Ensemble!: Using the Power of Improv and Play to Forge Connections in a Lonely World

Jeff Katzman and Dan O’Connor. North Atlantic, $16.95 trade paper (256p) ISBN 978-1-62317-629-7
In this refreshing outing, Katzman, a professor of psychiatry at the University of New Mexico, and actor O’Connor (Life Unscripted) discuss how improv acting techniques can help people forge authentic and meaningful relationships. The keys, they opine, are being vulnerable with others, learning to listen, and embracing the moment at all times. Dubbing their method “ensembling,” the authors detail methods and tactics, including striking up conversations with strangers, telling stories with a friend by swapping back-and-forth with each line, and playing “Rashomon with yourself” by thinking of everyone else’s point of view during a conversation. Katzman and O’Connor also draw on psychological research, case studies, and personal examples to demonstrate how opening up to vulnerability is the first step to developing deeper connections: “The whole thing requires an ability to be vulnerable, and embracing the probability of making mistakes and failing.” Those looking for a prompt to get out of their shell a bit should take a look. (June)
Reviewed on : 04/16/2021
Release date: 06/01/2021
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-62317-630-3
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