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Gregor Ruttner: G’scheitern

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    preroll music
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    Gregor Ruttner: Hello everybody, I'm really
    excited to be here today
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    as this is not only my first congress as a
    speaker but also a visitor
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    so I'm really stunned by what I've seen in
    the last couple of days
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    So, I will talk about the art of failure taught
    by improv theatre
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    and before I do that I will talk about theate
    in general
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    First, you heard a bit about my profession
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    I work as a youth theatre leader,
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    so everyday I meet young people from the age
    of 5 to 20, young adult,
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    and together we create a piece of theatre
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    And when you work with young people in the field of youth theatre
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    you borrow loads of methods of the improv theatre
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    and improv theatre give you a very special mindset
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    about how to fuse certain things in life
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    and about how to handle mistakes.
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    But as I said first, what is theatre?
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    So, theatre is, of course, like this.
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    So, it's loads of impressions, loads of expressions, loads of emotion,
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    it's very dramatic.
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    This is also where the word dramatic comes from: drama, theatre.
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    But when you look behind the curtain, theatre is sometimes like this:
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    So, you come to rehearsal,
    best prepared, and you're full of energy
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    and you want to give your best
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    and then there're all the others in the rehearsal and you think like:
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    why are they not here, 100%? Where is the energy?
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    Why didn't they learn the text? And, am I
    the only one in here, who wants to work seriously?
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    What I can tell you is that the others in
    your theatre group think the same, and also
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    about you
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    So, this is something in theatre that sometimes,
    or most of the times, is because of this:
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    So, theatre is loads about text and memorizing lines
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    and I can talk about myself when I have acting jobs
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    So, it's quite easy to remember the lines
    at home
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    when you're on your own and all all alone
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    and you know when to stop and then you know
    that another person will say something
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    but you don't remember what the person will say
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    So, you don't know where to start again and
    then your partner thinks, like,
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    he's not prepared.
    Like I'm waiting for you, where is your line?
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    So, you gonna have a bad time.
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    And theatre is about collaboration, about
    cooperation
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    about doing something together
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    and this is very important and we will come
    back to that in a few minutes again.
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    But first the last picture, because this is
    like the most important rule in theatre,
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    don't ever argue with the director.
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    Directors are... let's say, very special kind of people
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    They have a certain idea of what it should
    look like on stage in their head
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    and they want you to put that on the stage
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    and of course you're not inside the head of
    the director
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    so you cannot ever succeed.
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    So, if the director says,
    you have to stand there, just stand there.
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    And don't say:
    but here I think it would be better.
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    Just don't do it.
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    But, this is a very strict image of theatre
    and this is of course traditional theatre
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    So, in the 20th century people came up with
    the idea of improv theatre.
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    And this cannot happen to you when you do
    improv theatre
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    So you cannot forget your lines, because improv
    theatre is about doing something spontaneously,
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    create something great out of something that
    hasn't been there a few seconds ago.
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    And, Improvtheatre is trained and not rehearsed
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    so, you call it an improv training and not
    an improv rehearsal
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    because you have some games that you get to
    know and then you train them with your partners
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    and later you will present them on the stage.
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    And, to giv you a short example of improv
    theatre, I will play a video of an improv group
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    and they will play a game called
    "I am a tree"
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    and the game is called "I am a tree", because
    at the start the person enters the stage and says:
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    I'm a tree, and becomes the tree with the
    whole body
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    and then a second person enters the stage
    immediately after that
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    so with the first thought he or she has, and
    says for example:
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    I'm an apple, becomes the apple
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    and then a third person enters the stage with,
    like, I'm a worm.
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    So we have tree, apple, worm. And then the
    tree person chooses one other person and says,
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    I take it.
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    So for example, says: I take the worm.
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    And then the tree and the worm leave the stage
    and the apple is all alone on the stage
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    and again repeats it: I'm an apple.
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    And then some people in the improv group,
    when they think of apple they don't think
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    of the fruit, but of the computer company
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    so they say, like, I'm an iPhone, and make
    themselves very thin
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    and then a third person comes and says, I'm
    a bad battery life,
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    and is dying
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    Thank you for that (laughs)
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    Okay, but now let's have a look onto the video.
