Bark by Committee: A Guide to Dog Improvisation by Trevor Barkin

"Improv can be ruff, but with your best friend and master at your side anything is possible." -Del Chews, dog improv guru.

When I first started writing this book, I had no idea how to write. You see, I’m a dog. But after picking up English by watching Caesar Milan and the criminally under-rated Underdog, I began to put my thoughts together on a computer. Soon enough, I had 15,000 pages of dog thoughts — mostly about improv.

I began doing improv as a teenager. I was 15 months old and cocky little punk in obedience school. School wasn’t really for me. I already knew how to sit and why would I “come” on command? I’m not some trained monkey. I’m a dog.

So my master, a bit of a rebel himself, took the money he used for obedience classes and enrolled in some improv courses. And occasionally he’d sneak me into class by telling everyone that he was training me to be a guide dog. But really, he was just crashing on a friend’s couch and I would poop inside when he wasn’t around.

Two or three classes later and I was obsessed with improv. I watched every improve set that I could — even ASSSCAT! Eventually, I made my way on stage during a scene and the improvisers just went with it. It was a truly beautiful moment that I remember in black and white…..

Table of contents:
Chapter 1: Bark, and…
Chapter 2: Bone Permanence
Chapter 3: Sniffing your partner’s butt
Chapter 4: Don’t lick your own balls on stage
Chapter 5: Always play a dog or another animal

 -Owen O'Riordan