“Process: An Improviser’s Journey” Quotes

I recently finished reading “Process: An Improviser’s Journey” by Mary Scruggs and Michael Gellman. Here’s the quotes I found useful.

“You can save yourself from this slow, painful death by getting your focus off of yourself.” (xxii)

“I got that feeling of panic again, and I knew from experience that the best way to handle that feeling is to just start doing something.” (24)

“Stay in the moment. Don’t try to think up clever bits. Don’t feel responsible for creating the final product.” (41)

“When I do manage to exist in the present moment and the present moment only, I feel like I’ve brushed up against something eternal. I’ve touched the divine.” (42)

“What you do in normal life is not theater. Theater is compressed time and space, artificial dialogue, and heightened situations. It is our job as good actors to help the audience believe it’s real and natural. And I think it helps if we believe in the given circumstances ourselves. The more we commit to the character and the play, improvised or scripted, the better we are able to get to that place of the believable.” (64)

“When you follow the dialogue rules, you almost have to explore and heighten relationship.” (66)

“If there is no physical manifestation of your reaction to your discovery, does it exist for your audience?” (70)

“The fact that you can write is an asset – a tremendous asset. That’s why you’re so good at the dialogue rules. Just don’t get ahead of yourself when you’re improvising. React to what you see, taste, hear, touch, and smell – not to the story in your head.” (72)

“Having two points of concentration actually seemed to help me stay in the moment.” (74)

“We worry that we aren’t going to have an honest discovery, so we make up stories. Or if we actually manage to have a real discovery, we worry that our reaction to that discovery isn’t going to be enough.” (75)

“Dialogue comes after the reaction. The ashes after the fire. Don’t try to manufacture.” (86)

“To avoid getting into fights, only make ‘I’ statements. For example, ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ ‘I want,’ ‘I feel.’ (100)

“You are not responsible for the product. Only the process. Improvise moment to moment to moment, and the play will take care of itself.” (103)

“Acting is acting is acting, and if people believe we are who we say we are, it is considered to be good acting.” (140)

If you found these quotes useful, please buy and read the book here.

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