Book: A Funny Thing Happened at Mount Sinai by Matthew Stillman

by Ben Whitehouse.

A Funny Thing Happened at Mount Sinai

Back in 2008, a fellow traveller on the long road of improvisation came to me, or I came to him, probably at McManus Cafe and he or I asked if it would be cool to write some posts on Improvoker. Being the kind-hearted soul he or I am and not wanting to let this labor of love die, he or I agreed. A few weeks later Matthew Stillman created his first post on The Note That Sent Me Further On a Voyage of Discovery.

Feeling the thrill that writing about improvisation can instill, he then came to me (this part I remember) and asked if he could write a 10 posts on the 10 commandments and how they related to improvisation. Being the open-minded man I am, and realizing Matt was the sort of crazy who could flip and cut a bitch, I agreed. Matt quickly wrote 2 posts covering Commandment 1 — I am the Lord your God & Commandment 2 — You shall have no other gods before me. Both fantastic posts, both interesting takes on improvisation.

Then Matt stopped writing his posts and started his turbulent addiction to crystal dolphin figurines. Or so I thought… turns out Matt took all his awesome ideas he was writing for no money or recognition here and instead wrote a book A Funny Thing Happened at Mount Sinai – The Ten Commandments as a Guide to Improvisation.

I know what you’re thinking, what a selfish jerk right? Well, the guy’s got to eat right? More importantly those crystal dolphin figurines don’t grow on trees. I’ve ordered my Kindle version, but it is also available for the iBooksNook, formatted PDF, and in olden-timey printed variety. I will be sure to give my impressions of the book after I read it. It’s not every day you get to have a hand in inspiring another improviser… either him or me.

2 Responses to Book: A Funny Thing Happened at Mount Sinai by Matthew Stillman

  1. Todd Erler says:

    I love “cross-over” improv books, books that explore improv from different perspectives, or explore life from an improv perspective. Another great one is Improv Wisdom by Patricia Ryan Madison. Or, here is something cool, read The Tao Of Pooh with improv in mind. There is much wisdom in that book. I blogged about that here:

    http://improvmantra.wordpress.com/2011/07/31/pooh-speaks/

    I’d love to hear other people’s favorite non-improv, improv books.

  2. Ben Whitehouse says:

    Never read Tao of Pooh with improv in mind (love the idea!), but I completely agree that impov is everywhere and the lessons we learn in improv are applicable to just about anything.

    Has anyone written ‘Pride and Prejudice and Improv’? I think we could start a movement.

    I think these philosophical books on improv do something really interesting in that they make the reader look at improv from another vantage. Always a good thing in my mind.