The structure of this musical, educational performance is designed to CONNECT audiences through creating strong rapport and trust. At the core of his presentation, Rob delivers inspiring concepts of self-reliance and goal oriented thinking. Kids and adults can actually play Rob's drums, participate on stage, share performances from students at their own schools, EXPERIENCE the musical moment and FEEL his message!
The concert venue has engaging animation segments that deal with Practice, Anti-Bullying and Accepting Diversity. EXPLORIA PRODUCTIONS of Hartford, CT, has created a new and exciting dimension to the ROB THE DRUMMER national presentations in the form of 3-D animated character segments, projected on stage to interact with Rob with live action and commentary during the show.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
HIGH SCHOOL ~ COLLEGE .... all AGES!
Rob stresses equality of the sexes in the Arts and Sports, stresses the importance of practice in anything you do, and then attacks the drug issue with plain talk in a “non-preaching” manner. His unique deliverance allows people to FEEL, not just passively listen. Audiences experience a wide range of POSITIVE EMOTIONS for immediate, as well as long term impact! Rob Gottfried is an accomplished International musician who teaches percussion privately and performs professionally. Kids and adults will actually play the drums, participate on stage, EXPERIENCE the musical moment and FEEL his message! Rob demonstrates midi-controllers and drum computers. The culminating event is often a dynamic ten minute SOLO of the Most Famous Drum Solos in History!
CONCERT PERFORMANCE TIME - 60 to 90 minutes
SET-UP TIME - 2 hours (Percussion / Sound / Video).
Honorarium and Expenses are Variable with Location, Duration and Specific Needs
Scheduling is flexible to meet individual school needs.
30’ X 20’ presentation area required in gymnasium, auditorium, or cafeteria
Musical interaction with Audience
CONCERT THEME GOALS and Small Group Session
Rob delivers full-performance, entire-population shows schools across the nation and then additionally, offers follow up, small group sessions. These secondary performance sessions... the same day of the concert... reinforce and promote the following concert themes:
* The “need for practice” in anything you do . . .
* Equality of the Sexes in the Arts and Sports . . .
* What it’s like to be “in the music” as a participant, rather than just listening to it as an outsider.
* Goal Orientation
* Self Reliance
* Worthiness and Self-Esteem Issues
* Career Paths and Choices . . .
and most importantly . . .
* The ARTS & SPORTS as a “natural” way to change the way you feel, rather than an “artificial” one . . . and we will make them feel what we are saying. I will continue to reinforce the themes and to continue to “break the ice” with non-verbal/verbal/non-verbal exchanges using hand drums and other percussion instruments provided by one of the many companies that endorse and sponsor ROB THE DRUMMER.
As a motivational educator I use drums, a primal, non-verbal vehicle to create a strong rapport with the audience, encouraging catharsis and role-model identification, to cause significant behavioral change.
THE BIG PICTURE
To my mind, we need to look at "the big picture" - the overview, that puts teaching and performing in context. To conceptualize " a sense of wonder" is a challenge for any age. For an educator, it is a Master Game . . . why not play!
THE GOAL ~ National & International Ambassador for Children
NON-VERBAL COMMUNICATION: For educators, non-verbal communication has to be one of the finest tools to cause real change. It is the "fun," the "bang for the buck, " if you will, the romantic reason why the student falls in love with the instrument they practice or perform. It promotes "passion" essential to the arts and sports. It makes everyone "feel or experience NOW!" continually. It has been called "the Muse" throughout the centuries . . . it is what make’s individuals sequester themselves for hours at a clip and go beyond their limits toward a goal that they have courageously set . . . to refine their instrument by themselves . . . to let more and more of this force through, in all of its diversity.
"ROB THE DRUMMER”
STAGE SET - It begins with a massive, high-tech set . . . a visual that immediately gives one the impression of someone who is high tech, current and is showing something very few people on the planet have seen. The DRUM FRAME is one of only 250 in existence, the brainchild of a leader in the percussion field, who happens to be a friend I had gone to high school with, Bob Gatzen. Elevated up on an angle, giant drumsticks to symbolize the “Big Kid” or equal that I am, giant mallets over on the other side with drum machines. . . generally a high -tech, adventurous, playful environment.
INTRODUCTORY COMMENTS - establishment process of credentials, somewhat celebrity status, of what this unique “Character” is offering. The Banner hangs overhead, still creating a childlikeness and a lasting impression as a LOGO.
