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Who would have ever thought that learning the finer points of improvisation could be such fun? The "Harold," an innovative improvisational tool, helped Saturday Night Live's Mike Myers and Chris Farley, George Wendt (Norm on "Cheers") and many other actors on the road to TV and film stardom. Now it is described fully in this new book for the benefit of other would-be actors and comics. The "Harold" is a form of competitive improv involving six or seven players. They take a theme suggestion from the audience and free-associate on the theme, creating a series of rapid-fire one-liners that build into totally unpredictable skits with hilarious results. The teams compete with scoring based on applause. The "Harold" is a fun way to "loosen up" and learn to think quickly, build continuity, develop characterizations and sharpen humor.
The brain wave of three improv gurus, this book is a complete guide to improvisation for both novice and professional actors and comics. An outgrowth of the successful curriculum initiated by two of the authors at the ImprovOlympic, it describes improvisational tools and techniques, from the "Pattern Game" and "The Hot Spot" to the innovative and sophisticated "Harold." Far from an ordinary how-to handbook, this clearly composed authority on comedic improvisation stresses intuitive thinking, listening skills, continuity, characterization, and, most important, teamwork. Numerous testimonials from reputed actors strengthen the text's credibility, already secured by the expertise of its authorship. Sample scenes and games take hilarious twists while illustrating the inevitability of connections and the importance of justification among team members. The authors' primary focus is the achievement of the group mind, and the book's chapter construction necessarily culminates with that creative misnomer known as the Harold. The manual is flexibly designed to allow for easy performance in both acting classes and professional settings and will prove a valuable reference source to actors and directors alike. Kathleen ChryslerSee all Editorial Reviews
Great read for anyone interested in improv, whether they wanna do it themselves or just watch with a more trained eye.Published 1 month ago by JaLeah Hedrick
I've learned so much from this book. It's been recommended to many times; it's the improv/acting/comedy Bible. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Sam Casey
A must-read for improvisers. Reading this book won't make you a great improviser, all improvisers who want to be great should read this book.Published 2 months ago by Luke Vijay Somasundram
Great read. I read this while taking a Level 1 Improv class. It provided terrific background and insight for this new adventure.Published 5 months ago by Pat McBride
Whenever I say I'm going to improv, my brain substitutes "rehab". This is a good read.Published 6 months ago by Katrina L. Heycock