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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 Comp…
 
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 (la…
 
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 Worksho…
 
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 …
 
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.…
 
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 olde…
 
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 i…
 
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.…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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…
 
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.”โดย Jimmy Carrane
 
Will Luera is a renowned improviser, actor, director and instructor who performs and teaches all over the world. He has served as the artistic director at Improv Boston and the director of improv at Florida Studio Theater, and was recently named artistic director of Improv Asylum in Boston and New York. In this episode, Will shares with us how he h…
 
Jane Morris is an actor, improviser and director. She is the Johnny Appleseed of comedy clubs, having opened the Chicago Comedy Showcase and the Second City e.t.c. in Chicago and the Upfront Comedy and the Comedy Underground in Santa Monica, CA. She currently manages the Fanatic Salon in Culver City, CA. Jane has a reputation for doing incredible c…
 
Armando Diaz is widely regarded as one of the best improv teachers in New York. He is the co-founder of The Magnet Theater there, and help create one of the most popular long forms ever, The Armando Diaz Experience. We talked to him about what makes a good Armando show from both the monologist and the players and why he doesn't like the term "game.…
 
George McAuliffe is the writer and star of the short film The Improv Guru, which is based on his popular Twitter account. Jimmy sits down and talks to him about his dark comedy, why it is so important for improvisers to make fun of themselves, what he hopes improviser get from the movie and advice about following your own path in improv. In the sec…
 
Rich Baker is an incredible improv teacher at Second City Hollywood, as well as an improviser and author of the book Improv Made Easy. He has performed with The Second City, iO-Chicago, and ComedySportz, and has toured the country with Mission Improvable. Jimmy talks to Rich about why you need to fail to get better, why an improviser's goal should …
 
Joe Liss is one of those improvisers whom Jimmy looked up to when he was coming up in the improv scene in Chicago back in the '80s. Jimmy says Joe is truly one of the funniest performers he has ever seen. His character work is incredible. Joe was in the National Touring Company, Etc. and Main Stage at Second City. We talk to him about how he create…
 
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 Green Shirt Studio to talk to him about why it's imp…
 
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 of the scene" means to him.…
 
Finally a new episode! The Crowd Theater is great little comedy theater in Chicago that strives to support diversity, inclusion and affordability in the improv community. Jimmy sat down with the three founders —Blair Britt, Dillon Cassidy and Taylor Jones — last fall to talk about how they met and started the theater, how they carry out their missi…
 
Ike Barniholtz is the writer, director and star of the new dark comedy The Oath. Ike improvised in Chicago in the ‘90s at Second City, iO Chicago and The Annoyance. He was on MADtv for five seasons, and also starred on The Mindy Project. Jimmy sat down with him to talk about when he first started out in improv, how he got through the lean years in …
 
Derek Miller is a master improviser, teacher and actor in L.A. He has done tons of commercials and been a regular in three TV shows. He was in the cast of Opening Night: The Improvised Musical! at the old iO-West. We talk to him about how the L.A. improv scene has changed, how he uses suggestions to make an emotional choice for his character, and w…
 
Jimmy is really proud to share with you this piece he did for Curious City on WBEZ, Chicago Public Radio, answering the question, "Why is Chicago the mecca of improv?" In this episode you will hear several people’s theories about why this is. Jimmy interviews old friends TJ Jagodowski, Susan Messing and Jonathan Pitts to get their input. This is a …
 
Sophie Shrand is the host and creator of "Science with Sophie," a science comedy show for girls and everyone. She is an accomplished improviser in Chicago, and we talked to her about how she got through the hard times when she moved to Chicago from Boston, why it is important to her to be a role model to girls in science, and her tips on musical im…
 
TJ Jagodowski is one of the finest improvisers and people you will know. He's half of the long-running show TJ and Dave. In this special episode that was originally recorded for Curious City at WBEZ in Chicago, Jimmy talks to TJ about why he thinks Chicago is still the mecca of improv, his definition of Yes, And... (which is not out of the text boo…
 
Jeff Michalski is an improv legend. He is a teacher, director, an improviser who was a founding member of Second City's ETC Theater back in the '80s and now teaches in Los Angeles. Jimmy sat down with Jeff to talk about what he learned working with Del, how he uses Meisner and view point techniques when he is teaching improv, and telling Stephen Co…
 
Shad Kunkle is an improviser, actor, teacher, and comedian. He has been playing with the iO Harold team Carl and The Passions for 20 years, he toured with Second City and understudied the Main Stage. We talked to him about the importance of focusing on the other person, being selfless as an improv coach/director, and how he uses short form to help …
 
Todd Milliner is one of the executive producers on CNN's original series, "The History of Comedy." He has produced such shows as "Hot In Cleveland," "Hollywood Game Night" and "Grimm." We talk to him about taking improv classes at The Annoyance back in the '90s, how "Yes, And..." works in L.A., and why it is important for people in improv to know t…
 
Andel Sudik is an incredible improviser and teacher. She has performed all over the United States with The Second City Touring Company and in Europe with Boom Chicago, and she travels the world improvising and teaching. We talked to her about how she creates her wonderful characters on stage, what she learned about herself after being fired from th…
 
Jimmy Pennington is one of the Annoyance Theater's most popular improv teachers. He has performed in lots of shows there, including Co-ed Prison Sluts, and is currently in Fish Bowl on Thursday nights. We talked him about how to "get out of your head" when you are improvising, how to improvise from the character versus from the scene, and the impor…
 
