Jimmy Carrane's birthday

It’s my birthday. Thank you, improv!

Sunday is my birthday. I turn 55 years old.

That is not a typo. It’s hard to believe, but it’s true.

In improv years, that makes me 104.

Even I am amazed I’ve been around that long, teaching and performing improv.

My life is not what I imagined it would be when I took my first improv class more than 34 years ago.

It’s actually better. I have gotten something I never had, something I never wanted, and that is a life.

A loving family.

A beautiful daughter, Betsy.

An amazing wife, Lauren.

A cat, Coco.

And I’m part of many supportive communities so I am no more than a phone call away from help.

So I would like to say thank you to improv for slowly teaching me what it means to say “Yes, And” in my life and stay out my own way so I could have a life larger than I ever imagined.

Thank you, improv, for showing me when I take my self too seriously, which is more than you think.

And most importantly, thank you to the people that I have worked with and met over the years, the friends I have made and the students I continue to get to work with.

A great scene in improv is one where we don’t know where it’s going to go. It’s equally parts scary and exciting, with some fun mixed in — not much different than my terrific life.

For those who knew me in the past, you’re probably like “What has happened to Jimmy? He used to be such a downer.”

He’s still there, but for today, and just like I have learned in improv, I decided to make the positive choice, and I have to say, it looks good on me.

I have one thing to ask you before you go, and that is in the comments section below if you could wish me a happy birthday, it would really help me with low self-esteem.

16 replies
  1. Catherine
    Catherine says:

    Happy, Happy Birthday!!! You are an inspiration to me! Thank you for being you!!! Enjoy your beautiful life!! You deserve it!!

  2. Mark Czoske
    Mark Czoske says:

    Hey Jimmy, you’re not getting older, you’re getting… oh, who are we kidding, you ARE getting older. So the fuck what! Happy Birthday!!!

  3. Laura Volk
    Laura Volk says:

    Happy Birthday Jimmy. A gift for you in the form of a question: Who would you be if you made positive choices all the time?

  4. Michelle K
    Michelle K says:


    I have been blessed with great teachers in my life, and I feel even more blessed and grateful to have you among them.

    Your presence and guidance is a gift to me. Every time I notice some personal growth as a result of your teaching, support, and empowerment, I feel like it’s MY birthday.

    Happy Birthday, Jimmy. Wishing you many more years of following the fun.


  5. George Rosebrock
    George Rosebrock says:

    Happy birthday. You are a great teacher and through improv have brought your students a lot of joy and equipped us with valuable skills that we use in our every day life. I hope you make it to 208 in improv years.

  6. Deb Kraus
    Deb Kraus says:

    Happy birthday Jimmy! This email comes at a crossroads in my own fledgling improv career. How do you know when to give up and when to keep going? I’ve gotten feedback that “you don’t listen well,” which trust me, is not about listening (you and I met in the therapist’s workshop), but about getting stuck in my responses. So it looks like I’m not listening. I wonder if I’ve just gotten to my level….a little encouragement?

  7. Michael G
    Michael G says:

    Have a fun and wonderful birthday Jimmy!
    Thanks for all you do in the world of Improv!
    I am so grateful to have learned from one of the best!!

  8. Joe Mack
    Joe Mack says:


    Happy Birthday. I am so grateful that you are in my life. I am inspired by work, your life and your gratitude. Thanks for sharing your vulnerability and your passion.


  9. Eva
    Eva says:

    Happy Birthday Jimmy! Thank you for teaching me that “I am enough.” Wishing for you that you manage to believe and experience this for yourself again and again.

  10. Rick B
    Rick B says:

    And look at the effect you (a now 55 year old) has had on me (a now 70 year old) by offering me your expertise, feedback, and love of Improv… and by introducing me to some really great people in your classes who have become my own Inprov ensemble.

    You have been a gift to us. May our appreciation for you be a gift back. Happy Birthday Jimmy, you young guy (by my 70 year old perspective).


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