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The Improv Paperback – December 29, 2012
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MJ's book brought up so many questions and it makes me look at acting, Hollywood and theater in a whole different way. The author is charming, funny, sweet, firm in her beliefs of what is right and wrong, and gutsy. You will be cheering for her in the end ... I found myself saying 'You Go Girl' as I read the final few chapters.
The Improv, by M.J. McDermott is a riveting story right out of almost every "baby-boomers" own 1970's history. "Hair" depicted the free love mentality many experienced during this time, but The Improv uncovered the cruel power trips many adults abused for their own personal and sexual pleasures and behavior. It was a time of peace, love, sexual exploration, war, protest and all things new to a generation that was growing up in the 60's, but not actually a part of it. In The Improv, Margo follows her newly acquired womanly instincts as she prepares to graduate from college. She falls in love while she explores the private secrets and physical abuse of the theatrical rituals her fellow cast members (the tribe)experienced. These rites of passage are very real and extremely spellbinding for readers of all ages. Kudos to M.J. for stepping out of her security "box" and writing this powerful story exposing the truth of growing up with adults who managed to use children and young adults as vessels of manipulation for their own gratification. The Improv is refreshingly well written and will keep you glued to its pages until you finish reading. This is a GOOD READ!
McDermott's story takes place in the 1980s, and features fresh-faced Reagan era college kids playing 1960s hippies. When the author is cast in the leading role of Sheila, she is still a virgin. Through a series of improvisation exercises, the director "plays with the students' heads," to use 1960s speak, in order to get a rise out of them (pun intended), and create a realistic performance. The exercises triggered a spectacular production, but not without tragic consequences.
McDermott, now a weather forecaster, looks back on her experience with an objective, but not impassive eye, making for an engrossing reading experience.
MJs charm and personality are evident in her writing and she will continue to be my favorite weather personality, funny, and educational,always good for a smile in the morning. READ HER BOOKThe Improv