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The Way of Improv
on 13 March 2002
Longform improv is a bit like a spiritual practice. It's a very subtle and Zen-like process, it's so highly intuitive that it often seems psychic, it involves peak experiences of expanded awareness, and so on. It's the closest thing there is to magic (short of putting together flat-packed furniture).
This book is the only one which teaches you how to do it, because all the others are about short-form improv games. It's written by the people who created longform improv as we know it (including Del Close, who is commonly regarded as something of a Yoda in the improv world). The book oozes wisdom.
And it's not just one of the best improv manuals around, although there are some mighty fine ones (like Johnstone's Impro and Impro For Storytellers, and Viola Spolin's books). It's also a fabulous book for writing plays, sitcoms, sketches, all sorts.
Sadly, it lacks a chapter on flat-pack furniture assembly. But I did finally manage to put a chair together today. Hooray!
It's comfy, too.