Tag: improv

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+


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.”


Sexpot Logo

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

Take a moment to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates and fun facts, and be the first to know event details by signing up for our email list (in the bar to the right).

Want to be a Nerd Nite speaker? Or know someone who should be? Let us know!

(Updated) Nerd Nite #10: Comedy, Teeth, Chickens, and YOU!

This month we learn about the weird history of teeth, the science of joke telling, the challenges of urban chicken farming, and how YOU would do on the Nerd Nite stage! That’s right, in addition to two expert presentations, a lucky audience member will have the chance to deliver a short presentation using humor, gumption, and surprise power point slides!

  • When: Thursday, March 26 – doors at 6:30pm, show at 7:00pm
  • Where: The Oriental Theater
  • Tickets: $5 online, $8 at the door – 18+



The Science of Joke Telling

by Brent Gill

How much planning goes in to a comic’s set? Through a series of jokes, Brent walks us through the science behind telling jokes. Yes! There is a science!

Speaker creds: Brent Gill knew he would be a performer the first time he felt the heat of a roomful of eyes on his bare genitalia onstage. (It’s a long story and a sealed court document). While merely a teenager, Brent was a steel worker by day and exotic dancer by night. His goal: Immortality. However, a lingering knee injury suffered during a particularly erotic shimmy to Ginuwine’s “Pony,” as well as an expanding waistline made it clear that Brent Gill’s dancing days neared an end. Initially his attempts at nude, comedic, interpretive dance failed, but he quickly found confidence behind the mic as a more traditional standup comedian. Though slightly less erotic than his previous endeavors, Brent’s onstage charisma and energy will leave audiences aroused and entranced. “Brent is a MUST SEE live act” says Urban Life magazine and the Boulder Weekly describes him as “the love child of Chris Farley and Winnie the Pooh.” He is a house comic at the Comedy Works and was a featured performer at the High Plains Comedy Festival, Laughing Devil Festival, Def Comedy Jam and Comcast. Find Brent at www.brenthillcomedy.com.

Why Your PCP Should Have a DMD

by Alexandra Basset

Perfect teeth have been a sign of wealth and poverty and a cherished aspect of attractiveness for thousands of years. However, few understand oral health disease and its effects, quickly regarding the dental visit as a chore instead of an educational adventure! There is an inherent mystery behind that strange orifice of your mouth, a expressive vessel – literally and figuratively – of your eating habits, stress level, genetic origins, and even your identity itself. Alexandra Bassett, DMD will discuss several common dental questions – ones, judging by the fact that she gets them at almost every cocktail party, you are all dying to know.

Speaker creds: Dr. Alexandra Bassett is a newly relocated dentist in the Denver area and a graduate of Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston. While in dental school, Dr. Bassett spent much of her time developing stronger community service initiatives in her school’s curriculum. She is a member of the American Dental Association, Colorado Dental Association, Metro Denver Dental Society, and the Colorado Prosthodontics Society. When she is not working as a professional smile enhancement and retention specialist, she is hitting the slopes, bagging peaks, sending routes, and trying to make people smile via less stressful methods, such as jokes.

Chicken Keeping for City Slickers

by Leah Charney
Chicken keeping: is it a passing fad or lasting lifestyle? Leah Charney, fake urban farmer, discusses the good, the bad, and the ugly of keeping chickens in the Mile High City. Can chicken poop change your life? Should my chickens wear saddles?

Speaker creds: Leah Charney is a food writer, story teller, chicken wrangler, and all around entertainer. For recipes, musings, and chicken videos, check out Leah’s blog Bacon and Other Bad Habits or follow her on Twitter at @TheLeahKitten.

Improvised Genius

by YOU!

Think you have what it takes to be a Nerd Nite speaker but just don’t know what to talk about? Well then we’ll make a presentation for you! Come test your nerd merits and give a totally improvised 5-minute presentation. We’ll bring the powerpoint, you bring the brain.



Cellular Automata: All the World’s a Grid

by Brian Hanson

“What if I told you that simple, repetitive, mindless graph-paper doodles can change the way you see the world? If you were my wife you’d say ‘put down the graph-paper and take out the trash.’ Bear with me, though! Cellular Automata are the simplest of computational programs: take a grid, use a fixed rule to color each box black or white, then rinse and repeat ad nauseam. Sounds simple, right? Not always… Using this seemingly simple system, I will reveal surprising insights into the mysteries of physics, biology, society, philosophy, and the very nature of our universe.”

Speaker creds: Brian Hanson is a resident physician at Rose Family Medicine. His qualifications include college multivariable calculus & computer science courses (within the past 12 years!), frequent conversations **with** intelligent siblings, an innate curiosity for the underlying patterns of nature, and his quest for the meaning of life.

Sexpot Logo

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

Take a moment to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for up-to-the-minute updates and fun facts, and be the first to know event details by signing up for our email list (in the bar to the right).

Want to be a Nerd Nite speaker? Or know someone who should be? Let us know!