Amy Poehler’s Awesome Harvard Speech

Amy Poehler looking wise from New York Magazine, 23 May 2011
New York Magazine, 23 May 2011

Jezebel.com recently posted Amy Poehler’s speech to the graduating class at Harvard. She is funny and lovely throughout and also has some advice for the graduates to help them through life. The following are useful things to remember when you are doing improv and also in life!

“I moved to Chicago in the early 1990s and I studied improvisation there. I learned some rules that I try to apply still today: Listen. Say yes. Live in the moment. Make sure you play with people who have your back. Make big choices early and often. Don’t start a scene where two people are talking about jumping out of a plane. Start the scene having already jumped. If you’re scared, look into your partner’s eyes — you will feel better.”

I did a couple of improv courses with John Dawson who, life Amy Poehler, is a Second City graduate. I had these rules drilled into me in those classes. My favourite is Make big choices early and often. – I think that is great advice for life on-stage and off.

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