Entries by Jimmy Carrane

8 Things to Help You Be More Creative

As improvisers, we are considered “creative types.” Some of us may be quirky or even moody, but regardless of our personality, we are all after the same thing: to get in the creative flow. When we get into the flow, it’s like being a surfer riding a big wave, and it’s exciting. Ideas just come to […]

Teaching improv to preschoolers

Teaching improv is a gift I take for granted. Not only am I good at teaching and getting better, but I also really enjoy it. But often I compare myself to my friends who I started out with who are now famous and completely dismiss my gift, which just leaves me feeling shitty about myself. Last […]

5 Ways to Practice Being in the Moment

The goal is to be in the moment — in life and on stage. I don’t care if you are an actor with a script, a storyteller telling us a seven minute story from your life, an improviser doing a long form show, or you’re out to dinner with your friends — your goal should […]

3 Ways to Improve Your Listening Skills

Great improvisers are great listeners. Great actors are great listeners. Listening is the foundation of the performing arts. We cannot be in moment if we are not listening. It is impossible. We cannot react to our fellow actor if we are not listening. It won’t happen. Why? Because if we aren’t listening, we aren’t open to what […]

How Improv Helps People with Down Syndrome

A few weeks ago, I got an email from Rob Snow, the Executive Director of Stand Up For Downs, a non-profit organization based in Cleveland, OH, that is dedicated to helping people with Down syndrome. Rob is a native Ohioan who studied at Second City, iO and The Annoyance in Chicago in the ‘90s before […]

What to do when you’re creatively burnt out

I am crispy. I am burnt out. I am tired. I have had a very creatively busy summer, and I am grateful. I put “World’s Greatest Dad(?)” up and have taught my ass off and I have enjoyed it. I actually don’t think I’ve ever worked as hard as I have done lately, and for someone […]

When You’re the Oldest One in Your Improv Class

Improv is considered a young person’s game. Improv classes at iO and Second City are often overrun with 20-somethings just starting out in life trying to make it big in comedy someday. But what if you are over 35 and you’ve just gotten into improv? You know you are never going to audition for SNL […]

3 Most Common Mistakes Improvisers Make

I recently finished teaching one of my Art of Slow Comedy Summer Intensives, and I’m gearing up to teach another one this weekend. I’ve been teaching these intensives every year for the past several years, and each year I get the pleasure of teaching students from all over the world: Germany, New Zealand, China, Denmark, […]

To Be Great, You Have to Be Bad First

I have been performing since I was in my 20s. And when I started out, I wish to God someone would have told me that to get good at improv, you’re going to have to get comfortable being bad at it for a while – in public – before you can master it. There are […]

Surprise! I’m Happy

Something weird has been happening to me lately: I wake up and I feel successful. I have not changed my diet. I am not getting enough sleep. And I am still not famous. But still, I feel successful. As you know, for me, this not a normal feeling. And you could see why I would […]