Placeholder Image

Subtitles section Play video

  • Ok, so I'm looking for a volunteer.

  • Let's seeOk.

  • Alright! I am going to choose you.

  • Ok, now what you're going to do is you're going to come up here

  • and you're going to get on stage in this red circle here

  • and you're going to tell your big idea for 15 minutesright now.

  • Come on up, come on. (Laughter)

  • No, no, I'm just kidding.

  • But can you imagine – I mean you can't use any cue cards,

  • you've been standing back there or down here,

  • running your talk over and over again in your head,

  • and suddenly you realize:

  • You can't remember anything past the first line.

  • Your hands are shaking, your heart is beating

  • you know, you think you might throw up.

  • I mean what you're going to do? What would you do?

  • Ok, I'm just going to take some deep breaths,

  • jump up and down lightly,

  • then just repeat that first line over and over again,

  • and just pray that when I come out here the second line will follow.

  • I mean can you imagine the stressthe sweatthe fear!

  • Fear is wonderful, because it sparks your imagination.

  • Fear forces you to pretend.

  • We imagine our way out of our disaster.

  • Now heading for disaster is something we do everyday,

  • but it can bring out the best in you.

  • Each of us is writing our own scripts.

  • We're starring, directing and writing our own lives.

  • Sometimes like a movie.

  • Sometimes it's a scary movie,

  • sometimes a romantic comedy,

  • and sometimes it's a docudrama.

  • But all of it, is of our own creation.

  • And where does that movie come from? Imagination.

  • Imagination is the engine of our lives.

  • And it can get us into trouble.

  • I can think of some times

  • when we might not want to share what's happening in our imagination,

  • and even as kids we learn early on

  • that if we are not focusing and paying attention,

  • we're going to get in trouble for daydreaming.

  • But when we use our imagination in an expected

  • and confined way,

  • we call this brainstorming.

  • Well, I want to talk about using your imagination

  • in an unconstrained and an uncontrolled way

  • that's not going to get you into trouble.

  • Imagination fuels everything.

  • Einstein according to some,

  • wasn't the greatest genius of our time necessarily.

  • There was another guy, Henri Poincaré

  • who actually was said to have equal if not greater computational brainpower.

  • But what made Einstein so unique,

  • was that he took command of his imagination early on,

  • and he would run these thought experiments.

  • He'd think, "What would happen if I ran as the speed of light?"

  • And these thought experiments

  • led him to make new connections between existing things.

  • Well, if Einstein can do it, so can we.

  • Ok?

  • Let's combine fantasy and reality;

  • kids do it all the time.

  • For example,

  • here's me as a small child.

  • I was this cowboy.

  • I was this combat fighter.

  • I was this small racer on a bike,

  • Tomboy, do you think?

  • And these are slightly embarrassing

  • but they're not half as embarrassing as what I'm about to tell you.

  • How many of you remember a performance art?

  • I was a performance artist.

  • I can't tell you exactly what I'm doing here,

  • but I do know that I passed a hat and made some money.

  • A kind friend of mine suggested that I go to New York,

  • and take some formal acting training. So I did.

  • And as an actor in New York you know I didn't have any money,

  • so on the weekends, I would perform street theatre,

  • and one weekend I had a friend visiting from Seattle,

  • and so we went to my usual spot, 57th and Broadway, Columbus Circle,

  • and I got all set up and then I did my performance art.

  • Now, I will not reveal the details of my performance

  • but let me just say it involved a Michael Jackson lip sync,

  • a tennis racket and a moonwalk. (Laughter)

  • After I was through we passed a hat

  • and you know we made 8 dollars,

  • I'm thinking, "Whoa, ok we're going downtown for pizza."

  • So when our way down, we passed through the Broadway district,

  • and my friend turns to me and says,

  • "Hey Patti, did you ever want to be on Broadway?"

  • "Frank, I am a performance artist; I would only be off-Broadway!"

  • But then I can't get it out of my head,

  • and I imagine myself, "What If I were in Broadway?"

  • I go down the stage door into my dressing room

  • where there's a star and my name,

  • and then there's my costume laid out,

  • and then I put on my make-up

  • and go stand behind that thick red velvet curtain.

  • and wait for them to call places and the lights to come down

  • and that audience hush.

  • And it was thrilling, I mean really.

  • And it was a great fantasy to have when I went back to Seattle

  • where I was schlepping burritos

  • at Mama's Mexican Kitchen on 2nd and Bell.

  • I'd think, "Well, if I were at Broadway where would the opening night party be?"

  • "Tavern on the Green! Yes."

  • "And If I were on Broadway, well who would I be hanging out with?"

  • "Oh, Lily Tomlin and Eddie Murphy," you know it was back in the day,

  • (Laughter) "Cool!"

  • And then I put it out my mind

  • and later that fall

  • well I don't know what happened but I lost all my shifts at Mama's

  • and the NEA stopped funding performance art!

  • Big surprise!

  • And so came to the end of the month,

  • and I didn't have enough money for my rent,

  • and so I thought, "Wow, what am I going to do?"

