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Art by Committee: A Guide to Advanced Improvisation
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Art by Committee: A Guide to Advanced Improvisation

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  156 ratings  ·  20 reviews
This series contains both a book and DVD. It is a guide to advanced improvisation. This sequel to the best-selling improv book "Truth in Comedy" is designed to help improv performers move up to the more advanced levels of improvisation. Accompanying the book is a DVD featuring performers in action demonstrating the instructions and ideas covered in the book. The DVD ...more
Paperback, 144 pages
Published March 28th 2006 by Meriwether Pub
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Jason Luna
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Much like Halpern's much more well known work "Truth In Comedy", this is a lesson in improv comedy that is kind of also a series of anecdotes about how great her theater is and all the celebrities she's met and coached.

While the depth and utility of the lessons is a little less because of this, her insights into improv and the kind of performer you need to be to make the stuff successful, it still rings true, even if it feels sort of abbreviated and rushed.

The photo album of Halpern hanging out
Jun 30, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in being better at life, and who has a couple hours free.
This is halpern's latest book on long form improv. I think it's more helpful than Truth in Comedy. It delves a little deeper into technique. there's even a chapter on women and people of color, and women of color who improv. It's a pretty basic overview, but at least it's something in a field that tends not to address politics as it pertains to the actions and behaviors of its own. (was that unclear? I'm trying to say that comedians can make tons of jokes about politics, but the second you start ...more
Brett Bavar
Feb 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
The book is very short on improv tips, though not completely lacking in insight. However, the real value of this book is in the included DVD and in Charna's recollections about Del Close.

The DVD included with this book includes two full long-form performance recordings, along with some shorter clips and interviews. The full performances by The Reckoning and Beer Shark Mice are very well done and very well captured. There's a lot to be learned from these recordings.

The latter half of the book is
Ken Ferguson
Apr 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: improv
Although a short read I found it helpful without being "mystical". There are some solid tips and insights from Charna and contributors. I liked the stories about Del and the DVD is a bonus. Although the improv is top notch on the DVD it reaffirms to me that it is best experienced live. There is also a consistent tone of celebration and joyfulness when doing improv which I liked. Sometimes hearing things you know said even slightly different than you've heard before makes a difference. I would ...more
Court Hansen
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book was an interesting follow-up to Halpern's better-known TRUTH IN COMEDY. It didn't contain much new information in the way of technical improv instruction, but it did have a more candid and personal feel, especially during the latter portion of the book, which featured some wonderful photographs and a memorial to Del Close. If you're still new to improvising, I would recommend TRUTH IN COMEDY or the UCB Manual, but if you're already deep in that world and are interested in the more ...more
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Caitlin
Recommended to K by: Caitlin reccomended Truth in Comedy
Halpern's writing was so bad and self-aggrandizing it obscured the awesome improv principles at the core of the book. (Agreement, support, and intelligence.) The DVD that comes with it is AMAZING though. Just to see the live performances of what is possibly the most magical, risky, and real art form, by talented and brave actors and comedians captured on film was unbelievable. The sense of possibility and joy is astounding and I immediatly called Caitlin to try to talk about how cool it is. Read ...more
Nick Scott
Apr 17, 2009 rated it liked it
Helpful, but not near as helpful or insightful as the first book, Truth In Comedy. The DVD was a nice addition though. If you thought there was too much name dropping in the first book, then your brain will probably explode here. Also, a good half of it is a Del Close biography and not practical advice for those who improv.
Mike Peditto
Nov 25, 2012 rated it really liked it

Not as strong on tips as Truth In Comedy, but some good reminders to always remember on stage. The final third is nice to see insight on Charna's relationship with Del, but if you've read Guru you've heard many of the stories in far more detail. I have not watched the DVD yet but am excited for that.
Feb 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anybody who makes eye contact with me
Recommended to Barb by: UCB class
Shelves: comedy
Yes, a lot of the basic rules are set up just like in Truth in Comedy, but there are a lot of great personal stories and more specific examples that more than make up for the redundancy. I just wish it was about four times longer.
Nov 15, 2014 rated it really liked it
Great insight from a master, particularly into Harold. The accompanying DVD adds a nice visualization of the points, too, though a more thorough breakdown would be more beneficial. Still, plenty of one-line thoughts to carry.
Aug 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: unfinished
This book was pretty disappointing. It's aimed at advanced improvisers, but I didn't find anything in the book that I hadn't learned years ago. The DVD is great, though, and worth the $11 I paid at the Housingworks Bookstore.
Oct 12, 2011 rated it really liked it
interesting stuff about Del
Aug 14, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: over-rated
Ugh. Only remotely of value due to the passages not written by Halpern.
Jan 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone who has read Truth in Comedy
The DVD really helps bring this follow-up to Truth in Comedy up to my expectations.
Feb 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
Ugh...listening to Charna Halpern go on and on (again!) about how awesome Chicago improv is grating.
Jan 16, 2008 rated it really liked it
Fun for advanced improv know-it-alls that want to grow more, and see her examples of good work on the DVD that's included in the book.
Cary S
Jan 17, 2013 rated it did not like it
This book didn't know what on Earth it wanted to be... aside from a vanity project for Ms. Halpern...
Oct 10, 2007 rated it really liked it
I do this stuff. I likes it.
Aug 04, 2013 rated it really liked it
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