Entries by Jimmy Carrane

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 […]

259: Jay Sukow

Jay Sukow is one of the best improvisers and teachers out there. He has taught at almost all of the Chicago intuitions and also served as the Artist Director at ICC Theater in Copenhagen. He now lives in Los Angeles and teaches and performs around the world. Jimmy caught up with him in Chicago at […]

3 Things Therapists Can Learn from Improv

Over the years I have taught all types of people in my improv classes and workshops. The majority of people are actors and improvisers, but another group that I’ve found can really benefit from improv are therapists, life coaches, and health professionals. Why? Because therapy, just like improv, is all about listening. And when therapists […]

258: Billy Merritt

In this latest episode of Improv Nerd, UCB’s Billy Merritt talks about his new book, Pirate Robot Ninja; An Improv Fable, which he co-wrote with Will Hines. Jimmy talks to Billy about what it means to be a Pirate or a Robot in improv, the “four pillars” of doing a good improv scene, and what the “game […]