Entries by Jimmy Carrane

When Class Gets Complicated

This blog post originally had a different title, which I have changed. Please see my additional blog post where I clarify some of the points made here. I believe in comedy we always have an opportunity to heal others. We may heal the audience, people in our group, or more importantly, ourselves. Certainly, making people […]

256: Ike Barinholtz

Ike Barniholtz is the writer, director and star of the new dark comedy The Oath. Ike improvised in Chicago in the ‘90s at Second City, iO Chicago and The Annoyance. He was on MADtv for five seasons, and also starred on The Mindy Project. Jimmy sat down with him to talk about when he first […]

Dealing with Taboo Topics in Improv Class

Today, many improvisers want to shy away from certain taboo topics. As artists that is their right, and as a teacher, performer and human being, I try to respect people’s individual boundaries to not do scenes about things they don’t want to talk about. But as a teacher, I also don’t want you to miss […]

How to find your tribe in improv

You know why I think so many people are drawn to doing improv? I don’t think it’s because they want to be famous, or even that they think they’re funny. I think it’s because improv gives people a sense of belonging and community, something that gives people a powerful sense of meaning in their lives. […]

255: Derek Miller

Derek Miller is a master improviser, teacher and actor in L.A. He has done tons of commercials and been a regular in three TV shows. He was in the cast of Opening Night: The Improvised Musical! at the old iO-West. We talk to him about how the L.A. improv scene has changed, how he uses […]

Just Do It

We are told improv is great for finding your voice. Everyone who markets improv uses that phrase, but until recently, I really didn’t know what people meant by it. And surprisingly, I am learning this through another art form — storytelling. After a bit of break, I am back to doing storytelling and I am […]

How to bring more love to improv

I love reading books on spiritually as much as I love ones about improv. And one of my favorite things to do is see how spirituality and improv overlap. Recently, I having been reading a book called Love Is Letting Go Of Fear by Gerald Jampolsky, which is loosely based on some of the concepts […]

254: Why is Chicago the Mecca of Improv?

Jimmy is really proud to share with you this piece he did for Curious City on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, answering the question, “Why is Chicago the mecca of improv?” In this episode you will hear several people’s theories about why this is. Jimmy interviews old friends TJ Jagodowski, Susan Messing and Jonathan Pitts to […]

The Best Way to Get Out Of Your Comfort Zone

Improv is collaboration. That is why we do it, because we love to collaborate with other people. But when you have been improvising for a while, you can get set in your ways. You can start to feel comfortable only playing a certain style of improv or playing only with certain people. I know this works […]

How to Teach Authenticity

In improv, we are always striving to be authentic on stage, but teaching authenticity can be a tricky thing. One of the people who taught it the best was Del Close, an improv teacher I studied with who influenced a generation of comedians from Bill Murray to Chris Farley to Tina Fey to Amy Poehler to […]