Lots of Laughs…Lots of Life Lessons
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Instead of reading this book, I listened to it, which was particularly enjoyable because it was read by the author. Thanks to her delivery style, the entire 5 ½ hours felt like I was listening to a comedy routine though there’s a problem with that. I don’t know about you, but when I go to a comedy club, I am hard-pressed to remember even one joke. It would be a shame, therefore, to make it through this whole book and remember one funny story – or less. Fortunately, Tina Fey’s chapters provide some takeaways beyond jokes.
I was particularly fond of a chapter called “The Windy City Full of Meat” in which she talks about her experience with The Second City, an improv group in Chicago. She describes improvisational comedy as putting two actors on a stage for the purpose of making something up together. She says she learned four great life lessons from the experience, indeed, she says they have formed her world view.
Lesson 1: Agree and say yes. Whatever premise your partner throws out, respect it and advance the story from there. If you don’t agree, you shut down the sketch immediately. Start with a yes, and see where it takes you.
Lesson #2: Actually, saying yes is not enough. You really need to say, “Yes, and…” because you need to add something of your own to the sketch. It is your responsibility to add to the story otherwise you are putting all of the creative load on the other person.
Lesson #3: Don’t ask questions, make statements instead. When you ask questions, you are putting pressure on the other person to come up with answers. Whatever the problem, be part of the solution.
Lesson #4: There are no mistakes, only opportunities.
As Tina Fey goes on to talk about the many successes she experienced after The Second City, three things become clear:
- She is still the team player she learned to be on the improv stage.
- She picks up life lessons everywhere she goes. (Wait until you hear all she learned from working with Lorne Michaels on Saturday Night Live.)
- She has a lot more to offer her fans than just laughs.
Yes! I recommend this audiobook. It was a great way to spend 5 ½ hours of my life.
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