Hi! Welcome to Y&HM Improv.


I am putting together private improv classes for people who want to practice, work on new skills, and experiment outside of a rigorous class environment. They're designed to help you develop your skills, understand improv more deeply, and self-assess more accurately where you are in your training and what is next. These workshops are invite-only and smaller in size so I can work with students of similar experience more in-depth. I focus on CHARACTER-BASED improv, EMERGENT improv and the CLAP-IN FORMAT (for longform) as opposed to more premise-based approaches.

I will be using the techniques and methods I have learned from my own training in both LA and NYC, as well as the processes I have developed over the last 15 years teaching all over the US and abroad. While my training began at THE GROUNDLINGS, I have created my own curriculum and perspective on improv which compliments and hopefully fills out a wider picture of what improv is and can be.

I will offer WORKSHOPS which I will announce on this site, as well as to the mailing list that I have. If you'd like to be on that list, please fill out the form here. Easy breezy.

In addition to those workshops, I will also be holding workshops for women in all fields called BUSTING THE GOOD GIRL which is based on my talk GOOD GIRLS AREN'T FUNNY.  The workshops are geared toward women in any field who wish to bust their "Good Girl" on stage or off. Through discussion, inquiry, and exercises we will delve into what our Good Girl is, how she works in us all, and how she effects what we do and how we think. We will also, simultaneously identify and strengthen the part of us that is NOT our Good Girl...the FUCK IT. The free part that lives in us all. Already. Which is bold, inclusive, fearless, full of ease and inspiration and limitlessness. That wants ALL women to succeed and values women (including ourselves) for something deeper than what culture currently values us for. And when we start changing VALUES...we start making change happen.

Also, if you have a group of improvisers that you'd like to workout with, I am also teaching that way. Just contact me when you have a group of at least 6 players and we can discuss options.

Improv is an incredible, under-used and wide-reaching tool that teaches all of us invaluable lessons that we can take into classes, onto stages, and out into the world. Quite frankly, it can make you a better person leading a more connected life...if you let it. 



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I discovered improv at The Groundlings School and became a Main Company member in 1996. I'm a senior instructor there, I directs the Main Company shows as well as performs in a variety of improv shows there including THE CRAZY UNCLE JOE SHOW which I proudly founded, WIGPROV with Drew Droege, THE HORN SECTION and SUPPORTING CRYSTAL which I also helped create. 

I moved to NYC in 2000 for many years and began my own character-based improv school there, IMPROVOLUTION, which is still running in the West Village. I've taught improv at HB Studio, Pace University while living there and have taught at UCLA and abroad in London and Copenhagen. 

I started a drop-in improv studio in LA (2015-2017), THE LOWBAR, with friends and fellow Groundling instructors Tom Blank and Roy Jenkins.

I have my own corporate education company, iMERGENCE, and has also developed a talk and workshop series focused on women’s and girl’s empowerment in the field of comedy and performance, GOOD GIRLS AREN’T FUNNY. I've worked extensively with both groups and individuals on leadership training and team dynamics, creating the conditions for greater autonomy, creativity, ownership, and innovation.

Besides my training in sketch comedy, directing and improv at The Groundlings, my training also includes many years with Second City’s Jeff Michalski and The Empty Stage’s Stan Wells where I was immersed in a variety of styles and philosophies on improv.

My degree is in both psychology and sociology (UCLA); I studied organizational development, collective creativity & innovation, and leadership development - for women especially. 

It's all on my site: www.HollyMandel.com.

I have lived in a lot of places but is proud to be from St. Louis which makes me addicted to Ted Drewes Frozen Custard and an enormous, die-hard Cardinals fan.