Trudee Romanek's Raising the Stakes is a great book about Improv. I've never read a book about Improv before, and I know a lot of kids get deeply into this art which can truly change and shape them. This is a book about doing what you love, but knowing you have to make everyone believe in you as much as you believe in yourself (which is often the hardest part). here's a brief summary of Trudee's book and her answers to some short questions.
It’s the start of a new season for Harrington High’s improv team—and Chloe is determined that this will be the year they make it all the way to the top. Her teammates (who also happen to be her closest friends) are a talented bunch, and she knows they can do it. They have to. Because getting to nationals is Chloe’s best chance to prove that she has what it takes to succeed—to her parents, to the improv scouts watching and, most of all, to herself. Chloe is doing all she can to help her teammates perform better. So why is everything falling apart?
1) What do you, Trudee Romanek, have in common with your protagonist?
I’ve always wanted to do things really well, even if that meant I had to “encourage” (okay, “push”) other people harder than I should. As an adult I sang in a quartet. I’m sure I drove the other three women crazy with my requests for extra rehearsals, more challenging harmonies, just one more run-through a little faster, and so on. But like Chloe, I (finally!) learned that I can’t force anyone but myself to dig deeper, go further, or want more.
2) Finish this sentence - “One time when I was performing, __________________.”
One time when I was performing in a play, I discovered that if you freeze for a tableau with your face downward and your mouth open, you will drool all over the stage! Your only options are to A) break the tableau (gasp!) to close your mouth, B) go ahead and drool (Eww!), or C) make disgusting sucking noises so as not to! VERY important lesson learned.
3) Do you follow any rituals when you write, like using the same pen?
Hmm. Not really. I often do a writing exercise to get my vocabulary limbered up. Those I sometimes handwrite in pen. Most often though, I write at the computer, typing with just my two index and middle fingers. (I look a bit like a raptor, I’m sure.) A friend knit me a pair of “writing socks” that I often wear, though only if my feet get cold.