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    Applause
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    - Hi everybody, where gonna do some improv for you
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    it's completely unscripted created on the spot,
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    never to be seen again and never seen before.
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    - I am a tree
    makes dinging sound
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    Audience: Laughter
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    - I'm a tree!
    - I'm a butterfly
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    - I'm a tyre swing
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    - I'll take the tyre swing!
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    - I'm a butterfly
    - I'm a branch
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    - I'm a falling leaf
    - I'll take the falling leaf
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    - I'm a branch
    - I'm a banker
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    - I'm a bowl of mints
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    - I'll take the banker!
    - I'm a bowl of mints
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    - I'm a mint spoon
    - I'm an awkward silence
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    - I'll take the mint spoon
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    - I'm an awkward silence
    - I'm a boyfriend
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    - I'm a racoon
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    - I'll take the racoon
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    - I'm a boyfriend
    - I'm a girlfriend
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    - I'm an engagement ring on the floor
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    - (laughs) I'll take the engagement
    ring
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    - I'm a girlfriend
    - I'm a little extra pounded
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    - I'm a tote bag
    - I'll take the tote bag
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    - I'm a little extra pounded
    - I'm a Nascar fan
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    Laughter
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    - I'm arthritis
    - I take the Nascar fan
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    - I'm arthritis
    - I'm an aspirin
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    - I'm a person with a mouth
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    - I'll take the aspirin
    - I'm a person with a mouth
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    - I'm a person with an ear
    - I'm a person with neither of these things
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    - I take the person with the ear
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    - I'm a person with neiter of these things
    - I am a giant bag of money
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    - I'm a burglar
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    - I take the bag of money
    - I'm a burglar
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    - I'm an open window
    - I'm a priceless antiquity
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    - I take the priceleyy antiquity
    - I'm an open window
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    - I'm an escaping teen
    - I'm a curtain blowing in the wind
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    - I take the curtain
    - I'm an escaping teen
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    - I'm a tree
    Laughter
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    Cheering
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    Applause
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    Ruttner: So we see the game ends where there's
    the tree again
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    so shouldn't last for more than 3 minutes
    as we've seen here
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    but, why this also is a good example is, because
    we've seen at some points
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    that 2 or even more people wanted to enter
    the stage at the same time
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    but they managed that just one person did.
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    And this is very important, as I said.
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    Theatre is about collaboration, about team work
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    so, this is what you train in improv training.
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    At this point of the talk there will be a
    quote, so there it is.
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    It's a quote from Keith Johnston
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    Keith Johnstone is like the godfather of improv theatre
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    He created the format of theatre sports
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    which is when 2 improv theatre groups come together
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    and play some special kinds of games against each other
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    and then the audience decides which group
    did a better job and then the winner wins a small price
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    And he also invented most of the games that
    are played in todays improve scene
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    For eample this "I am a Tree" game
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    So, and he says: "Good improvisors seem telepathic;
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    everything looks pre-arranged,
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    this is because they accept all offers made
    --
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    which is something no 'normal' person would do."
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    So, and this is like the basic idea of improv theatre:
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    take every change you get, take all offers made.
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    Now we see another short video
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    This is a Google Tech Talk where Tina Fey
    was invited by Eric Schmidt
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    who was at that time the CEO of Google, now
    is the CEO of Alphabet, you know the stories
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    and he talks with Tina Fey, she's a very famous
    American actress, writer, director and comedian
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    I'm sure most of you know her
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    And she explains in a very good way the basic
    rules of improv
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    So let's have a look!
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    Eric Schmidt: It has a lot of lessons in it.
    So for example,
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    Stop! I've got a gun!
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    Tina Fey: The gun, the gun I gave you for
    our wedding anniversary, Eric?
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    How could you?
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    Schmidt: We're not married!
