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Improv Nerd With Jimmy Carrane
49 minutes | Jul 5, 2022
Keli Semelsberger has been teaching, directing and performing improv for more than 26 years. She founded the award-winning Charlotte Comedy Theater and she is the author of her new book, Improv Shaman: The Transformative Journey of Divine Play. We talked to her about being enough, taking care of yourself and how to be more vulnerable.
0 minutes | May 31, 2022
Rich Sohn is a master teacher and improviser at The Pack Theater in Los Angeles. He's worked at The Annoyance Theater, iO-Chicago and Second City. We talked to him about how he found his voice as a teacher and improviser at The Annoyance, how the Annoyance style brings such freedom on stage, and what he learned from working with Del and Mick in Chicago in the '90s.
52 minutes | May 17, 2022
Patti Stiles is a world-renowned teacher and improviser who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is the author of Improvise Freely: Throw away the rule book and unleash your creativity. We talk to her about why she doesn't like rules in improv, how we can shift from rules to tools, how to enjoy making mistakes more. Photo credit James Penlidis
44 minutes | May 3, 2022
Patrick McCarthy is an actor, improviser and one of New York's most respected improv teachers. He teaches and performs at The PIT in New York. We talked to him about what truth in comedy means to him, why it's important to take an acting class, and his journey from addiction to sobriety.
38 minutes | Apr 18, 2022
Greg Hollimon is an actor and improviser who is best known for his work on Comedy Central's "Strangers with Candy" as Principal Blackman. We talked to him about how to have a great stage presence, why he likes performing with Pimprov and how he got cast in "Strangers With Candy."
42 minutes | Apr 11, 2022
Aretha Sills is a legendary improv teacher and writer. She is also the daughter of Paul Sills and the granddaughter of Viola Spolin. If you really want to get a sense of the origins of improv and what it was like to grow up in an improv family and the huge contribution that Viola made to improv, then you will want to listen to this episode.
50 minutes | Apr 4, 2022
Marz Timms is an improviser, stand up, teacher and actor. He is the creator of Pimprov, one of Chicago's longest running improv shows. We talked to him about the Annoyance's style of improv, how to be bigger than the stage, how you can get paid in improv, and the difference between stand up and improv.
51 minutes | Dec 20, 2021
Dan O'Connor is an actor, improviser, teacher and co-author the new book Ensemble: Using Power of Improv and Play to Forge Connections in a Lonely World. In this episode we talk to Dan about what he learned from Keith Johnstone, how to be more vulnerable in improv, and why it's important to challenge your teachers.
33 minutes | Oct 20, 2021
Viola Spolin Documentary
Jude Leak is the writer and director of a new documentary called Inventing Improv, about the mother of improv, Viola Spolin. We talked to Jude about her documentary and how Spolin created the theater games that have been used to teach improv ever since, how her idea to get suggestions from the audience came about, and her huge influence at The Compass Players and Second City. Improv started with Viola Spolin, this is a great episode to understand the history of improv.
62 minutes | Sep 22, 2021
Laura Hall is the musical director of the hit TV show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" She started at Second City in the '80s and she has worked at The Annoyance Theater and i0-Chicago. She has also taught people around the world how to play music for improv shows and has created a wonderful online video course called A Musical Guide To Improv Comedy (laurahall.com). We talk to her about how to improvise a song without rhyming and why Wayne Brady is a musical improv savant. And we also perform some musical improv numbers with her and special guest Rick Hall. If you love musical improv or have always wanted to try it, you are going to love this episode.
52 minutes | Aug 30, 2021
Jeff Rogers is an accomplished improviser. He started out in the '80s, was part of the National Touring Company of The Second City and understudied for the Second City resident company. He is also an actor and a best selling author and his new book is called The PLAYMaker Mindset. He recently reopened the legendary improv school The Players Workshop in Chicago. We talked to him about why it was so important to him to reopen that school, how he brings gratitude on stage with him when he improvises, and what would happen if we got paid to improvise.
45 minutes | May 10, 2021
Erick Acuña is an improviser, teacher and lawyer. He started improvising in Peru ten years ago before moving to the States and studying at WIT in Washington, D.C. and UCB in New York. We talk to him about how he found his voice in improv, and he shares two exercises you can use to find it. He also talks about what it's like to improvise in English when that isn't your native language and what we can learn from having difficult conversations after a scene that may have reinforced stereotypes. This is a great episode!
53 minutes | May 3, 2021
Nancy Hayden is the Artistic Director of The Second City Training Center in Chicago. She is also a writer, actor, director, teacher and producer. We talk to Nancy about how she creates characters by using emotions and adjectives, how she believes improv can save lives, and what the future of improv may look like.
47 minutes | Feb 15, 2021
Brendan Sullivan started improvising almost 30 years ago in Chicago. He is an actor, corporate improv trainer and was a member of the legendary Harold team Blue Velveeta at iO-Chicago. We talk to him about how he found his role on that team, which was made up of strong personalities, how he learned to play things honestly, and the best way for older improvisers to play with the younger generation. In this moving interview, Brendan also talks candidly about the death of his 24-year-old son, Charlie, last year, and the dangers today of drugs that are laced with fentanyl.
51 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Michelle Gilliam is the owner and artistic director of ImprovMKE in Milwaukee, WI. She is one of those great improvisers with a strong acting background. We talk to Michelle about how she applies her short form experience to her long, how she strives to make her theater inclusive, and she shares what it was like for her to be the only Black woman in an improv group.
54 minutes | Feb 1, 2021
Marcus Sams is the founder of Moment Improv Theater in San Francisco, the artistic director of The San Francisco Improv Festival, and one half of one of my favorite improv duos, Liss n' Sams, with the incredible Joe Liss. We talk to Marcus about doing Duo Improv, the importance of emotions and where he thinks Zoom improv is going in the future.
47 minutes | Sep 29, 2020
Adam Cawley is a three-time Canadian Award-winning actor, who is also a writer, improviser and teacher. He has written four revues at The Second City Main Stage in Toronto and is the co-host of the podcast The Backline with Rob and Adam. We talk to him about variety in improv, how he approaches improv shows in different venues and how he deals with jealousy.
51 minutes | Sep 15, 2020
Shaun Landry is an actor, teacher and improviser. She teaches at The Pack Theater in Los Angeles and is is the Artist Director of Oui be Negros, which is an African American sketch and improv group that she started back in 1994 in Chicago. Jimmy talks to her about why it's important to make social statements in her improv, why she does not back off from race when she is improvising, and how to be ok with promoting yourself and your shows.
51 minutes | Jun 18, 2020
Ric Walker has performed with Improvised Shakespeare Company for 15 years and is the director of Chicago cast. He is also a professor at Columbia College in Chicago, where he teaches improv, sketch and stand-up. Jimmy talks to him about Improvised Shakespeare, why emotions are our friend in our scene work, and his thoughts on improving diversity in improv.
45 minutes | Jun 2, 2020
Steven Castillo is an Emmy-nominated writer for Saturday Night Live. Jimmy talked to him about how improv helped his stand-up, auditioning for Saturday Night Live, and about some of his favorite sketches from the show like “Shrek“ and “Weezer.”
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