STAGE ENTRANCE/Appearance: Wearing a shirt with brightness up top - colorful rays radiating from a sun . . . setting a appearance of optimism right off the bat. Martial Arts pants to refer to my martial arts experience and also make them comfortable that I am not an authority figure walking out with shirt, tie, pants, shoes and so forth . . . LACK OF SHOES . . . barefoot shows ultimate freedom . . . somewhere between some pointing to the big-time wrestler image of which I was involved early on in amateur status. My beard . . . another mark of freedom that has not always been accepted in society, and so forth.
INITIAL MOOD CREATED . . . one of quiet intensity . . . a sense of “he means business” . . . by asking the audience NOT to think. The entire scene and opening is very unorthodox with a hint of “this is something special!” By asking them NOT to think, I immediately connect and focus their attention with the SURPRISE ELEMENT. That immediately starts the process towards total communication! Peer involvement and socialization is being asked to be curtailed. I ask for NO TALKING INSIDE OR OUTSIDE. Everyone individually is being invited to focus inside of themselves, something which is not done very often in their day of education. This has more to do with the drug culture going towards ecstasy than it does in “learning” something specific. I am immediately referring my audience to an altered state. This also begins a certain mob psychology, where individualism flows into being part of a group. They are all quiet, not because they are being forced to or specifically told to, but because it is interestingly enough to have them naturally become quiet. i.e. the kid’s own interest focuses their attention.
PLAYING THE GONG:
Further focusing goes on with each step, for example, as I pull out of its case the huge GONG BEATER. The interest of a GONG is a fine example of percussion and it is associated with monumental events or special occasions. In the movies and in American culture, Gongs signal that unique moment in time, and this hopefully is no exception. NO one has ever asked them to do this, most probably, and certainly en mass in their school. So the “special event ethic” takes on an even greater meaning. This “quiet inside . . .quiet outside” approach is linked to ancient mysticism, metaphysics, even religious experiences and interfaces with the desired consciousness change of alcohol and drug use, but this experience, of course, leaves them “more” when they finish and not “less.” . . . “can’t even get close. ”
I attempt to use peer pressure at this moment and some seniority to help them become quiet. Many groups have not been or are not use to quality offering for special events and do not know how to react courteously and properly. This is also tied to the demographic that they come from, i.e. . . what gene pool and environment of parents that are teaching their children to be courteous to strangers and to offer respect for that which is deemed collectively meaningful by teachers AND students. This plays off youthful rebellion against acceptance of what teachers and parents are encouraging. . . the eternal battle! (All of their energy physically being directed towards the gong) . . . in the very center, this follows mandala thinking and is archetypal in the human species.
“DAZZLED!” - The Contrast!
The contrast of the quiet created inwardly and outwardly and the loudness of the following (drum) playing is a SHOCK! . . . exactly what is suppose to happen. At the same time, it is now time for them to “buy into” ME as a player, so hopefully I “dazzle” them at the same time as I am creating that shock and then, endeavor to create a flow that will parallel many of the things they listen to on the radio all the time and/or CDs, tapes and so forth. I am bringing a little of the recreational special parts of them into their educational environment. It tends to bring their attention to me.
RECORDED BACKGROUND MUSIC to accompany solos: The addition of this musical background music promotes me being a jazz/rock player as in any band, and makes it more comfortable in a situation where the concept might come up that I am a single drummer spending an hour and a half with these people, all by myself with no other instrumentalist . . . quite unique.
THE APPLAUSE FACTOR: is very important. It tells me immediately how much self esteem they have and what they are willing to give up. It is something to be worked on throughout the entire show. Indeed, the first four segments of the performance are all things to get them used to me as a person and to get them used to giving response to my stimulus.
MY VOICE as an instrument and STIMULUS:
I am using my voice as an instrument, whose lower frequencies will generally cause the words to go in deep. Part of it is natural and part of it is theatrical. It is a very useful tool. Also, unusual and useful things like picking up the gong beater with my toe . . . are important to show the audience dexterity and show them that I may be somebody that has some special talents who tries to create a sense of wonder or mystery . . . anything that I can do . . . to get their attention to the subtle and not so subtle!
“YOU KNOW WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT . . . RIGHT?”
Very strongly wanting to give them a signal that’s it’s all right to give me everything that they have . . . a familiar theme throughout the show! This is a wake-up moment for the audience!
