Entries by Jimmy Carrane

Why I Love Teaching Improv

A weird thing has happened to me in the last couple of years. I had realized that I like teaching improv far more than I like improvising. It seems when I am up on stage improvising, I still put a lot of pressure on myself, something I don’t do often when I’m teaching it. In fact, […]

My First Father’s Day

This Sunday is Father’s Day, and except for the fact that I already know Lauren’s going to give me a present, I am not really that excited about it. Actually, I am embarrassed. As a father, I feel like a fraud. I feel like I’m not a real father, because in the first year since Betsy […]

Why You Shouldn’t Control Play

My wife, Lauren, and I were lying on the living room rug playing with our 11-month-old daughter, Betsy. She was playing quietly with these wooden blocks, and I was holding one in my hand when Lauren said, “Give it to her. Give her the block.” As you might suspect I don’t like to be told […]

Laughter is the Best Medicine

When people first work with me, especially after the first class, they say things like, “Your class is like therapy,” or “That scene was not funny,” or “Oh my God, in that exercise you made that person cry.” Generally, people view this as a bad thing. I get it; emotions are scary and it’s not […]

Needing to Be the Funny One

(Who’s the funniest one in the pic above? Hint: I’m the one with the sunglasses). When I started out in improv my goal was to be the funniest one on stage. In retrospect, that wasn’t a very noble one goal. At the time, it seemed important to me for many reasons — primarily, if I […]

Getting Your Comedic Voice

In improv, we all want to get noticed and be liked by everyone at the same time. The problem is, it’s hard for those things to coexist. To get noticed, you are going to have to have a strong point of view, and that will piss some people off. And not only is that okay, […]

Writing My Next One-Man Show

When I was little kid, the first thing I ever wanted to be was a stand-up comedian. I loved the idea of standing up in front of a crowd and making them laugh. Then when I was 18 years old, I took my first improv class, and I have been side tracked from my original […]

My greatest birthday gift

Friday is my birthday. I will be 53 years old. In improv, that makes me ancient. Each year I have the same birthday ritual: I go into a major depression. It usually stems from thinking about how I wish I was more successful, more famous, and have more money — like my friends that I started […]

Do These 9 Things to Market Your Improv Show

Alright, you have put together a great improv show and you are really excited about it. Now the important part: How do you get people to come and see it? If you’re like most improvisers, you will rely on people magically just showing up. Which in most cases doesn’t work. Some people are fortunate enough […]

6 Tips for Getting Relaxed Before a Show

In her wonderful book, Presence, author Amy Cuddy asks actor Julianne Moore what presence is for an actor. Moore answers: “The key to presence — and this is one thing they tell you in school — is relaxation.” When I first starting out taking improv classes, I cannot tell you how frustrated I was that […]