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Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up

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Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up Cover

ISBN13: 9781400081882
ISBN10: 1400081882
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In an irresistible invitation to lighten up, look around, and live an unscripted life, a master of the art of improvisation explains how to adopt the attitudes and techniques used by generations of musicians and actors.

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 Madson distills thirty 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.

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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Patricia Ryan Madson has been teaching for four decades. On the Stanford drama faculty since 1977, she founded the Stanford Improvisors in 1991. As head of the undergraduate acting program, she won the universitys highest teaching prize, the Lloyd W. Dinkelspiel Award for outstanding contribution to undergraduate education. She also teaches at the Esalen Institute and for Stanfords Continuing Studies. Patricia lives with her husband, Ronald Madson, and their Himalayan cat, Buddha, in El Granada, California, where they direct the California Center for Constructive Living.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

P.M. Bradshaw, July 2, 2007 (view all comments by P.M. Bradshaw)
Improv Wisdom is a remarkable book. Part self-help, part Zen guide book, Madson has come up with a theory and system to living life that is contrary to everything you might think is true, and dead on to everything you know is true.

Instead of utilizing the accepted techniques of planning and preparation, Madson tells readers to jump head first into situations. Using skills of improvisational theater that she?s honed over the years teaching drama, she takes us down a path of living: living each moment, seeing every bit of it as it happens. Instead of fixating on flaws, we learn to delight in every tiny piece of every situation, both good and bad. Instead of obsessing over what might happen, she tells us to jump in and deal with things as they do happen.

Like a Zen master, she tells us to be completely present in life, each and every moment. She tells us that it?s okay to feel insecure and overwhelmed. And that maybe trying to think out every possible scenario that can happen is the root and cause of our anxiety. Spontaneity does away with our feelings of beleaguerment and lets the goodness of each moment show itself. It allows us to live the meaningful lives we always thought we would live, before we allowed ourselves to be burdened by reality. She believes we should not plan every step to the future, but should live in and enjoy the ?now.?

Ms. Madson doesn?t purport to have all the answers, just offers one alternative. She doesn?t say it will solve all your problems or instantly make you happy, but at the very least, it may make the journey a little more interesting.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9781400081882
Author:
Madson, Patricia Ryan
Publisher:
Bell Tower
Subject:
Conduct of life
Subject:
Personal Growth - General
Subject:
General Self-Help
Subject:
Self-Help : General
Publication Date:
20050531
Binding:
HARDCOVER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
160
Dimensions:
7.78x5.28x.69 in. .52 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General

Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up New Hardcover
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Product details 160 pages Bell Tower Book - English 9781400081882 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "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." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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