    Fey: Aha! We're not married is a denial,
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    we've learned our first improv lesson
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    Laughter
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    Fey: It's very hard, it takes a long time
    to learn
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    Schmidt: This is the problem with an engineer
    trying to learn
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    Fey: laughs
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    Fey: It takes a long time to learn those basic
    rules of improv
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    Schmidt: So why don't you take us
    through them, they're in the book
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    Fey: Sure, they're in the book, cause I have
    visited improviser at Second City, and a place
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    called Improv Olympic in Chicago
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    and I talk in the book about improv having
    really kind of changed my professional life
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    and even sort of my world view a bit
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    There're some basic rules of improvisation
    when you're creating something out of nothing
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    The first rule is to agree, which is to say yes
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    which we didn't do that successfully
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    You said the phrase, I have a gun. And I didn't
    say: That's not a gun, that's your finger
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    Laughter
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    Schmidt: Which is what a Google person would
    say
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    Fey: Yeah, well I don't know
    Laughter
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    Fey: And we agreed. And next rule is: Yes, and...
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    Which is to add-on to what you have already
    agreed upon
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    So: The gun, the gun I gave you for our wedding
    anniversary?
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    How could you?
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    And then we hit a brick wall, Eric
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    Laughter
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    But it's a very, you know... it's funny, because
    some very famous comedians have...
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    there is an old story about Joan Rivers was
    a The Second City briefly in 1959 ... 1960
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    and they used this in class at Second City all the time
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    that there was someone came in. you know
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    "I want a divorce" was the beginning of the scene
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    She said: I want a divorce. And whoever was
    with her would say: But what about the children?
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    And she said: We don't have any children
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    Which in the moment got a big laugh
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    Schmidt: Which stops it.
    Fey: but killed the scene.
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    And so that's a... It's a very...
    Schmidt: My response would be...
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    Fey: Human Instinct
    Schmidt: Yes, we have children, I just didn't tell you
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    that's why we're getting divorced
    Fey: Yes, yes!
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    Fey: I have some other children...
    Schmidt: Yes
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    Fey: This is exactly what, yeah
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    Ruttner: So at least Eric Schmidt learned
    very fast
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    Okay, let's have a look onto the 4 rules she said
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    So, the first one is to agree, to say yes
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    So, when I say, for example:
    Look what I've got here, it's the brand new iPhone 7
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    It has an astonishing battery life.
    It finally lasts for a whole day
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    then please don't say:
    That's never possible, that must be a Samsung Galaxy
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    Don't say that, just say:
    Oh cool
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    And then add something, this is the 2nd rule
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    Not only say "yes", say "yes, and...".
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    So, for example:
    Oh cool, but I see you had to buy now this
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    fancy apple leather backpack to carry it with you
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    because now it is four times thicker than
    before and it just cost, what did you say,
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    a 1000 Euros?
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    - Yes, now I can spend 2000 Euros for my phone,
    isn't this amazing?
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    So, something like this.
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    The 3rd rule is: Make statements, so give
    something to play with
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    Don't say: Look what I've got here!
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    Then this person can just say: Wow. What is it.
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    Laughter
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    And number 4 is: There are no mistakes,
    only opportunities,
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    which brings us back to the topic of this talk
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    So, when I say, look what I've got here, brand
    new iPhone 7, astonishing battery life...
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    don't say, no, that must be a Samsung Galaxy,
    as I just said.
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    But the person did. So what to do now?
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    Then, you can help, you see there was a mistake,
    take it as an opportunity and say:
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    Oh, they are really good now at copying Apple's
    design, even put an apple on the backside.
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    Something like this.
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    So, these are the four rules of improv by
    Tine Fey and the last one, there are no mistakes,
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    only opportunities
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    So, what does that say to us?
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    Has it something to do with this very infamous
    quote, "It's not a bug, it's a feature"?
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    Well, let's see
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    Important thing is to take every chance you
    get, this is important
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    So, when you play improv theatre with another
    person, then really take every chance you get
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    So, I give the person loads of stuff, like
    it's the iPhone 7, it's brand new,
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    astonishing battery life and so on
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    So this person has many choices to play with now
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    Second, if something goes wrong, try to make
    the best out of it, without pretend that it
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    didn't happen at all
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    So, everybody would figure out that he made
    a mistake when he said, no, this must be a
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    samsung galaxy, oh, ah, I mean... yeah, nice iPhone
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    So, this is bad he wanted to pretend that
    it didn't happen
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    So when we look onto it's not a bug, it's
    a feature, we could rather say, like,
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    Yeah, it's a bug, and we even implemented
    10 bugs and the person who finds all 10 of
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    them gets a very fancy price
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    So, something like this would be out of the
    mind of improv theatre
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    And, the last point, most of the times there
    is somebody to support you
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    I say most of the times, in improv theatre
    always there is someone to support you
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    In life, yeah we know there are situations
    where there isn't somebody to support you
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    But, if we have a closer look, in many situations
    there would be somebody.
