Entries by Jimmy Carrane

I need your help with my shame

As you know, one of my favorite topics to talk about is shame, especially how it affects improvising and performing. Nobody has done more research on the topic or is filled with more of it than I am. That make me an expert on the subject. In all seriousness, it is killing me. Shame is the […]

I Hate Going on Vacation

This is the blog you are getting this week. I am pretty sure it’s not my best work. I can live with that, since when you get this I will be finishing up a five-day vacation with my wife, Lauren, and my daughter, Betsy. It is our first official family vacation. Hopefully, I will have […]

5 Keys to Writing a Great Sketch

If you’ve ever watched a painfully bad sketch on SNL, you know that writing good sketches isn’t easy. While there’s no perfect formula for a funny sketch, there are a lot of important elements to consider when trying to write something that will actually make people laugh. This week, I asked Sam Bowers, director of […]

252: TJ Jagodowski

TJ Jagodowski is one of the finest improvisers and people you will know. He’s half of the long-running show TJ and Dave. In this special episode that was originally recorded for Curious City at WBEZ in Chicago, Jimmy talks to TJ about why he thinks Chicago is still the mecca of improv, his definition of […]

Bombing at the Top of an Improv Show

We all want to do the perfect improv show. Every move is brilliant. Every edit is just right. Every scene is hilarious. But what happens when in the first couple of minutes of an improv show we bomb big time? Well, if you are like me, you feel shame. You shut down. You become best […]

251: Jeff Michalski

Jeff Michalski is an improv legend. He is a teacher, director, an improviser who was a founding member of Second City’s ETC Theater back in the ’80s and now teaches in Los Angeles. Jimmy sat down with Jeff to talk about what he learned working with Del, how he uses Meisner and view point techniques […]

Finding People Who Can See Your Worth

I was so stupid when I starting out improvising in my 20s. I really didn’t think I needed people. My goal was to “make it” all by myself. I laugh now thinking about it. I chose an art form that requires you to depend on other people, yet I was committed to making it all […]

It’s OK to Make Adjustments in Your Improv Scene

A common thing that we hear in improv is that we need to commit in our scenes. This is true, but being committed in a scene doesn’t mean that we can’t make changes or adjustments to our characters as the scene is going along. A good improviser is always adjusting in the moment, which includes […]

250: Shad Kunkle

Shad Kunkle is an improviser, actor, teacher, and comedian. He has been playing with the iO Harold team Carl and The Passions for 20 years, he toured with Second City and understudied the Main Stage. We talked to him about the importance of focusing on the other person, being selfless as an improv coach/director, and […]

What a Toddler Taught Me About Rejection

As actors and improvisers, we deal with rejection on a regular basis. And even though I’ve been improvising and auditioning for a really long time, it’s still hard to not to take rejection personally, because I am still looking for outside things to put a big stamp of approval on my forehead. When I audition […]