Nerd Nite #11: Improv, Ancient Cities, and Surviving the Apocalypse

Thanks to everyone who came out to the show! Check out photos from the event on Facebook.

April 23, improv comes with life lessons; ancient cities spill their environmental secrets; and we find out if you could survive the apocalypse.

  • When: Thursday, April 23 – doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm
  • Where: The Oriental Theater
  • Tickets: $5 online, $8 at the door – 18+

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Full Lineup: 

Please F*$k Up! How Improv Turns Mistakes Into Gifts

by Claire Slattery

Most of us feel that mistakes are failures to be avoided at all costs. But what if mistakes were actually powerful tools for accessing a deeper level of creativity and connection? What if our fear of being ‘wrong’, of seeming unprepared, was the barrier to our own creative potential? In her talk, Claire discusses how improv creates a uniquely supportive environment which allows mistakes to be spontaneous moments of vulnerability, connection, surprise, and discovery. Part scientific exploration, part humorous romp, Claire hopes you leave making more mistakes, feeling less afraid, and with one foot in the door of an improv class.

Speaker creds: Claire is passionate about sharing the joys and benefits of improvisation as an actor on stage and screen, and with companies, as a corporate improv consultant. Claire first discovered improv as a freshperson at Stanford University, where she received her B.A. in Drama and Communication. Since graduation, Claire has acted, improvised, and taught with San Francisco’s top theatre companies and improv troupes. She has also consulted with some of the country’s most innovative companies. Find her on Twitter at SlatteryClaire or online at claireslattery.com.

Hug a Tree So Civilization Doesn’t Collapse: An investigation of environmental abuse in the ancient world and how Mother Nature fought back

by Dylan Green

  • “Climate change is our most urgent, number one priority right now.” -Bill Nye
  • “The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.” -Robert Swan
  • “I’m going to kill you, your family, herds of livestock and maybe stab myself for good measure so that our crops don’t fail and the gods don’t murder us.” -Any number of Greeks, Mayans, or other people with hazardous environmental beliefs (probably)

As the Spanish were carving up the New World to serve their economic needs, the conquistadors heard a legend of a lost city in the jungles of the Yucatan. While it wasn’t a famed city of gold, it stood out as a myth until its discovery in 1848. People marveled at this one city–Tikal–that was abandoned long before Europeans devastated the American continents. Across the globe on the western coast of Asia Minor (modern Turkey) there lay another city, a victim of a similar ruinous end. Ephesus was a cultural epicenter of classical Greece and Rome for centuries, but after hundreds of years of comfortable habitation, the city was abandoned and left to turn into a tourist attraction. In his presentation, Dylan Green will attempt to explain how the people of both Tikal and Ephesus orchestrated their demise through environmental degradation, abuse, and offsetting the careful homeostasis of the natural world. Perhaps most importantly, Green will show how such actions can still be devastating to modern populations around the world.

Speaker creds: Dylan Green is a graduate student at the University of Colorado and a recent graduate from Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Missouri. Yes, it exists. Look it up. While currently studying anthropology, Green is a self-proclaimed student of history for life, constantly reimagining the lives of people long passed and thinking about the golden (pre-Pawn Stars) age of the History Channel. For some perspective, this is a guy who gets genuinely upset when you mention the destruction of the Library of Alexandria. In his spare time, Green enjoys reading, hiking, discussing/admiring all things Tolkien related, frequenting the Colorado bar scene with his graduate cohort, and attempting to exchange resumes for scraps of food on the 16th Street Mall. (Resumes available upon request. Will write papers for food/beer.)

Could You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse?

by Matthew Barrieau

We as a people must know how to defend ourselves in case of a zombie apocalypse! Zombies have become a major part of pop culture in the last few decades. From the beginning with George Romero’s and Lucio Fulci’s genre-setting zombies to Zack Snyder’s fast zombies, there are so many different kinds of undead that you need to know how to defend yourself against. Using information from several well-known guides and tips, we will discuss the various ways to ensure our survival from the undead.

Speaker creds: “My name is Matthew Barrieau and I am a Remote Programmer on contract for the Department of Homeland Security. I was born and raised in Greenville, SC and moved to Denver in September 2005. Shortly thereafter I joined the US Army as an Intelligence Analyst and have served at the US Army Space and Missile Defense in Colorado Springs, CO and the MNF-Iraq Joint Personnel Recovery Center in Baghdad. During my time with the military, I was a land navigation trainer and instructed service members on proper survival and evasion techniques in case of capture.”

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 As always, a huge thanks to our primary sponsor Sexpot Comedy and to our photographer partners in crime From the Hip Photo!

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