday Night Live hired two very talented, hard-working and funny cast members from Chicago: Chris Redd and Luke Null. When Chris Redd got hired, he had moved to LA and was getting parts in movies and TV shows and had even done his own stand-up special, so he was already getting noticed. But Luke […]

Learning How to Have Joy

The irony is not lost on me that I am an improv teacher, which is about teaching people how to play and have fun, which is what I have the hardest time doing in my own life. (This is a classic case where the teacher teaches what he most needs to learn himself). Since I […]

239: Bill Chott

Bill Chott is an incredible improv teacher in Los Angeles who does long form, short form and musical improv, and also acts in TV and films and even does magic. We talk to him about why he puts so much importance on space and object work, how short form can help with long form, and […]

Improvising When You’re Sick

Why is it that when I’m sick I have good shows? I remember years ago when I was at the Annoyance Theater, Mick Napier made a comment that some of his best shows where when he was sick. I thought he was a little crazy for saying that, but over the years I’ve found it […]

238: Dee Ryan

Dee Ryan was a member of The Second City Etc., where she did three revues back in the late ’90s. In LA, she performed with the amazing group Stacey’s Not Here and the award-winning The All Girl Revue. She currently teaches long form to film students at Northwestern. We talked to her about how having […]

We Go to Improv Shows to Be Inspired

When I was studying improv back in the ’80s in Chicago, things where simpler. In those days, most people would study at one place at time, and when they finished one program, they would sanely move onto the next. Stage time was much harder to come by, which gave us hungry improvisers plenty of time […]

237: Nick Armstrong

Nick Armstong is the founder of Improv Utopia and the artistic director of West Side Comedy Theater in Los Angeles. He performs with King Ten, the longest-running Harold team in LA, at iO West. Jimmy talks to him about why you should have an improv coach, he gives Jimmy an exercise to learn how to […]

Creating a Sense of Community

One of the greatest privileges of being an improviser is feeling like you are part of a community. That sense of belonging is actually what attracted me to improv in the first place, I just didn’t realize it at the time. In fact, many of the bonds that I formed with my fellow improvisers have […]