THE DRUM SET - 5 DIFFERENT PEOPLE AT ONCE:
This segment is a direct attempt by me to initiate and test their eye-hand coordination and motor skills with kids and adults. Again, something that they have not been asked to do in a very long time, if ever. The amazing ability to have five different things from your body going on at one time is something I have now involved them in and have forced them to experience the confusion of trying to do it right off the bat with your own natural skills without having practiced.!
PRACTICE SEGMENT: we are looking at following up on the idea that they were just doing five things at once with their bodies and now they are understanding how methodical and difficult it may be to practice these things. Practice is an essential component to the ROB THE DRUMMER message!
LATIN DRUMMING SEGMENT:
In a Latin flavor to show them that I am diverse as a musician and also showing them the current, the double bass drum technique which many of the heavy-metal drummers are involved with for special effects. Conga drums may also be added in this segment for variety and rhythmic connection. (The REFERENCE to my MOTORCYCLE and riding a bike with training wheels is also letting them know that I have another life outside of that which they see, and that I would be interested in something else that they would be interested in.) The idea of CONNECTION THROUGH PRACTICE is an incredibly important theme here, that one feels connected to their insides and their outsides by practicing . . . and the more you practice the close it gets until you “feel at one” is the endpoint; that you develop the vocabulary and make your hands and feet into tools!
ANIMATION SEGMENT ~ Practice in anything you do!
“SIT UP AND KEEP EYE-CONTACT” . . . I ask the audience to sit up! The concept of practice of the assertion towards manners of meeting someone for the first time and asking them to sit up and keep eye contact is a further guiding of their ability to exchange, and it pushes the process onto the next level. They are now usually impressed enough to see that this is not your usual school presentation. My REFERENCE TO GRANDPARENTS brings a wholeness of the human experience and a connection to some of their feelings towards their older relatives.
AUDIENCE PARTICIPATION - Getting the MOVING!
Now the audience is actually engaged physically - moving is such a phenomenal breakthrough of their processing that it is incredibly useful. This starts a certain dynamism of the performance and gets everybody out of their uncomfortable “just sitting” position into having to make an effort and also involving peer ridicule and judgment . . . Their thoughts become . . . “Should I embarrass myself?” . . . “Should I take the chance of embarrassing myself in front of my friends?” . . .“Is this cool to do or not cool to do? . . .” Physical participation forces people out of their shells as individuals. It’s a short term goal and its also a shared experience and hopefully everybody gets pulled in for the moment, even if they are personally tentative. Next I will ask them to do two things at once - it may appear somewhat difficult, but I am also trying to “grease it” and kid it along, so that they are laughing and enjoying the experience while they are still learning something new.
GIVE YOURSELF A HAND!!!!!!!! . . . Again! and again! and again! I want them to feel the flush of self-esteem, if you will, and continue to push the positive.
WALKING DOWN into the AUDIENCE LEVEL:
This breaks the stage performer / audience separation and BONDS ME to them thinking they may be picked and that they need to be at their best and that I’m watching very closely. This additionally gives me a chance to come closer to those who might be hesitant to take part and, in some cases might be disruptive . . . I am able to home right in on them and usually
with my own expressions or eye contact, am able to turn around any type of apathy to positive action.
My RADAR is on!!!!
(Going Back on Stage to do the “Double-Stroke-Roll”)
“DOUBLE- STROKE ROLL!” - As the audience experiences the dynamics of this practice exercise, the take a part of them that they have just tried and I now let them see what THEY would be like, through a catharsis, if they had practiced or if they had put the practice time in that I have . . . it lets them live through me for the moment . . .a continual theme through the program. My “two beats on the left and two beats on the right” segment has become a ROB “the drummer” Gottfried concert trademark.
A GOOD BUZZ OF ENERGY IS FLOWING!!!!
Including and connecting all the Arts and Sports is extremely important here, in that one may identify with one more than another and this helps “custom-tune” the presentation to the individual person, no matter what position they are coming from, plus there is a certain amount of amazement for the speed that the double-stroke-roll comes up to for kids or adults of any age. Truly, it can be exciting to watch! At the point of . . . one-thing-with-each-hand . . . one-thing-with-each-foot, we‘ve generally got a good buzz going of energy. In other words, the audience is starting to come to my energy level and consciousness and we’ve gotten to know each other well enough to see that this is really becoming enjoyable and more and more people are getting directly involved OR are at least polarizing. They may in fact, decide more and more this is not something they can take part in because of their own needs, desires and blocks, but we can only hope to achieve that they release by the end of the performance. Truly this is a difficult thing for adults or older kids, never mind elementary or middle school age.
