Dear Fellow Cultivators
Starting from 2006 I had the honor of supporting Shen Yun performances in the backstage area for well over one hundred shows in cities and countries all over Europe.
Always when I went to other countries to help with Shen Yun and when I was seeing all the hard work local practitioners there were putting in to working on Shen Yun – from one side I was very happy to see all those practitioners in other countries to have the honor and possibility of helping Master to save sentient beings via Shen Yun, but at the same time I felt bad and sad, that as a main coordinator of Poland for several years I was not able to invite Shen Yun to Poland and thus I was not able to provide to all my Polish fellow practitioners the possibility to work for this greatest Master project. I felt this was my fault, it was all on me.
Last time Shen Yun performed in Poland in the city of Łódź was in 2015 and it was a success. After this we focused for a few years solely on getting the number 1 venue in the country and even though our VIP team contacted all they should have contacted, starting with Members of Parliament, then the Chairmen of Culture Commissions in Polish Sejm and Senate, different representatives of Ministry of Culture, up to the First Lady and even managing to have a short talk with the President of Poland about Shen Yun – we didn’t manage to make the breakthrough and open up the best venue in Poland. Then when we tried to invite Shen Yun to other venues in Poland, there were never available dates for Shen Yun to travel so far East of Europe, as priority was given to Western capitals of culture. And then the CCP virus came, so we did not have Shen Yun for seven years in Poland.
Me, as a main coordinator for Poland and main coordinator for Shen Yun in Poland, unfortunately with every year without Shen Yun I had less and less conviction that we will manage to invite Shen Yun again. With every year I was getting more and more passive about inviting Shen Yun to Poland, I was more and more in stagnation and marasmus state.
The phone call last October from the European Shen Yun Logistic coordinator was like a wakeup call – he said there was a need to fill up the gaps in the European Shen Yun tour, and that because of the CCP virus the situation in Europe was not so easy. This was truly like a wakeup call. Right away I contacted practitioners who were working hard on contacting VIPs about Shen Yun, and I told them about this phone call. The CCP virus restrictions were always more lax in Poland then in other European countries, and quickly I understand that both – from one side we can help Shen Yun by organizing shows in Poland basically without the virus restrictions influencing negatively the Shen Yun shows, and from the other side this was a chance to bring Shen Yun back so far East of Europe as there are still gaps to fill in.
So right away we jumped into contacting all previously qualified venues. But none of them had available dates.
Master says in Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine: “… When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible.”
So then right away we jumped into checking all other venues in Poland. We made a list of all 73 theaters in Poland and checked all of them for the audience capacity and stage dimensions. Actually, only those 3 previously qualified venues we contacted before, out of all 73 venues, met the minimum requirements, but none of them had available dates.
But then again, I remember Master's words: “… When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible.”
We started to check in other non-qualified venues the available dates. And soon we had an available date in one of the non-qualified venues. I sent details to the responsible person of this venue – and it was quickly rejected because of not having enough seats for the audience.
But in my mind, I just heard Master’s words: “… When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible.”
I asked this responsible person if I could double check this venue with Shen Yun Office, and he said in all previous years even much nicer venues with similar a number of seats were rejected, but if I wanted I could give it a try. And so I did. Soon I received feedback that not enough seats was not the biggest problem, but there were other problems with the venue which made it not qualifying, namely the stage is way too small thus not having enough space for quick changing rooms and no place for the piano at all.
The advantage of helping backstage for Shen Yun all over Europe was that I gained quite good knowledge and understanding of what Shen Yun needs on stage, and I have seen different ways of handling different difficult technical issues.
Having received another “No” from Shen Yun Office saying there is not enough space for quick changing rooms and the piano - I very humbly responded to Shen Yun Office if they could kindly check the following suggestions: that actually the fire curtain in the back area can be lifted, thus making space for the changing rooms in the back, and that at the position where piano should normally be there is a really big door and huge corridor outside and we could keep the piano in this corridor and then push it onto the stage when it's needed.
Deep inside I felt as well that this was a test of how much I, as a main coordinator, deep in my heart wished for Shen Yun to come back to Poland; a test of how much I will push forward and overcome difficulties to bring Shen Yun to Poland.
After some time, I received a positive answer for my suggestion – that indeed it can be done, and soon we proceeded to finalize the contract and just 2 months before the shows in January we signed the contract and started promotion. And like this, thanks to benevolent Master’s arrangements, we had Shen Yun back in Poland. And Polish practitioners could finally join in to help Master save sentient beings in Poland. We were working hard, and sales were going well and 2 weeks before the show we added additional shows. In the end all 3 shows were a full house. Thank you, Master.
In January, standing backstage during the shows I was extremely happy to see Shen Yun performing in Poland again. But personally I was totally exhausted both mentally and physically, and could not wait for vacation with my family planned right after the shows.
But right then standing in the backstage area during our evening show I learned there was another gap in the Shen Yun tour in May, and there was a real need to help Shen Yun and fill up the gap. Although I was totally exhausted, right away I shared with my fellow cultivators and next day, first thing in the morning, we again called all qualified and not-so-qualified venues.
