Entries by Jimmy Carrane

11 Things I’m Grateful For This Year

This week seems like a good time to talk about gratitude since Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Gratitude it a one of the most powerful over-the-counter drugs on the market today. In fact, it works so well in my life that I stop taking it. When I do remember to sit down and come up with a […]

Obsessing Doesn’t Make You Better

Most people who start in improv become obsessed by this art from. We take every class we can afford. We perform in every show humanly possible. We eat like crap and get little sleep. We think the more we obsess, the more it will make us better. We tell ourselves that is what successful artists do. […]

Being Open to Learning

If you want to get better at your art, you have to constantly stay open to learning. This has not always come easily for me. After a couple of years of improv classes, I thought I had it all figured out. I was done with classes. I was more interested in the results than in getting better. But […]

What I’ve Learned from John Hildreth

Sunday, Nov. 3 will mark the eighth anniversary of the Jimmy and Johnnie show. For the last eight years, on the first Sunday of the month John Hildreth and I and at least one special guest have improvised together. And the experience has really been a blast. I can’t even take credit for the show’s […]

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 […]