Improv Quotes: A Few of Our Favorites


Improv Quotes:  Our Favorites

The Keith Johnstone Quotes come from the workshops I have attended.  The Viola Spolins Quote the first one comes from a less direct method.  I saw it posted on the internet.  And my friend Gary Schwartz has authenticated it. The second one comes from the video "Viola Spolin Conducts Theater Games"  The James Cranna Quote comes from a recent workshop I attended with him.   The Del Close quotes come from an internet source and is consistent with everything I know about Del.  [More quotes to come]

Keith Johnstone:

  • Every time you go the way the audience expects, they'll think you're original. People laugh with pleasure at the obvious.
  • If you do your best, you’ll get some form of stage fright. Be obvious. If you believe you’re good already, you don’t need to do extra stuff to impress us. Your best work comes when you’re absorbed; because then your ego is away.
  • We made a mistake. That's good. We just learned something.
  • You may never know what the other person wants.  You’ll be an expert at saying “yes”...but you’ll never know what inspires your partner.  Can you please or inspire your partner?
  • “In life, most of us are highly skilled at suppressing action. All the improvisation teacher has to do is to reverse this skill and he creates very ‘gifted’ improvisers. Bad improvisers block action, often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action.”

Viola Spolin

  • Play touches and stimulates vitality, awakening the whole person – mind, body, intelligence and creativity.
  • Fear freezes you.
  • You can't have conflict unless you agree to have conflict. Conflict alone is static. It can't go anywhere.

James Cranna

  • If there is a question that comes up in your scene that can be answered "yes" or "no"...the answer is always "yes".

Del Close

  • The only rule is that there are no rules..
  • “Fall, then figure out what to do on the way down.”
  • "It is easy to become deluded by the audience, because they laugh. Don't let them make you buy the lie that what you're doing is for the laughter. Is what we're doing comedy? Probably not. Is it funny? Probably yes. Where do the really best laughs come from? Terrific connections made intellectually, or terrific revelations made emotionally."  (Truth in Comedy)