There's no right way to improvise

SNL’s Tim Robinson and Jimmy Carrane THERE’S NO RIGHT WAY TO IMPROVISE Last month Eric Voss of Splitsider wrote an excellent article about the importance of finding “the game” in an improv scene, quoting some of the biggest names in improv, including myself. Then a couple of days later, Sally Smallwood of People and Chairs […]

10 Off-Stage Tips to Becoming a Better Improviser

10 Off-Stage Tips To Becoming a Better Improviser Students ask me all the time, “What can I work on during the week between improv classes to become a better improviser?” My answer is work on your life. Improv is a very transparent art form, and the more you have a rich, full life, the more […]

Go ahead, promote yourself

Go Ahead, Promote Yourself One of the hardest things for me to do is to ask people to come to my improv shows. I have been performing on a regular basis for more than 20 years and it’s still difficult. I tell myself “Oh, they don’t really care,” or “Why would they come see me?” […]

It's not about being funnny

It’s Not About Being Funny If improv is not about being funny, then what is it? You’ve heard it a million times: Improv is not about being funny. But what does that mean? If it’s not supposed to be funny, what’s it supposed to be? I have students pull me aside all the time after […]

My wife thinks I'm not a good actor

10/19/12: My Wife ThinkS I’m NOT A Good Actor I recently had an audition for NBC’s “Chicago Fire.” A security guard, a couple of lines. Pretty easy… or so I thought. But, whenever I have an audition, I put so much pressure on myself that it’s no longer about getting the job, it’s about my self-worth. […]

Keep saying Yes, And

KEEP SAYING YES, AND… When I started taking improv classes in Chicago in the late ’80s and early ’90s the goal was simple: study with Del Close at the Improv Olympic, get hired by Second City and then get on Saturday Night Live. The path was narrow. Anyone who even thought about teaching, directing or […]


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