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Improv Wisdom: Don't Prepare, Just Show Up Hardcover – May 3, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
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“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
Top Customer Reviews
Ms. Madson organizes the book into 13 maxims, each given its own chapter. Samples include: #1: say yes; #2: don't prepare; #3: show up. Sounds simple, right? Although Ms. Madson writes in a tight, easy-to-abosrb style, she also looks you dead in the eye. For example, for people (like me) who just can't remember people's names, she calls it laziness. If you can't remember someone's name, she says you're breaking maxim #3. She doesn't stop there - she gives real improv exercises to build strengths in each maxim. (I tried her approach at the dog park yesterday when I met some new dogs - and their parents - and it worked!)
Improv Wisdom is my favorite new book for how to lead a creative, full life. (Move over, Stephen Covey!) I'm buying copies for everyone I care about and strongly recommend it to anyone who needs a refresher course for how to show up to their own life.
|Length: 9:54 Mins|
Of course, I got it immediately. Anything that makes that list is something I'm going to read. :)
And, here we are. Improv Wisdom rocks. So does Patricia Ryan Madson.
Patricia is an Emerita of Stanford University where she taught for three decades in the Drama Department. She integrates the wisdom of two primary, extraordinary teachers/philosophies: Keith Johnstone's Impro goodness + David Reynolds' Constructive Living mojo.
"A good improvisor is someone who is awake, not entirely self-focused, and moved by a desire to do something useful and give something back and who acts upon this impulse. My students wanted to know the password for joining the society of such people, to play fearlessly, and to work with greater ease.
Here is the password--it is yes! Understanding the power of yes is easy; practicing that acceptance and affirmation in daily life becomes our challenge.
I'm writing to encourage you to improvise your life, please. I want you to take chances and do more of the things that are important to you. I'm hoping that you will make more mistakes, laugh more often, and have some adventures...
What is missing in your life? The paperweight on my desk challenges me to ask the bumper-sticker question: What would you do if you knew you could not fail?" What would you do?
As improvisors we discover we don't need this unrealistic guarantee to begin. The only real failure is not doing anything. Why not explore, get moving on your life, kick-start your dreams, paint outside the lines? This book will provide inspiration and practical suggestions. Try them.Read more ›
All of Patricia's best anecdotes, advice and words of wisdom are in this book. Read it if you're a drama student (it's amazing how much your acting will improve if you incorporate improv into your craft), but definitely read it if you're not. This book isn't so much about improv as it is how to lead your life. Trust me, if you follow Patricia's advise, your life will improve for the better. Really.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really wish I could meet Patricia Ryan Madson! I loved this book. As an improv teache, I gleaned a lot of new insight into her world of improv as it pertains to Life. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
This is a great book, and I will use refer to it frequently.Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
Neat anecdotes about teaching and good for the absolute beginner. Includes many tips to make small changes in your routines to become a better improvisor.Published 6 months ago by ally thomas
so , so . most likely a better university course than bookPublished 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
I was very surprised to get relationship advice from a book called Improv Wisdom. But that’s exactly what I got… and boy, does it work. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Matt Gersper
Easy read with very applicable advice. Everything suggested can be put into practice.Published 9 months ago by Danielle H. Potts
I'm not one for motivational speeches. I thought this book contained tips and tricks to improv; I was dead wrong.Published 10 months ago by Emanuelle