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Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up Hardcover – May 3 2005


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Frequently Bought Together

Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up + Improvise.: Scene from the Inside Out + The Improv Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Improvising in Comedy, Theatre, and Beyond
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Harmony (May 3 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1400081882
  • ISBN-13: 978-1400081882
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 1.8 x 20.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #62,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Drama teacher turned self-help advisor Madson learned the hard way that playing by the rules doesn't always mean you win-despite doing all the right things, she was denied tenure in the job of her dreams. The acting teacher learned to jettison the script and improvise her life-and she ended up teaching at a much better university: Stanford. If you improvise, she says, you "will make more mistakes" but you'll also "laugh more often, and have some adventures." Here she offers 13 maxims to guide the fledgling improviser. "Say yes" with the ecstasy of Molly Bloom: it will open up new worlds. "Don't prepare": in focusing on the future, you might miss the present. "Start anywhere": take any entry into a problem, and once you get inside you'll have a better perspective. Madson offers little exercises drawn from improv acting that are easy and eye-opening, such as look at a familiar environment and notice something new in it. Or make a list of important places in your life, put down the book and just go to one of them. Madson's prose radiates the joy of living, the pleasure she has found in taking things as they come. Most self-help books offer a forced sense of inspiration; Madson is genuinely inspiring. "Say yes" to this book.
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Review

“A marvelous guide to freedom and delight. Improv has become a wisdom tradition of its own and Patricia shows how its lessons can bring out the best in us.” —John Tarrant, author of Bring Me the Rhinoceros

“Patricia Ryan Madson is one of Stanford’s truly inspired teachers; she has changed the lives of thousands of students over the past twenty-eight years. In her smiling book, Improv Wisdom, she reminds us that being alive is like riding a bicycle—we always feel a little off-balance and insecure, but ‘in the act of balancing we come alive.’ She makes you want to get up and do something—try it out, make mistakes, laugh, play, and try it again.” —Charles Junkerman, Associate Provost and Dean of Continuing Studies, Stanford University

“Reading even just a few pages of Patricia Madson’s book might change your life forever. That’s what has happened to me. These pages are chock-full of wisdom, clarity, and helpful techniques on enhancing spontaneity in everyday life. Read this book—you will be glad and so will everyone else in your life.” —Nina Wise, author of A Big New Free Happy Unusual Life

“I have witnessed Patricia Madson’s magic touch in both her classes and her performances. Her students often describe her as a ‘goddess,’ but that may be an understatement. I rejoice that her wisdom is now available to new audiences.” —Philip G. Zimbardo, author of Psychology and Life and Shyness

“The premise of Patricia Madson’s book is astonishing: to practice the basic rules of improvisational theater is to walk a path toward a spiritually satisfying life. Her underlying claim is simple and sound: if you are willing to be completely present, making full use of whatever happens, you will find goodness in any situation. This is a lucid, wise, and free-spirited book.” —Norman Fischer, founder and teacher of the Everyday Zen Foundation

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Debra Reynolds on Sept. 8 2009
Format: Hardcover
It would be helpful to have some experience of improv to get the most out of this book. I can't imagine really "getting it" if you haven't been "doing it". But I'm happy to be wrong on that count. This is a little gem of a book. It takes the rules of improv (say yes, add something, do what comes next) and applies them to life. And it's a really good match. She's a good writer. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really great book and so helpful for getting people out of their shell -- easily. Fun to read and quick but not wasteful. A GREAT read -- thank you!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A way of life: Improv Wisdom is not just for artists, it is really a new way to look at our life and a real inspiration!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Really got into this book. Between this, and listening to improv comedy I feel like I've relaxed a lot more in social situations. I would sometimes freak myself out and "prepare" conversations before going out with new people, or even close friends. This book gave some solid advice on just entering situations calmly and with a smile.

"Yes and" y'all!
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By Adam Joosub on Sept. 27 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great little book!
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