Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

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Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby jpelker » July 7th, 2013, 3:57 pm

http://www.amazon.com/books/dp/0985950706

Has anyone read Improv For Everyone yet? I bought the Kindle version earlier this week and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It's a very well-thought out (and edited--unlike most improv books) manual/walkthrough of performing scenes.

Here are some of my highlights so far:
https://readmill.com/books/improv-for-everyone

During my 20 years of teaching improv, balancing point of view with the other scenic elements has been the hardest thing for my students to learn. The majority of my students are not actors and often have some natural fear of performance. This fear creates anxiety, and they project that onto the scene.


What’s worse is they are usually blind to their penchant for negativity and just think they are bad improvisers because their scenes often fail. The scenes fail because an argument between characters that has no context is unearned and won’t make us care. We won’t know why the characters are arguing, so we won’t care. Without the noodles, we won’t care about the sauce.


Support the author and buy the book:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/yarb3c2309i08 ... 0Greg.epub

I recommend Readmill for reading ePub's on the go:
https://readmill.com/
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby jillybee72 » July 8th, 2013, 4:03 pm

I really love it. The concept of "joins" just blows scenework wide open for beginners particularly.
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby jpelker » July 9th, 2013, 3:57 pm

I just finished Improv For Everyone at 3:00am this morning and almost immediately, my first thought was, "wow, I really need to create an outline of this book so I don't forget what the hell I just read." :?:

Yes, the book is FANTASTIC, but it's also slightly difficult to piece together (various numbered stages, steps, methods, etc), so I went through the text today and mindmapped most of the main ideas of the book. I hope it helps anyone who's already read the book or anyone who might be thinking of reading it. As far as I'm concerned, this is AP Improv. I highly recommend it--just be prepared to stretch your cognitive skills a bit.

Download the Mindmap (.pdf):
http://item-9.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/Improv-For-Everyone.pdf

Preview Image:
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby valetoile » July 9th, 2013, 4:58 pm

I love a good chart! This makes me want to read the book now.
Parallelogramophonographpargonohpomargolellarap: It's a palindrome!
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby jpelker » July 9th, 2013, 6:34 pm

valetoile wrote:I love a good chart! This makes me want to read the book now.


I felt slightly unhinged trying to piece this puzzle together but I doubt I'll ever retain an improv theory better.

Also, I've never seen improv explained in such a concrete manner. It's obvious that Greg really worked hard on this book and making scene-work super accessible to novices.
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby Spots » July 9th, 2013, 7:35 pm

Is it safe to say this book caters to players who enjoy following their sense of strategy over their sense of intuition?

On your chart I see "Touch something on the downstage wall" as an example and my curiosity is piqued. Is it a comprehensive theory or is it small bits collected from various teachers compiled in one place? Could you offer a quick summary of the overall approach or just a certain part that inspired you?


I have too many questions.
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby jpelker » July 16th, 2013, 4:55 pm

Spots wrote:Is it safe to say this book caters to players who enjoy following their sense of strategy over their sense of intuition?


I think Improv for Everyone caters to someone who's been performing for a while and wonders why he still can't nail scene starts or the meat of what makes a good scene.

My theory is that there has never been a definitive improv curriculum that can guarantee a student being able to perform a solid scene. Teachers have, instead, coupled practice with various training exercises, but never attempted to take students through an A + B + C approach that helps when just getting started.

That said, a lifetime of mistakes and watching good performers more than makes up for a lack of pragmatic training, but there isn't anything wrong with trying to actually codify training. Who knows? We all might have missed something coming up that this book covers.

Spots wrote:On your chart I see "Touch something on the downstage wall" as an example and my curiosity is piqued. Is it a comprehensive theory or is it small bits collected from various teachers compiled in one place? Could you offer a quick summary of the overall approach or just a certain part that inspired you?