  • so I grab a rake,

  • and I go up to the wealthiest neighborhood in Seattle

  • and I start knocking door-to-door

  • asking if I could rake their yard for ten dollars a yard.

  • And now, my hair is shocking pink,

  • and I knock and I knock and I knock

  • and nobody'll even open their door

  • except for this minister whose yard is the size of a football field.

  • And you know it's a typical Seattle day,

  • it's like pouring and the wind's blowing

  • and the rain's pouring,

  • and I'm out there raking and raking and the leaves are falling

  • and I'm raking and raking.

  • And finally that minister comes out

  • and he shoves ten dollars at me and says, "Go home!"

  • So I do.

  • When I get there, my answering machine is blinking.

  • Now how many of you ever had an answering machine that blinked,

  • raise your hand?

  • My people! (Laughter)

  • And the first one's from my friend Karen,

  • Boop,

  • "Hey PD, they're auditioning performance artists down at the Seattle Repertory Theatre,

  • you've got to go."

  • And the next one is from my long lost agent.

  • Boop,

  • "Patti, I think I finally found an opportunity to showcase your unique talents!"

  • So I call immediately and I get an audition,

  • and then the next day I go down there with mysumé

  • and I get in that line,

  • that goes all the way around the block.

  • And when I get up there to the door,

  • they want me to do a dance routine. I'm not a dancer!

  • But I just do the little routine that I can and add some weird thing on the end

  • and I'm just quirky enough that I get into the show.

  • (Laughter)

  • And then this amazing thing happens.

  • That show goes from that small theater to the main stage at the Seattle Rep.

  • And then, imagine, six months later,

  • it goes from the Seattle Rep to the Kennedy Center in DC.

  • And then six months later, imagine, it goes where?

  • Broadway. Opening night party is where?

  • Audience: Tavern on the Green.

  • Patti Dobrowolski: Tavern on the Green.

  • and during the run at the show who do I get to meet?

  • Audience: Lily Tomlin and Eddie Murphy

  • Patti Dobrowolski: No, Steve Martin and Robin Williams.

  • (Laughter)

  • Imagination changes everything.

  • You may not know which of your ideas will happen,

  • but the more freedom you give yourself to write your own reality,

  • the more realities you get to experience.

  • When we play out here or in here,

  • we transform our world.

  • Laterand I mean much later – I became a business consultant.

  • Great job for an actor, (Laughter)

  • and one day we were in a meeting, brainstorming meeting

  • and a guy gets up

  • and he, instead of scribing on a whiteboard our meeting notes,

  • he puts a big piece of paper up on the wall

  • and he draws a picture of what we we're talking about.

  • And that amazing mural captured the imaginings of everybody in that room.

  • And it was like a snapshot of those imaginings,

  • It was like a freeze-frame in that movie,

  • it was like an Einstein thought experiment.

  • How can we manifest our imaginings?

  • I wanted to know.

  • So, here's the thought experiment

  • I've been running with people all around the world

  • for the past 15 years.

  • I found that when you are facing fear,

  • or challenge or discomfort,

  • if you imagine yourself on the other side of that hell

  • and dream that desired new reality,

  • and then you draw a picture of it,

  • and you add to it

  • all the qualities and characteristics of what you want to experience there,

  • it will happen, it will come to be.

  • You just need to pretend you've already made it,

  • and then, like a child, enter into that world

  • and dream it with all your heart,

  • you know just play in there,

  • you don't need to worry about how you'll get there,

  • life will fill in the blanks, this will become your reality.

  • You may be surprised

  • by which pieces of your dream become your new life

  • but it will be the pieces that are right for you.

  • Take Landfill Harmonic.

  • They live in a dumpreally.

  • They actually live in a dump.

  • But what they imagined was a symphony,

  • but in this city in Paraguay a violin cost as much as a house.

  • So what did they do?

  • They imagined their city filled with music,

  • and then, they made their instruments from trash.

  • (Video) My name is Juan Manuel Chavez

  • better known as Bebi.

  • I'm 19 and I play the Cello.

  • This Cello is made from an oil can,

  • and wood that was thrown away in the garbage.

  • The pegs are made out of an old tool used to tenderize beef

  • and used to make gnocchi.

  • It sounds like this.

  • (Music)

  • Patti Dobrowolski: Isn't that amazing?

  • Imagination is the one tool we universally share as a species,

  • and daydreaming is our common language.

  • A great imagination is required of everyone facing

  • crisis, turmoil or disaster.

  • So trust yourself,

  • you are uniquely designed

  • to face any predicament that you encounter,

  • you just need to let your imagination take it from here.

  • Thank you. (Applause)

Ok, so I'm looking for a volunteer.

Subtitles and vocabulary

Operation of videos Adjust the video here to display the subtitles

A2 US imagination broadway seattle performance laughter tavern

【TEDx】Imagination changes everything: Patti Dobrowolski at TEDxSacramentoSalon

  • 12581 1608
    大佑 posted on 2016/06/01
Video vocabulary