Don't Do Your Best

^z 10th September 2023 at 7:48pm

Memorable bits from Keith Johnstone's TEDx YYC talk "Don't Do Your Best (transcriber Midori T, reviewer Hiroko Kawano):

I always think teachers should reveal everything to their students, especially when they don't know something. All the teachers I ever had always knew something, which was really discouraging. They teach you that they choose really good poems, so then you think, 'I can never write one like that.' ...

... and

I decided when I was just before my ninth birthday not to believe anything the grown-ups said. And the next day, I decided to always see if the opposite could be true. I think it changed my life. I've been doing it ever since. And it taught me to be looking for the obvious and not the clever. The obvious is really your true self. The clever is an imitation of somebody else, really.

... and

The audience think inside the box. If the phone rings, they think you're going to answer it. The phone can ring on an improvisation stage, and somebody will hide behind the sofa because they're wanting to be original.

... and from the slides of quotes – of which only four of the eleven were used:

  • I have spent my life in the pursuit of the obvious. — "I never said that!"
  • Be average. — "That's right!"
  • Those who say 'yes' are rewarded by the adventures they have. Those who say 'no' are rewarded by the safety they attain. — "I think that's self-explanatory."
  • Striving after originality makes your work mediocre. — "Striving after originality is trying to think outside the box."

(cf Impro (2012-11-10), Yes, and... (2012-11-14), Positive and Obvious (2012-12-12), Status and Teaching (2012-12-19), Make Mistakes (2013-02-27), Check Your Partner (2013-03-30), Keith Johnstone Improv Quotes (2013-12-26), ...) - ^z - 2023-09-10