WORKING THE CROWD - MAKING EVERYONE FEEL INCLUSIVE! Physical differences disappear! You can see, that as I am working through these procedures, I am trying to “work the crowd” and not avoid any specific section, making everyone feel inclusive. Personally, something I must say at this point . . . if there is anything physically about me that they find odd, hair, weight and so forth, we are starting to lose the importance of this for a much higher goal . . . They are getting to know me . . . my insides, rather than so much my appearance on the outside.
**** This is a turn around for most kids who are very involved in first impressions and looks. They are getting to see the person underneath in a very, extremely outward dimension . . . I am revealing myself in honesty, and they can feel it!
THE MOVE TO THE “BIG STICKS” - My picking the Big Sticks up . . . The move is one to show that I can still be a little kid and have fun. Sometimes this works and sometimes this doesn’t. If they are particularly low self-esteem, and non-humorous, this can die very quickly. This can be a semi-uncomfortable moment. If not, they can get some riotous laughter out of it. It’s at this point in the show that I feel I can reveal a little more like this without threatening or putting myself in jeopardy on their overall estimation of the performance. Additionally, the idea of having “an attack” is something I think they can associate with. Almost from the point of view of Ali McBeal, where she reacts with her own feelings much more than she makes logical decisions, the fact that I at the same time am being left brained with logic, I must also be able to do what I feel . . . It’s an important message!
I am doing exactly what I say. We are trying to do something together as a group; more “mob psychology,” less individualism, and trying to do something else physical that will get them up and out of their seats and get them to GIVE rather than hold on to their own energy and live in their heads. I’m trying to get them out! When it’s followed by the screaming, it’s an attempt to get everyone to release on mass and I believe it is well established that when groups of people release, it can be much stronger and make one go beyond their separate limits then if they were left to their own single devises. Thus, this is usually a real winner of expression!
My comment AFTER the first wave . . . “Now THAT was really HORRIBLE!” . . . I usually shock them when I say that and generally there is a big LAUGH!!!!!!! The idea of it being HORRIBLE” And me not being able to say that, is another indicator of a “Devil-may-care” attitude that leaves them off balance as to who I really am.
GIVE YOURSELF A HAND . . .!!! Each time I am asking them to GIVE THEMSELVES A HAND, it gets better . . . it gets better . . . it gets better! They are getting used to giving. They are getting used to having an assembly where it’s OK to be loud . . . where it’s OK to give, as long as it is along the parameters of an exchange, therefore, where it is appropriate. This is a useful tool, throughout, to increase their “coming out” of themselves. In the specific instance of the wave and screaming we are asking for an absolute peak output of energy and . . . ALL THE WAY . . . WITH EVERYTHING THEY HAVE! And if we follow the “you get back what you give out” syndrome, they are starting to feel more and more coming back from what they are offering.
DRUM CALL AND RHYTHMIC RESPONSE:
From the traditional of primal communication devices that were drums, this call and response next segment of playing back and forth with the audience . . . This gets very intense when we’re going for the silent moments and when I am working with 500 or 1000 people at once, the spaces in between where nothing moves are amazingly intense and is exactly where I am trying to take each individual . . . into nonverbal silence. At this point in the performance we are really helping them to “forget themselves,” we are starting to really pull them out to be part of the exchange, as much as is possible for each individual. It also is a direct test of their rhythmic abilities and their sense of where the beat is in general, not only being able to echo the combinations, but also to have a sense of where the common “ONE” is.
“DO YOU FEEL GOOD . . .OR WHAT?” is a call to have a measuring of their spirit and involvement and starts the TALK off with a BANG! “I feel good, too” - My admittance thatI actually feel good, too, along with them, is a warm connection - it let’s them know that I am on the same page as they are.
CONCERT CORE: DIALOGUE
ANTI-SUBSTANCE ABUSE /ANTI-BULLYING DIALOGUE
It is at this part of the program that I am going to “burden” them cerebrally. In other words, take the chance that they will not tune-out what I am about to say. And in this process, I will try to use whatever means to shock them into awareness, when they would probably like to put aside what they might consider to be “preaching. “ I will continue to pull them with my concepts I am trying to get across in an interesting enough manner so that they will not “tune-out.”
