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Publisher's Summary

In an irresistible invitation to lighten up, look around, and live an unscripted life, a Stanford University professor and master of the art of improvisation explains how to adopt the attitudes and techniques used by generations of musicians and actors. These secrets are currently being taught to entrepreneurs, engineers, and first responders in a crisis as well as housewives and Alzheimer caregivers.
Let's face it: Life is something we all make up as we go along. No matter how carefully we formulate a "script", it is bound to change when we interact with people with scripts of their own. Improv Wisdom shows how to apply the maxims of improvisational theater to real-life challenges - whether it's dealing with a demanding boss, a tired child, or one of life's never-ending surprises. Patricia Ryan Madson distills 30 years of experience into thirteen simple strategies, including "Say Yes", "Start Anywhere", "Face the Facts", and "Make Mistakes, Please", helping readers to loosen up, think on their feet, and take on everything life has to offer with skill, chutzpah, and a sense of humor.
©2005 Bell Tower, an imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House (P)2007 Patricia Ryan Madson
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Jane on 03-19-14

Not what I expected.

This is more about adding variety and enjoyment to your life. She gives suggestions like go to bed 1 hour earlier, get up 1 hour earlier, walk a different way when going someplace. For one day smile at everyone you see. Say thank you frequently and with details. Mistakes are good.

My favorite improv rule is say “Yes And.” Don’t say “Yes But.” Also don’t say “No.” I heard that before I read this book, and I was hoping for more ideas like that, which I did not get. I was also hoping for a lot of examples from improv skits. I only remember one example, but there may have been more. The example I remember was about the value of making “mistakes.” The skit was a group of nuns. One of them was named Sister Agnes. A guy knocks at the door and asks for Sister Agnes. The girl says I’ll go get her. Then she realizes she was Sister Agnes, so she says something like “Oh I forgot, that’s me. Sometimes we nuns all look alike.”

I do not recommend this for someone who wants to learn about improv on stage. I see it as how to open yourself up to new things in life. I might have given it more stars if she added a lot of skit examples.

The author narrates her own book. She was a good reader, but her accent had an interrupting effect, not bad but it was there. I kept wondering what it was when she said words like Stuart, student, and our.

Genre: self help psychology

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13 of 15 people found this review helpful

By Gabriel on 08-30-15


Any additional comments?

I recommend this book to anyone who wish to imbody the present moment at its best. Its as practical as theorical and really get straight to the point. Even giving little ''try this'' at each end of a tip. I not only recommend this book to people who want to do inprovisation comedy as we commonly know it. but to everyone who wish to be able to think freely in every moment at its best and act on it. Thank to patricia :D

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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