I have to love the book that introduced me to the term, bricolage, or as Madson puts it, “use what is there artfully.” Improv Wisdom by Patricia Madson is a must-read for improvisers but still a good read if all you know about improv is Drew Carey in “Whose Line Is It Anyway?”
Madson, chair of the undergraduate acting department at Stanford and creator of the Stanford Improvisors, lists 13 maxims of improv and coaches on how these relate to life at large, not just on stage. The subtitle of the book, “Don’t Prepare, Just Show Up” are two of the maxims. Bricolage was in the chapter on Make Mistakes, Please. Other insightful chapters include Be Average, Face the Facts, and Stay On Course.
You will likely enjoy the book more if you have improv in your experience because Madson doesn’t take too much time explaining the concepts. But her ability to draw parallels between what could be seen as pithy improv rules and important life concepts is impressive. This book is a fast read, thoroughly enjoyable, and incredibly deep.