You may have heard the Northeast just had its 1st major snowstorm this past weekend coinciding with Elsbeth’s and my trip to Kripalu in Western Massachusetts to teach our annual couples workshop and perform the TantraNova Man show.
The night of my show on Saturday the snow had come down in droves. As the people began to file into the performance hall and all the seats were filled to capacity at about 250 people the show proceeded as it usually does.
The primordial music starts to play and I appear wrapped in a bag symbolic of the single-celled amoeba as life began. In the show, I sing and tell stories for an hour or so. I also have multimedia running in the background to create a certain atmosphere and to dramatize the story. While I do use an acoustic drum most of my stage support is electronica drum synthesizer, a head mike, sound, and lights. And now – it happened:
A half hour into the show flickering of the lights occurred and then….. the power went out altogether. Some rustling of the crowd…however, I kept in character and continued with my lines as if nothing had changed – though now without a mike, spotlights, sound or any amplification.
Fortunately, the emergency lights over the exit doors next to the stage had come on and shone a mild light onto the scene. I returned to my beginnings years ago when I did the whole show acoustically.
A major blackout for millions in the North East as we later found out! I continued my performance with a new sense of freedom in the face of what might have seemed a disaster.
What showed up for me was profound — no distraction from electronics, visual gadgetry, multi-media or a failing head mike to worry about. It was like singing and telling stories with acoustic drum and voice by candlelight with about 250 people for moments of connection and stillness that will always be with me. And what I was reminded of was to be open to the unexpected — it’s in this mindlessness that magic can happen.
Upon completion of the show, people came up to me in awe about holding the performance space and energy with such command of the stage, without blinking an eye and keeping the audience even more captivated. “Masterful” one exclaimed. They shared that they initially thought that the lights going out were part of the show … yet quickly noticed that it was not so. For myself I noticed that I had hit another level of performance and presence … no matter what!!!