In this insightful memoir, Oscar-winning actor Alan Arkin reflects on finding his place as an actor and what theater--specifically improvisation--has taught him about the craft and life. Arkin knew he was going to be an actor from the age of five. From this early age, he recognized that "every film I saw, every play, every piece of music fed an unquenchable need to turn myself into something other than what I was." An Improvised Life is Arkin's wise and unpretentious recollection of the process, artistic and personal, of becoming an actor and a revealing look into the creative mind of one of the best practitioners on the stage and screen. Arkin, in a direct, down-to-earth, accessible, and articulate manner, reveals not just insights about himself but truths for the rest of us about our sense of self, our work, and our relationships with others.