Trying to relate to them concerning MTV and the fact that all of these movie and music stars come from towns just like theirs is another attempt to have the children have a catharsis thinking . . . . . . projecting ahead . . . that it’s possible for dreams to come true! It’s actually possible and probable to achieve greatness! At the onset of the talk, there is an immediate desire on my part to pull them down noise-wise as much as possible. And I find, in general, that if they’re not totally quiet by the time I begin, then usually, when I am pulling in the references to amputation and the Olympics, that a whole different demeanor takes over the crowd. This is then followed up by the relating of the difference in freedom; the relating of the fact that one is free HERE in the USA; trying to discuss what it is like to really NOT be free, even in this same time frame, by discussing a tense, former visit to a foreign country. The talk itself is self explanatory, and you would be able to pull whatever you want out of it, if you listen directly.
I make constant reference to CHANGING YOUR PERCEPTION, I’m dancing around the area of freedom and more than anything, I am trying to allude to ways of changing your perception and why they are such a strong draw for people, to change their lives to accommodate that experience! I continue to use whatever shocking terminology is possible, not only for showing my irreverence in some form to ignorance . . . but . . . as a way of aligning myself with a rebellious nature. At the same time, what I am saying is truth and ultimately, I believe they are buying it, because this trust factor is not something that I ever cross. I don’t make a mistake, if at all possible, in this performance. Even the wildest kid will pull right in and I will have eye-contact and total silence when I am discussing the tapping of one’s telephone, the tapping of a hotel room, the being followed wherever you go, somebody going through your suitcase, because it is such a personal invasion. They can really feel it!
In references to the KGB and Police, is a way of substantiating the idea that the police HERE deserve our respect and admiration, because they are able to help you, rather than hurt you. The warnings of AOL and other big servers being able to record and decide what you are doing for marketing purposes is truthful and starts people thinking in the direction of questioning authority, which I think is very important.
COFFEE-CIGARETTES-ALCOHOL - PARENTS AS ROLE MODELS . . . Most kids are so beaten by anti-drug talk that when I am now mentioning drugs directly for the first time, there is always the tendency to want to shove it away, except that I am saying different things than they are use to hearing. Because I am referring to drugs that are legal and are the most used - coffee, cigarettes, alcohol - the relationships to their parents, their major role-models, are clearly evident and the inference to this whole section it . . . DON’T FOLLOW! A very important concept for those who are searching for their own identities; a very uncomfortable stage when their glands are going crazy and they have no idea who they really are. The references to their parent’s generation is touchy, but important to point out, because many of them are stuck in those patterns because they are modeling their dad’s or mom’s alcoholism or worse, cocaine use on the weekends and certainly, marijuana use for the baby-boomers parents.. The main points of their parents generation needing drugs to get through a day, the very base of why demand side will always remain high. People have a hard time discovering their own wealth of energy: their connection to the “well.” This is the first time, perhaps, some of them have really thought, maybe my parents might be wrong . . . for many of them.
*************The CLINCHER for this segment . . . is obviously the fact that many of their musician role models, the people they endear the most when they leave school, are in real trouble and have DIED because of it, or at least become damaged by the negatives followed by the positives of NATURAL WAYS of changing your perspective is critical . . . and the right timing.
The reference to the perception of TIME and to DEATH are subjects that most kids, whether elementary through high school, have just not gone near. This is extremely valuable for them to see what it is . . . The idea of teenage suicide is something I am touching on, desperation, depression. . . . Another comment, is establishing myself in the “Woodstock Generation” and the fact that I was at a historical event that many of them would probably have loved to have been with the original groups that are having such a reawakening at this time. It’s a small pat on the back, but it works.
References to MONEY: the kind of monies that are made, but with heavy problems at the same time.
Reference to CHRIS FARLEY is a great equalizer surrounding laughter and his tragic death, unfortunately.
The references to the beginning of the performance concerning SILENCE and BEING IN THE SAME PLACE AT THE SAME TIME is a welcome recapitulation of how far we have come in the entire experience. Again I continue to use references towards everyday experiences they would have, like in a movie theater. EXPERIENCING A MOVIE BY BECOMING COMPLETELY LOST IN IT - LOSING ALL CONCEPT OF TIME. The concepts of instantaneous time, when you are not paying attention, are concepts that even adults do not very often entertain.