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    So in improv theatre, that means, like, when
    I say: no, this is a Samsung Galaxy
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    And then this person stays, like, oh, what
    to do now?
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    Then, a third person could enter the stage
    of the improv group and says, like,
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    I'm a very fancy patent lawyer, I know all
    the stuff about Samsung and Apple, so let
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    me have a look
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    So then it would be 3 people and at that time
    the other 2 could think about it
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    Now we have a look onto Del Close's 11 Commandments
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    So he has not 4 rules, but 11
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    Del Close was a very famous and very popular
    coach on improv for actors and for comedians
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    And he had these 11 commandments
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    So let us have a look onto number 1, it's:
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    "You are all supporting actors"
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    Again, theatre is about collaboration, it's
    team work based
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    So, when you work in a team don't try to be
    the best in the team, because then you are
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    not a team, then you are against each other
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    So, when you work in a team, do it a a team,
    you are all supporting actors, this is number 1
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    Number 2: Always check your impulses
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    So, when you want to take every chance you
    get, you have to look out for them, so, where
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    could be a chance to get?
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    So be aware all the time.
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    Number 3: Never enter a scene unless you are
    needed.
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    This is very important, especially for example
    for me, when I work with young people every day
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    So, of course there will be some situations
    where we think:
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    Yeah, the young people won't manage to do
    it,
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    I have to step in now and help them,
    but most of the times that's not necessary
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    and as we heard, at Jugend Hackt today, like,
    of course they do mistakes, but they learn
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    somethings of the mistakes
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    So, really, just enter the scene when you
    are needed
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    and not few seconds before
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    And this is very hard to manage and you have
    to train that also
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    because when you're doing improv theatre you
    always want to be on the stage of course
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    so, be sure to just enter the stage when you're needed
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    Number 4: Save your fellow actor, don't worry
    about the piece
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    This is also important, when you work in a
    team, and somebody needs help,
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    or struggles a bit around
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    like this no, this must be Samsung Galaxy,
    don't think, oh, you have ruined the scene,
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    what can we do now?
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    Just do something to help your partner and
    the piece will be good again
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    Number 5: Your prime responsibility is to
    support
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    As we just heard, so you all work in a team
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    so don't play against each other, play together
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    support each other and then the outcome will
    be much more nicer
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    Number 6: Work at the top of your brains at
    all times
  • 17:28 - 17:31
    This is the important thing, act out your
    first thought
  • 17:31 - 17:36
    So when we look back on this I am a Tree thing,
    like, the person first enters the stage
  • 17:36 - 17:37
    I am a Tree
  • 17:37 - 17:42
    and the other is like, hm, tree, this could
    be in a forest,
  • 17:42 - 17:42
    this could be garden
  • 17:42 - 17:47
    oh, it's christmas at the moment, I could
    do something about christmas trees...
  • 17:47 - 17:49
    The audience doesn't get your thoughts, they
    just see what you do
  • 17:49 - 17:56
    So, in reality nothing would happen in this
    10 seconds while the person thinks
  • 17:56 - 18:00
    So when your first thought is tree, forest,
    then do something in a forest and don't think
  • 18:00 - 18:02
    too much about it
  • 18:02 - 18:06
    Number 7: Never underestimate or condescend
    to your audience
  • 18:06 - 18:09
    So, when you have an idea, just do it
  • 18:09 - 18:12
    you can think later, when the piece is over,
  • 18:12 - 18:15
    did the audience get
    what I wanted to tell them
  • 18:15 - 18:18
    Because of course at least one person will get
  • 18:18 - 18:24
    what you want to show
    and most of the times everybody got it
  • 18:24 - 18:27
    Number 8: No jokes unless it is tipped in
    front that it is a joke
  • 18:27 - 18:32
    So, if you want to be funny, it's always good
    not to try to be funny
  • 18:32 - 18:35
    So, the most funniest situations on the stage
    come out
  • 18:35 - 18:38
    when you don't prepare a joke
    and want to do something
  • 18:38 - 18:40
    just act in the moment and then
  • 18:40 - 18:43
    the most funniest situations will come up
  • 18:43 - 18:46
    and of course when you enter the stage:
    "Do you want to hear a joke?"