This was from a section towards the very end of the book called "Mirco-Techniques". They were tips that didn't necessarily deserve their own chapter, but kept with the major theme of the work which was, "Oh, you don't have preternatural talent? Then let's develop a system to fake it so your scenework doesn't make you look like an asshole."

That's kind of the point of the chart I created, too. It's a system for the book, which I found a little too complex and un-illustrated to understand 100% on the first read-through. I graphed all the lessons into what I believe to be a more logical pattern. Hopefully, the combination of the book and the mindmap helps others, too.

*****
If you have any other questions, I'd suggest reading the book first. It's about the three day read--maybe less if you use my handy chart :wink:

Epub: https://www.dropbox.com/s/yarb3c2309i08 ... 0Greg.epub
Mobi: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qc51e15zf9ryw ... vares.mobi
Newest version of the chart: https://www.dropbox.com/s/6djiijdjqrv7k ... e%20V4.pdf

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Also, make sure you support the author by purchasing a copy (or several) of the book. It's well worth the $10.
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby Pdyx » October 10th, 2013, 10:10 am

For what it's worth, Greg Tavares is teaching a workshop at TNM this weekend. You get a free copy of this book with it, which is cool. I'm taking it. You should too. It's Saturday at 1 pm. Details here:

http://www.newmovementtheater.com/works ... g-tavares/
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby booksherpa » February 19th, 2014, 8:48 pm

The Kindle version of Improv For Everyone is FREE today at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Improv-Everyone-Greg-Tavares-ebook/dp/B009RURU6Q/
Stories Without Pages: http://storieswithoutpages.com/blog/ Mostly introspection about improv
Currently: Starting an all-female longform troupe, joined a short form troupe, setting new goals
NJ Improv: http://www.facebook.com/NewJerseyImprov
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby ProofRed » March 16th, 2014, 6:19 pm

Anything written by Greg Tavares has got to be good.

Enjoy...be open...learn...apply...

Todd Rice
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-----------
One of Everyone
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Re: Improv For Everyone by Greg Tavares

Postby Hambone1 » February 5th, 2016, 1:54 pm

I am new to this forum but not to Improv, as I am one of the hundred or so folks who invented long form in 1967. Yes, I knew Del Close,we were co-directors of the Committee's workshop program in LA. I left in '70 to move here and do music. "Harold" is what we called our "plays" [a reporter saw a performance and asked"so what do you call That?!?." I think it was Gary Goodrow who said 'Harold' Kind of an inside joke,'cause Mad Magazine had a plant named 'Arthur'] my first log on brought me to this topic and affirms an impression of Improv now 50yrs down the road. I can tell you this, I've seen 'flow charts' of improv on and off for the last four decades and just had to laugh.. Ah but ye may as well try to catch the wind! I've been to a few shows here and been entertained by some glib dialogue and wild situation comedy,but I got the impression the only goal is to get laughs. Del is turning over in his grave, even though he was not actually a driving force at that time, more of a crazy visionary Rasputin-Speed freak. In the dozen or so shows I've seen lately at various theatres it's obvious that the craft has suffered badly from commercialization,competition,and comedization[?] The supreme conundrum has been how to get a predictable,salable product out of Improv. It's obscene to see something so magic pimped out like the bearded lady at a circus. This work carries a lot of spiritual power, it's easy to dazzle neophytes, start a class, do a little yes-and etc get some laughs..boom your a director! I think it despicable for any teacher to ignore the emotional and spiritual impact of it in favor of the JOKE that is a mortal sin. It's obvious there is not much basic workshopping, excersizing, repetition of basic forms and skills or a cohesive idea of why the fuck we are here except to get some yucks and sell t-shirts. You can't nail improv. It's not in the book, you can't diagram,equate,compute or predict and you sure as Fuck can't do it in"LEVELS" We invented this shit for a reason,the Machine was drowning our voice and the only revealing of the human condition it was doing was telling us that we need a strong deodorant. Current improv needs the same.
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