Improvising Doesn’t Mean You Don’t Know What You’re Doing

11.10.2011 Art

One of the most important skills I learned while training in the theater was improvisation. Improvisation is not “making it up as you go along.” Improvisation is a process of discovery, experimentation. The best experiments have limits and controls. When actors improvise, they don’t start with a complete blank page, they start with a concept. [...]

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Happy In The Same Way

05.23.2011 Books and Literature

Tolstoy was wrong. Happiness can take many forms. But drama calls for conflict. Stories of happy individuals, let alone happy families, are very difficult to write. You often see happy people portrayed as simpletons, oblivious to the true nature of life. Tragedy is much easier to write about than simple, domestic happiness. Melodrama can hold an audience [...]

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Writing Assignment: Tell A Joke

03.04.2011 Writing Assignments

Comedy, telling a joke in writing, is one of the most difficult forms to master. It’s frustrating and rarely 100% successful. But understanding how jokes and comedy work as storytelling is very important to the writer. It’s a useful exercise; one the working writer should continually experiment with. To gain the highest probability of success, [...]

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