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creativity

In the pause: Thank you to Caveat for the learning served up with laughs

caveat-cardIf you make someone laugh, you know they’re listening. And once they’re listening, they’re paying attention. And once they’re paying attention, you can make a connection, drive empathy, and generate understanding. Sadly, our world is one in which science needs allies. At Caveat, a new performance space on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, science’s unlikely, though remarkably effective, ally is comedy. For the past few weeks, I’ve been consumed with NaNoWriMo and the first draft of my second novel. Having surpassed 30,000 words in 17 days, a comedy show is what I needed tonight. Plus, this gave me a chance to check out a cool new event space, hear from Dustin Growick, a scientist I admire, talking about his love for dinosaurs, and learn something about science and art. A perfect combo.

The event, aptly named Dinosaurs vs. Paintings, pitted two teams against one another to talk about which field of study is most impressive. It’s a funny debate combo, and the host, Meg Pierson, was delightfully self-deprecating and unapologetically passionate in her love for a good battle between academics. Along the way, the audience learned about the latest anatomical discoveries in paleontology (feathers, colors, and teeth, oh my!), the insanely forward-thinking insight that Hieronymus Bosch wrapped around his Garden of Earthly Delights, the Gardner Museum heist, and the vast variety of flora and fauna that existed during the time of the dinosaurs (~165 million years of time if you want specifics.)

Every minute, I found myself saying to my friends, “Really? That’s true? I had no idea!” And that’s the point of Caveat. The world may feel like it’s on fire at this strange moment in our history, and it’s still full of amazing discoveries and insights. While we may be completely wrapped up in our own day-to-day lives and times, our existence as a species is just the blink of an eye as far as the Universe is concerned. This too shall pass, and our job is to make the most of it while we’re here. It’s a humbling insight, and that alone was worth the price of admission.

Thank you Caveat and all the performers for a wonderful evening. I’m sure I’ll be back, ready to laugh and learn. Check out their full event calendar for science, comedy, books, live podcast recordings, and more.

About Christa Avampato

The short of it: Writer. Health, education, and art advocate. Theater and film producer. Visual artist. Product geek. Proud alumnae of the University of Pennsylvania (BA) and the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia (MBA). Inspired by ancient wisdom & modern tech. Proliferator of goodness. Opener of doors. Friend to animals. Fan of creative work in all its wondrous forms. I use my business skills to create passion projects that build a better world. I’ve been called the happiest New Yorker, and I try hard to live up to that title every day. The long of it: My career has stretched across Capitol Hill, Broadway theatre, education, nonprofit fundraising, health and wellness, and Fortune 500 companies in retail, media, entertainment, technology, and financial services. I’ve been a product developer and product manager, theater manager, strategic consultant, marketer, voice over artist, , teacher, and fundraiser. I use my business and storytelling to support and sustain passion projects that build a better world. In every experience, I’ve used my sense of and respect for elegant design to develop meaningful products, services, programs, and events. While building a business career, I also built a strong portfolio as a journalist, novelist, freelance writer, interviewer, presenter, and public speaker. My writing has appeared in The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PBS.org, Boston.com, Royal Media Partners publications, and The Motley Fool on a wide range of topics including business, technology, science, health, education, culture, and lifestyle. I have also been an invited speaker at SXSW, Teach for America, Avon headquarters, Games for Change, NYU, Columbia University, Hunter College, and the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. The first book in my young adult book series, Emerson Page and Where the Light Enters, was acquired by a publisher and launched in November 2017. I’m currently working on the second book in the series. A recovering multi-tasker, I’m equally at home in front of my Mac, on my yoga mat, walking my rescue dog, Phineas, traveling with a purpose, or practicing the high-art of people watching. I also cut up small bits of paper and put them back together as a collage artist. My company: I’m bringing together all of my business and creative career paths as the Founder of Double or Nothing Media: • I craft products, programs, and projects that make a difference; • I build the business plans that make what I craft financially sustainable; • I tell the stories that matter about the people, places, and products that inspire me. Follow my adventures on Twitter at https://twitter.com/christanyc and Instagram at https://instagram.com/christarosenyc.

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