Entries by Jimmy Carrane

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 […]

How to Keep Challenging Yourself on Stage

If you’ve been in an improv group for a while, you’ve most likely hit a consistency level with your shows. This is a good thing. But it can also be a trap. When some groups get to the point where they’re consistently doing good shows, they’re usually happy with this and seem to go on auto pilot. […]

Don’t Quit Before the Miracle

There is a saying I’ve heard that goes: “Don’t quit before the miracle.” But when you’re in the arts and creating shows, how do you know how long you have to wait? I have been doing the podcast Improv Nerd for over five years. I’ve had some really big name guests. I’ve toured with the show all […]

How Jealousy Prevents Us From Getting What We Want

As you know, jealousy and self-defeating attitudes are something that has plagued me for my entire improv career. For years, whenever someone else got something I wanted, I judged them for it, and whenever a new opportunity presented itself to me, I would immediately assume that I wasn’t good enough to get it. Oy. Courtney […]

Embrace Your Messiness

When Betsy was born, people said stupid things to me like, “You are going to learn a lot from her.” I was so annoyed by that, why, I can’t tell you, but they were right. So far she has taught me about patience and unconditional love and how to survive on a minimal amount of […]

Art is Hard

The other day I was on Facebook and read a post by one of my favorite improvisers: Stacey Smith. If you don’t know her, she is a gifted performer, super positive and a hard worker. She lives in Chicago — a city that has more opportunities than most for improvisers. Her post was brutally honest […]

225: Bob Kulhan

Bob Kulhan is the author of the new book “Getting to Yes And: The Art of Business Improv.” He is an incredible improviser and teacher who was a core faculty member at The Second City Training Center in Chicago and co-founder of the uber musical group Baby Wants Candy. Jimmy talks to him about how […]