I rarely have time to read for pleasure, but this week I got to read Tina Fey’s Bossypants. I laughed out loud on multiple occasions, and then, found myself underlining certain really wonderful passages about what makes things work better. She taught me a few things about life and presence in the guise of “The Rules Of Improvisation.”
“The first rule of improvisation is AGREE. Always agree and SAY YES…the Rule of Agreement reminds you to “respect what your partner has created” and to at least start from an open-minded place. Start with a YES and see where that takes you.”
I (Suzanne) love this rule of improvisation. I hate it when people can do nothing but tell you why something won’t work or that you are all wrong in your position on something. And it gets better.
“The second rule of improvisation is not only to say yes, but, YES, AND. You are supposed to agree and then add something of your own…To me YES, AND means don’t be afraid to contribute. It’s your responsibility to contribute. Always make sure you’re adding something to the discussion. Your initiations are worthwhile.”
And Tina goes on and on with one story after another about breaking barriers as a woman comedian; being afraid but doing it anyway; and of course the Sarah Palin skits are all there – speaking about how women have changed through it all. We are not fragile and it does not serve us to see ourselves depicted that way in the media.
I highly recommend the book – it is a quick, light-hearted read that will make you think a bit more about our role as women in this culture and how women like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler are cracking open the stereotypes giving us all more permission to be whole people, not just the limited feminine roles we learned growing up. And, she is really funny as she does all of this. My hat’s off to you, Tina!