Improv is a journey. An individual journey. A team journey. A journey that will take you places that you didn’t expect to go. “Process: An Improviser’s Journey” dives into the improvisational process for a group of individuals who came together for an improvisation workshop with Michael Gellman. Other than learning that I would love to work with Michael Gellman, I finished the book with a few key takeaways:
- Process vs. Product. Both important. Sometimes much focus is put on the final product, when much of the learning & discovery happens during the process. Since the audience cares about the final product that still needs to be kept in mind, but too much focus on the product will distract from soaking up the process. The process involves focusing on a point of concentration (POC) & establishing a point of view (POV).
- Learn from Others. “Process” documents a group improvisational workshop. Improv itself is a team sport, as are many things in life. Sharing your process with others, learning from others, while reflecting on your individual experiences, will deepen learning & knowledge.
- “Follow the follower. Stay in the moment. Focus on your partner & react. Make discoveries.” There’s a lot of gold in these nuggets of wisdom. These were emphasized throughout the book. So true to improv. So true to life.
- Just Do. Talking about improv & explaining exercises only goes so far. The best way to make discoveries, & to get better at making discoveries, is to do it! Get out there & do improv exercises, talk to customers, get feedback.
“Process” gave me many ideas for my own improvisation, workshops, learning & teaching! New exercises, tips, words of wisdom, challenges. And since there are no mistakes…only gifts in improv, there’s no need to beat yourself up. Breathe, Relax, Re-focus. Note: this advice is not exclusive to improvisation.
“Process” triggered areas I’d like to explore further, like long form vs. short form improv, object work, & then some. I enjoyed the process of reading this book (pun intended). I finished with a deeper understanding of the improvisational process, the process of life, & stronger yearn to learn & improve my improvisational process!
Enjoy your process.
mel, the venture gal