BACK TO THE DRUMS . . . AUDITORY SHOCK!
At this point . . . the drums are an AUDITORY SHOCK at a time when things have been quiet for too long and a very useful tool.
PRO-ACTIVE, POSITIVE EXPERIENCES:
This takes the program into the PRO-ACTIVE, POSITIVE EXPERIENCES of Scuba Diving and Parachute Jumping which are things that excite anyone of any age and hopefully my ACTING THROUGH and telling of the experience pulls them in for a catharsis, again, for them to live through me for the moment. It is combined with flying in a small plane and even that, many of them have not had a chance to do, but would like to. I invite you to listen to the entire segment on the enclosed video for the specifics and gain your own judgment as to what would be applicable for any kind of research point to be investigated. The pay off is . . . “Did I
need something artificial to CHANGE the way I felt?” because this is a real live situation and after all, people learn better when told a story rather than being told what to do. I t is doubly accepted because it is first hand knowledge and experience.
THE DRUMMING SEGMENT
This is a nice way to cap the entire experience and we now move on and bring the speed up with other interesting things concerning MUSIC. Leaving behind the heavy part - we have not preached, and yet, we have been informative and have left strong impressions.
The Recording Industry and High Tech Segment: The references to the recording industry and the demands to high technical and musical excellence translate to money . . . are worthwhile ones . . . and the relationship of a “Drummer” in that process and electronic devises which are the backbone of much of what they hear . . . make them do some thinking on musical structure that they hear every day that they might not have ever come to previously.
DRUM MACHINE SEGMENT: (Rhythm Stick) (WAVE DRUM)
It is now time to get them up PHYSICALLY and get them UNIFIED again after they have been sitting, listening, and having a more individual experience. The dance, clap, move as ONE. Now, we are functioning as a GROUP, hopefully trying to get everyone moving in a celebratory mood and bringing the vibes up even higher. This is another draw to one’s insides rather than outsides.
The RHYTHM STICK offers new terminology as a midi-controller and is a very unique item, very few having been seen at all especially since they are not made anymore, but it illustrates a very interesting point and is a great vehicle for communication with Rob and the students, one-on-one, as he asks the a few to come up. An important aspect is the fact that one of their own is coming up to experience something and they are able to live through them since it is someone who is familiar. My playing THE RHYTHM STICK, along with the CLAPPING actually is forming a musical piece and that it is very useful in their seeing it in the larger context of what they hear on the radio. I invite students to come up on stage with me and play together! Inviting the kids as I am, one-on-one, to go beyond their limits and pay extra attention, is incredibly useful for every member in the audience to see and “live through.” The electronic references to real life instruments bridges the gap between these two. For NAMM, this is an important distinction and would be worthwhile showing high-tech and the traditional instruments.
KIDS on stage PLAYING on my DRUM SET!!!!
The UNBRIDLED RELEASE of all the kids playing my drum set at once is a cross between mass-hysteria and mass-exultation and ecstasy. It is a wonderful moment of peak experience, followed by the teachers letting their own inner child come out and showing that a person of any age is capable if expressing through this medium and indeed, letting their insides and
outsides merge when they have a more highly developed cerebral cortex or cerebral function.
Social Support is extremely important here and the repetitive calls for applause for their own is a lesson well learned. This is a great release of energy , teachers and students alike! teachers and students
Having authority figures release as children . . . is fresh.
FINALE - 10-MINUTE DRUM SOLO - The greatest drumming segments in history!
The most exciting component of a rock presentation is the Drum Solo. Played to dynamic excerpts from the drumming greats, this is a segment adults and children alike connect with and enjoy - at times exploding into rhythmic dance in their seats - the finale to my concert.
QUESTION & ANSWER Segment
Depending upon time allotments, a more relaxed, quiet time is the question and answer period where I am able to take input and field questions, no matter how great or strange . . . The questions sometimes go into personal natures or concepts. Every show is absolutely different and hopefully they have come away with knowing my heart and have experienced a change of consciousness at the very least, and perhaps a change of life-path at the very most. After question and answer, when I come back out into the audience, it is usually the format to have more one-on-one conversations, some of which are people who desire to speak more privately than they would have in a public context. Some of the issues we brought up could touch people quite significantly. I have everything from people who are about to commit suicide to those having problems with their parents in general. They seem to approach me, not as an authority figure . . . .but as someone who would be a friend.