Holly Mandel has worked extensively with groups of women as well as individuals, in the classrooms of improv schools over the last 10 years all over the US and abroad, as well as in the corporate sector on leadership training, accessing authentic confidence, team dynamics, and creating the conditions for greater autonomy, creativity, ownership, & innovation. From this work and her own inquiry into these topics specifically around gender, she discovered what would become the basis for her talk and book, GOOD GIRLS AREN'T FUNNY.

Her degree is in both Psychology and Sociology (UCLA); she has studied Organizational Development, Collective Creativity, and Leadership Development - for women especially. Holly has also spent many years within the corporate world: at Disney Pictures in Feature Development; at ABC Television in the Marketing and Advertising department; and at Comedy Central as a Writer/Producer.

Her improv and sketch comedy training happened over the span of the 3 years she trained at The Groundlings Theater & School in LA and the 6 years she acted as a Main Company member. The Groundlings boasts alumni that are both past and current Saturday Night Live cast members & writers, and some of the very best comedy performers, directors, and writers in television and film today. She is now one of the most senior instructors there and directs the Main Company shows.

In 2001 she moved to New York and started her own school and training institution, Improvolution, and a corporate training company that uses the technology of improvisation, iMergence. Holly has worked with a wide array of groups including CNN, Wells Fargo, Razorfish, Money magazine, Merrill Lynch, Deloitte & Touche, Bloomberg News, American Express, Toyota, and LinkedIn using improvisation techniques specifically designed for the needs of each group.

She also teaches improvisation at Pace University (yes, that makes her a professor of improv. We agree, kinda cool) as well as teaching Character Improv privately in LA and London.

She has given her original lecture and workshop series, GOOD GIRLS AREN'T FUNNY, around the world which uses the field of comedy as an example as well as an analogy for women's relationship to confidence, leadership, and perfectionism. She has also created a workshop series for women to further explore the ideas from her talk, helping women to strengthen the free, fearless, and self-directed part of themselves while learning to catch the "good girl" when she pipes up.


"I've seen just about every talk on the subject that I can, and this was the most empowering and illuminating one I've ever heard."

- Lissette K, editor

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Global Improv Initiative Summit (London)

Pace University (NYC)
Emerson College (Boston)
Bryn Mawr (Pennsylvania)
West L.A. College (Los Angeles)

Razorfish (NYC)
Skadden law firm (NYC)
Walt Disney Animation Studio (LA)
M&C Saatchi (LA)
Comedy Central (NYC)
The Groundlings Theater & School (LA)
NYWIFT: NY Women in Film & Television (NYC)
Improvolution (NYC)
The Barrow Group (NYC)
The Lowbar (LA)
The Free Association (London)

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