  • 18:46 - 18:48
    and the other person says yes,
  • 18:48 - 18:50
    then don't say, no, I'm not allowed,
  • 18:50 - 18:53
    but then tell your damn joke
    but then continue the scene
  • 18:53 - 18:56
    Number 9: Trust is very important
  • 18:56 - 19:00
    Trust your fellow actors to support you,
    trust them to come through
  • 19:00 - 19:01
    if you lay something heavy on them
  • 19:01 - 19:03
    and trust yourself is also important
  • 19:03 - 19:08
    To be able to trust my partners I have to
    trust myself at the very beginning
  • 19:08 - 19:11
    then we can trust each other as a group and
    we can rely on each other
  • 19:11 - 19:12
    So, again, team work.
  • 19:12 - 19:14
    When we do something as a team,
  • 19:14 - 19:18
    everybody in the team has to be sure
    that what will come out
  • 19:18 - 19:21
    will come out in a very good way
    because we're a very good team
  • 19:21 - 19:26
    and this is why we are a team, because we
    help each other and support each other
  • 19:26 - 19:29
    Number 10: Avoid judging what is going down
  • 19:29 - 19:32
    This is very important. Don't be on the stage
    and think all the time,
  • 19:32 - 19:37
    no, he broke one of these rules
    this is very bad
  • 19:37 - 19:41
    Just do something, because when you start
    looking for mistakes, you will find them
  • 19:41 - 19:47
    and this is something I'm sure everybody of
    you have seen that in your own life
  • 19:47 - 19:49
    when you start to look for mistakes you will
    find them
  • 19:49 - 19:53
    So in improv theatre this is the rule, don't
    look for mistakes, then you won't find any
  • 19:53 - 19:58
    because every mistake is an opportunity,
    don't look for mistakes, but for opportunities
  • 19:58 - 20:01
    And the last commandment is: Listen
  • 20:01 - 20:05
    So again, when you work in a team,
    you have to listen to each other
  • 20:05 - 20:08
    It's like spot every chance you get,
    listen to each other
  • 20:08 - 20:12
    when I do something,
    the other has to know about that.
  • 20:12 - 20:17
    Whichs brings us to a second quote:
  • 20:17 - 20:19
    Again, one of Keith Johnstone's quotes
  • 20:19 - 20:25
    "There are people you prefer to say 'yes'
    and there are people who prefer to say 'no'.
  • 20:25 - 20:28
    Those you say 'yes' are rewarded
    by the adventures they have.
  • 20:28 - 20:31
    Those who say 'no' are rewarded
    by the safety they attain."
  • 20:31 - 20:36
    And this brings us to the motto of this congress,
    Gated Communities.
  • 20:36 - 20:40
    Of course you can stay in your community
    and maybe, or for sure,
  • 20:40 - 20:44
    this is very comfortable
    and nothing will happen to you
  • 20:44 - 20:45
    and you are protected in your community
  • 20:45 - 20:48
    but you will miss so many things
    that are out there
  • 20:48 - 20:50
    when you step out of your community
  • 20:50 - 20:55
    So, say Yes and then you get new adventures
  • 20:55 - 21:01
    So, this is what I want to end with because
    this is also the motto of this congress,
  • 21:01 - 21:04
    break the borders, break the rules,
    stay hungry
  • 21:04 - 21:06
    Thank you very much
  • 21:06 - 21:17
    Applause
  • 21:17 - 21:19
    Herald: Thanks very much for the talk
  • 21:19 - 21:24
    So if you have any questions, please line
    up at the microphones
  • 21:24 - 21:29
    and we will get you answers to that
  • 21:29 - 21:31
    No questions from the internet...
  • 21:31 - 21:36
    Oh there is a questions over there
    at mic number 7
  • 21:36 - 21:42
    Q: Do you practice your talk
    or do you improvise?
