In the interest of becoming a person with interests, I agreed to go to Trampoline Hall last week when Janice invited me, even though I didn’t quite understand what Trampoline Hall was.
What I did know was it was taking place at The Garrison, a mere six minute walk from my apartment, and would get me out of the house on a cold winter weeknight.
When I arrived to a packed venue, I quickly realized this monthly ticket is in high demand. And for good reason.
As host Misha Glouberman explained at the outset, Trampoline Hall is a monthly lecture series in which three speakers discuss any topic, as long as they’re not a professional expert in it. Their speeches are followed by an audience Q&A, which hopefully involves the audience asking questions, and not making statements to show off their own perceived knowledge on a topic (we’ve all been witness to these types of Q&As, right?).
Of course I only have my one experience to go on, but on this night the speakers impressed with their candor and humour, on three completely different topics…
Speaker one got me hooked right away, as she discussed the movie The Last Unicorn (which I’m not sure I’d ever heard of before, but now feel the need to watch). She discussed her relationship with the movie as a child, and how that changed over time, especially given the version she watched all those years ago was apparently cut off before the end. She discussed parallels between that movie, and her own journey through relationships later in life, and her eventual transition from man to woman. It was an honest, captivating and funny talk.
Speaker two discussed laughter, and what makes us do it. Do we laugh because something’s actually funny, or is it more out of obligation, discomfort or habit? And is it socially acceptable to actively not laugh, when you think something isn’t funny? She raised several interesting questions, though the highlight was her introductory anecdote about where her dad wants his ashes scattered when he dies.
Speaker three spoke about Graves’ disease, which he’s been living with in recent years, after kicking drug addiction. He discussed how it’s effected his day to day life and his appearance, and how he’s more self conscious of the latter than people may realize. As a generally self conscious person, that last part resonated.
Full disclosure: I was feeling like shit on the night of this event, and initially wasn’t sure I’d make it beyond the first speaker. But she was so good, I knew I couldn’t just get up and leave. I wanted to hear more.
As I listened to these completely different people discuss completely different topics, it of course made me wonder what I’d speak about at such an event. Sure, there’s many things I can speak about at length — Full House, potato chips, Kelly Clarkson. But what would my point be in discussing any of those things?
(Also, does working for an entertainment news show make me a “professional” expert in pop culture now? lolol).
Almost a week later, I’m still not sure what I’d discuss, and that’s okay. While I figure it out, I’d love to go back to Trampoline Hall and hear more people discuss topics they’re passionate about.
No better way to discover new interests, than to hear people talk about theirs, right?