We found another venue not totally qualifying, but they had only dates partially fitting the gap in the tour.
But, again, I remember Master's words: “… When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible.”
We contacted the venue and explained that it’s great they offered us some dates, but those dates were not really fitting the available dates in the tour, and if they could move the dates around we would be happy to rent the venue. After some discussions, the venue agreed and soon, we signed another contract and managed to invite Shen Yun again to Poland for the month of May, for the second time in the same season. The shows in May were a success as well with all 3 shows reaching full house. The venue management said it was the first time since opening that some show managed to gather a full house, and we not only have done it for one show, but for all 3 shows.
While Shen Yun was performing in this city, at the same time we had extensive talks with this venue management about dates for 2023. Unfortunately, they didn’t have available dates that would fit Shen Yun's schedule. They said this time they cannot help us with moving the dates because there are already other bookings.
I felt it’s my responsibility to not give up and again I recalled Master’s words: “… When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible.”
I decided to take this approach: We told the venue, that we would really like to comeback in 2023, and we kindly suggested, that maybe the venue could contact the company that already booked those dates that were good for us and ask if they would consider moving their booking to some other dates, thus giving us the dates that we needed. And right away we sent a text message to all Polish practitioners asking them to send forth righteous thoughts. After a few days, the venue responded that indeed the other company agreed to move their booking to some other date, and thus those dates were given to us. Thank you, Master.
Soon after we received dates from another very nice venue in which we hadn’t performed before. We really wanted to invite Shen Yun there, but out of the dates given by the venue only 1 day was matching the gap in the Shen Yun tour. This time this venue could not move their dates to match our dates.
Again, I thought about Master words: “… When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible.”
So, we found out which European city was scheduled before this date, and we contacted their coordinator and described the whole situation – in short, that there was this very nice venue, which we had been trying to get for several years, and they never offered us any dates. And now they offer us 2 days, but the only possibility to perform there would be if this previous city would cancel their last show so Shen Yun could come one day earlier to Poland and perform. After exchanging messages between this coordinator and the Shen Yun office – soon the decision was made: this country changed their booking and freed up their last day to give Shen Yun the possibility to come to Poland again. Hereby, I want to again give my big thanks to this country and the coordinator for making it possible.
I’m truly thankful for Master’s immense compassion, for making all these arrangements that make Shen Yun again possible in Poland.
After we managed to convince the Lublin city venue to move the dates a bit to fit Shen Yun’s schedule, we were very happy Shen Yun would have the first show so far east in Europe in the last decade, as the L city is only 70km away from the Ukrainian border, 80 km from the Belarusian border, 350 km from the nearest Russian boarder, 1100 km from Moscow and 4300 km from the China border – making it the closest Shen Yun show to communist block countries in more than 10 years.
We had a strong understanding that this is a new opening and a very meaningful step forward – Shen Yun coming so far east and so close to the communist block – it’s like an army liberating more post-communist territory and setting up a new front closer to the enemy.
We set the start of promotion on February 24th.
And we were all surprised and shocked when we woke up on February 24th to learn that Russia had invaded Ukraine.
People in Poland were all in shock as no one was sure about their future. The Shen Yun tickets were not selling at all.
Soon we received a phone call from the European Logistic coordinator who said: “I’m here with Shen Yun management and they would like to ask how are ticket sales going for L”. I was hold by breath and then answered: “No tickets were sold”.
Then I heard “Cancel the show!” I froze – a train of thought ran through my head: there was no Shen Yun for so many years in Poland and we had to overcome so much to bring it back here, we were fighting so strongly to bring it back, we had fought through so many “no’s” and now when we managed to invite Shen Yun so far east – there is just simply no way we can give up, there is no way we can surrender without a fight. Not after all we had broken through, not after fighting some many battles – there is no way we can give up now. So when I heard “Cancel the show!” I said “Please, no! Give me a moment to quickly share with Polish practitioners and get back to you”. I hung up and quickly shared with key practitioners involved – all of us felt the same – no one had even the slightest doubt, we all strongly felt: we must not give up, we must not surrender no matter what, not even because of war, especially a war waged by a communist regime.
So right away after a quick sharing with Polish practitioners I wrote a message to the European Logistic coordinator saying “Please give us a week – we will try a new tactic this week – and we will show you we can still sell tickets”.
Although there are no practitioners in L city, and the closest practitioners live about a 2 hour car drive away - right away we pulled together our practitioner troops and immediately organized shopping mall promotion and leaflet distribution in upscale parts of the city. A big group of Polish practitioners went to Lublin to promote the show.
The tickets started to sell, The shows were a success – until Shen Yun’s performance, no one ever, no other show ever has managed to reach a full house in this venue. And Shen Yun managed to have 3 full house shows there.
I would like to finish this sharing with the following quote from Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine:
“When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!"
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow cultivators!
(Selected to the European Fa-conference 2022 in Wasaw)
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