Vernon Mina teaches and performs at The Annoyance Theater in Chicago where he is currently in Trigger Happy directed by Mick Napier. He also performs with the Second City Touring Company and has previously understudied for Second City’s ETC. We talked to him about the Annoyance style of improv, diversity in improv in Chicago and auditioning for Sat…
 
Mark Czoske is one of Chicago’s most respected improvisers and teachers. He currently teaches at The Second City Training Center in Chicago and has performed at The Improv Institute and in Flannigan’s Wake. Jimmy talks to him about the “hard truth and realism” in improv, how he develops his characters and how meditation has help him be more in the …
 
Dan Bakkedahl is one of the stars of CBS's "Life In Pieces," and you also know him from VEEP. He is an alumni of the Second City and iO Chicago. Jimmy caught up with him while he was back in Chicago recently to talk to about why he's happy with the state of improv on TV and film, getting a compliment from Del Close, and why choosing not to play cer…
 
Scott Goldstein is an improviser, director, teacher and writer. He directed The National Touring Company at Second City and The Annoyance Theater, where he also performed. He was the Artistic Director of Flat Iron Comedy and teaches writing and improv at the Second City Training Center. We talk to him about taking long brakes in improv, going from …
 
Pete Holmes is a stand-up comedian and the star and creator of the HBO show "Crashing." He is also the host of the podcast You Made It Weird. We talked to him about finding improv in the sixth grade, what was like moving to Chicago to purse improv back in 2001, how to bring more joy on stage, and of course his show, "Crashing."…
 
Sam Wasson is the author of the new book, Improv Nation: How We Made A Great American Art. Jimmy talks to Sam about the history of improv, from beginning of improv with The Compass Players to Del Close and The Harold, Bill Murray, the Chicago improv scene in the '90s and more. If you want to know more about improv's history, don't miss this episode…
 
Mark Sutton is an improv teacher and a founding member of The Annoyance Theater, where he was part of the cast that created Co-ed Prison Sluts. He has toured around the country with Joe Bill doing Bassprov. We talk to him about the early days of The Annoyance, why the first 15 seconds of an improv scene is so key, and the importance of vulnerabilit…
 
Nick Johne is from Canada where he performed with Second City Toronto. He is one of Chicago's most respected teachers, working with improvisers and actors and teaching improv to people on the Autism spectrum. We talk to Nick about why that brings him so much joy, the difference between Canadian and American improvising and how he creates characters…
 
Bill Chott is an incredible improv teacher in Los Angeles who does long form, short form and musical improv, and also acts in TV and films and even does magic. We talk to him about why he puts so much importance on space and object work, how short form can help with long form, and the pluses and minuses of getting your big break at a young age.…
 
Dee Ryan was a member of The Second City Etc., where she did three revues back in the late '90s. In LA, she performed with the amazing group Stacey's Not Here and the award-winning The All Girl Revue. She currently teaches long form to film students at Northwestern. We talked to her about how having brothers prepared her for a life in improv, how s…
 
Nick Armstong is the founder of Improv Utopia and the artistic director of West Side Comedy Theater in Los Angeles. He performs with King Ten, the longest-running Harold team in LA, at iO West. Jimmy talks to him about why you should have an improv coach, he gives Jimmy an exercise to learn how to be silly and he shares what it's really like to be …
 
In this live show, Jimmy sits down with four members of Chicago's best improv group: 3Peat. Nnamdi Ngwe, Patrick Rowland, John Thibodeaux, and Dewayne Perkins. Jimmy talks to this all-black ensemble about diversity in improv, their style of play and how they came up with their name. Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe @ smarturl.it/improvnerdLike what…
 
In this special bonus episode, "The World According to Jimmy," Jimmy sits down with his producer, Dan Schiffmacher, and answers questions about improv, career and life submitted by our listeners and some of Jimmy's students.โดย Jimmy Carrane
 
Jill Valentine is the executive director of The Chicago Women's Funny Festival at Stage 773 and an original member of The Cupid Players. We talked about how women's roles in improv have changed since she started in 1999, why she likes to make bold choices in her improv, and why she doesn't give herself notes after she improvises.…
 
Alan and Claire Linic are improvisers, writers, teachers -- and a married couple. Alan is in the current Second City etc cast and Claire is the author of two books. We talked to them about how they met at an improv show, why they don't improvise well together and why it's important to put your ideas out there.…
 
Alison Riley is the producer of Second City, where she has worked for 30 years. She is one of the people responsible for casting. Jimmy sat down with her to talk about what Second City is looking for when they are hiring actors, how things have changed during her time there, and what Stephen Colbert was like when he worked in the box office.…
 
Theresa Mulligan Rosenthal is a TV writer and producer, working on such shows as "Lady Dynamite," "How I Met Your Mother" and "Whitney." She started out improvising in the '90s in Chicago and was a member of Second City Touring Company, Second City Northwest and Jazz Freddy. We talked to her about taking improv classes with her mom, how she went fr…
 
Bob Fisher is a well-respected teacher and improviser at The Annoyance Theater, where he was in the original cast of Co-Ed Prison Sluts. He was in also in the Second City Touring Company and the amazing group's Cardiff Giant and Bang Bang. We talked about his career as a lawyer, how he used improv to win a jury trial, and how we can always learn fr…
 
Rachel Dratch is best known for her seven seasons on SNL. She recently returned to Chicago for the Chicago Improv Festival, where she recorded this live episode of Improv Nerd on the Second City Main Stage. Jimmy talks to her about how she built her confidence as an improviser, how the slow times in her career have turned into great projects, and o…
 
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