Keith Johnstone Quotes
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Good improvisers seem telepathic; everything looks pre-arranged, This is because they accept all offers made—which is something no ‘normal’ person would do.
The improviser has to understand that his first skill lies in releasing his partner’s imagination.
Many teachers think of children as immature adults. It might lead to better and more 'respectful' teaching, if we thought of adults as atrophied children.
If you have a good idea, open your mouth and say something else.
Imagination is as effortless as perception, unless we think it might be ‘wrong’, which is what our education encourages us to believe.
The best laughs are on the recognition of truth.
None of us really grow up. All we ever do is learn how to behave in public.
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.
In life most of us are highly skilled at suppressing action. Bad improvisers block action often with a high degree of skill. Good improvisers develop action.
Enjoy things even when you’re screwing up.
Every time you go the way the audience expects, they'll think you're original. People laugh with pleasure at the obvious.
An artist who is inspired is being obvious. He’s not making any decisions, he’s not weighing one idea against another. He’s accepting his first thoughts.
If people had no fear, you'd hardly need to have to teach them. It's the fear that screws everything up.
In a normal education everything is designed to suppress spontaneity, but I wanted to develop it.
If it weren't for fear, I wouldn't have to teach you a damn thing
Don't come on to be funny - come on to solve problems.
In a scene [where the improvisers must interact] without the letter S, the audience is waiting for you to lose - so they can laugh at you. Don't try to win.
Good impro can make you laugh, we love it, but soon the content is forgotten. Good scenes from The Life Game stay with you always. They haunt you.
Where if you're in a universe where you have to accept ideas, you'll never know if your partner wanted the garbage you're handing them. They have to take it.
Truth is that the best ideas are often psychotic, obscene and unoriginal.
I'm not against work, I think work is great, I work a lot; but if you want to play, the consequences must not be important.
Every theatre worth anything has somebody in the middle of it who is driving it; like Joan Littlewood with her theatre.
The improvisation had to be in public, because you only get value playing to strangers.
Trying to do better is trying to be better than you actually are, and I don't think you can do that.
The problem's always been to deal with the fear.Cos the fear is pretty . . . it ruins everybody really.
Very hard to get an audience. So if you're going to fill the theatre, you can't just rely on old stuff.
I think my brain is much more intelligent than I am...so I tend to trust it.
When you want to have entertainment, it must be a waste of time. I don't like that. I don't like improvisation being pointless.
Light entertainment means it mustn't teach you anything.
My feeling is the moment the theatre is not full you have to do something else. But most people somehow think 'If we did it better, they would come'. No. They don't come.
I was crazy about silent comedy - in the old days, and crazy about Japanese movies.
You can sort of trick people into being really good. Even if they didn't know anything.
Laughter is a whip that keeps us in line. It's horrible to be laughed at against your will. Either you suppress unwelcome laughter or you start controlling it.
My feeling is that a good teacher can get results using any method, and that a bad teacher can wreck any method.