  • 21:42 - 21:48
    Ruttner: Very good question, I'm sure you
    heard it, I'm not a native english speaker
  • 21:48 - 21:54
    so I said in the beginning when we had a quick
    chat before, like, when I would have done
  • 21:54 - 21:57
    the talk in German I would have improvised
  • 21:57 - 22:02
    As it is in English, I improvised it once,
    tried to remember it, this was 3 days ago,
  • 22:02 - 22:04
    at home
  • 22:04 - 22:07
    and then yesterday and today I repeated it
    again
  • 22:07 - 22:13
    so, like again, not a rehearsal, I didn't
    have notes or anything, I just tried to repeat
  • 22:13 - 22:15
    it and to train it
  • 22:15 - 22:17
    so, yeah, kind of
  • 22:17 - 22:20
    Engel: Okay, mic number 2
  • 22:20 - 22:24
    Q: I once had an improv course and I definitely
    want to do it again
  • 22:24 - 22:29
    especially after just seeing your talk, so
    thanks for the opportunity
  • 22:29 - 22:30
    Ruttner: Thank you
  • 22:30 - 22:34
    Q: What I wondered about, I have another friend
    at another conference or so,
  • 22:34 - 22:37
    and he also did improv theatre and during
    the conference they actually just played with
  • 22:37 - 22:39
    each other a bit
  • 22:39 - 22:44
    Do you know about these real life, like...
    you know there is the improv theatre thing,
  • 22:44 - 22:46
    where you just are in some room
  • 22:46 - 22:49
    and you meet for the games and all that stuff
  • 22:49 - 22:52
    but the interaction like in reality
  • 22:52 - 22:57
    like even up to a game where you go like,
    okay let's go to the hotel and try to get
  • 22:57 - 22:59
    a booked room, or something, you know?
  • 22:59 - 23:03
    Ruttner: Yeah, this is more like a training
    for improv, it is like one of those shows
  • 23:03 - 23:06
    so it is a very good training of course, let's
    try something out in the real world
  • 23:06 - 23:10
    so, this is called the hidden theatre
  • 23:10 - 23:15
    This could be improvised, because you don't
    know what will happen when you are in a public space
  • 23:15 - 23:19
    what will the other people say, when you don't
    tell them the hidden theatre
  • 23:19 - 23:21
    so of course you have to train improv for
    that
  • 23:21 - 23:23
    but this genre is called hidden theatre
  • 23:23 - 23:26
    Q: But it is also part of the improve theme, basically
  • 23:26 - 23:28
    Ruttner: Yeah, you can train improv by doing it
  • 23:28 - 23:30
    Q: Okay, thanks
  • 23:30 - 23:31
    Ruttner: You're welcome
  • 23:31 - 23:34
    Engel: Next question from mic number 1 please
  • 23:34 - 23:37
    Q: I don't know anything about improv until now
  • 23:37 - 23:41
    but I'm very excited about that I am a Tree
    game, and want to play it later
  • 23:41 - 23:45
    can you also maybe recommend another improv
    game for noobs?
  • 23:45 - 23:50
    Ruttner: Yeah, I can definitely send you some
    written down, so we can meet afterwards
  • 23:50 - 23:53
    I also wrote into the talk describtion that
    there will be a workshop
  • 23:53 - 23:59
    this was very optimistic because I wanted
    to do the talk first and then want to know
  • 23:59 - 24:01
    who would be interested in a workshop
  • 24:01 - 24:05
    so, if you find me after this talk and we are more
    than 3 people who say I want to do the workshop
  • 24:05 - 24:07
    we can do something together tomorrow
  • 24:07 - 24:10
    Applause
  • 24:10 - 24:19
    Ruttner: (laughing) More than 3 but
    not more than 20 please
  • 24:19 - 24:23
    Engel: Okay, so thanks very much for attending
    the talk
  • 24:23 - 24:24
    Thanks very much for giving the talk
  • 24:24 - 24:30
    If you have any more questions to Gregor,
    please find him in the foyer in front of the
  • 24:30 - 24:33
    Hall 2. Thank you
  • 24:33 - 24:38
    postroll music
  • 24:38 - 24:44
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Title:
Gregor Ruttner: G’scheitern
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Video Language:
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Duration:
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