Interview with David Mitzman, Whose Personal Efforts Resulted in the Sale of Over 600 Tickets to the 2008 Chinese New Year Spectacular (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Mr. David Mitzman from Southern California attended the 2007 Chinese New Year Spectacular and was deeply impressed by the beauty and inner meaning of the show. From then on, he tried his best to promote the show to his friends and his business clients. So far, as a result of his enthusiastic efforts, more than 600 people have bought tickets to the 2008 Chinese New Year Spectacular, which was scheduled to be performed at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on January 18-20. Mr. Mitzman said that he hoped to get 2,000 people to attend the show. Our reporter interviewed him on January 10, and the following is the content of the interview.
David Mitzman has convinced over 600 people to buy tickets
Reporter: Would you please introduce yourself?
Mr. Mitzman: My name is David Mitzman. I was brought up in San Francisco and went to college there. After graduation, I went into the hotel business for more than ten years. Then I went into my own business which is a travel agency called "Travel Server." I have run my own business for about 28 years.
Reporter: How did you learn about the show?
Mr. Mitzman: I happened to meet Jacklyn Xu at a trade show. She approached me along with a few other women dressed in magnificent Chinese costumes. She introduced the show to me. I went over the materials and watched the highlights of the show on DVD. It was amazing. It was so colorful, so artistic, and so beautiful.
My daughter was learning Chinese at school at that time and I thought that her class might want to come and see this in order to learn more about Chinese history and culture and arts. I contacted the school and also told my clients about it. In January 2007, 15 students from my daughter's school and some of my friends and my family saw the show.
Reporter: What is your impression of the show?
Mr. Mitzman: I see lots of performances, lots of plays, lots of dances, and lots of other shows. But this one, I didn't want to end. I could just keep watching it forever. The costumes, the magnificent dances, the unbelievable backdrops, the sets and everything. I actually felt that I was pulled into the set itself, and the music, the vocal performances, and the martial arts, all attracted me so much. Everything was translated so that people who are not Chinese could understand. It was a magnificent presentation. The best I have ever seen.
Reporter: What do you think you learned from the show?
Mr. Mitzman: I didn't know much about Chinese culture. I knew it was a very old culture, but I didn't know much about it until I watched the show. It basically paints, at least to me, a vivid picture of what occurred five thousand years ago or something, and brought it into the present. It was most amazing. I want to become involved this year with promoting the show and I plan to bring lots of my clients.
Reporter: Did you sense any cultural barriers when watching the show?
Mr. Mitzman: I wouldn't say that there was a barrier. I think it was like a real awakening for me to really be able to visually see another culture that I was totally unaware of before.
Reporter: What was it like to take in another culture, appearing in front of your eyes?
Mr. Mitzman: As for culture, to me, it is one of great peace. It is one of great kindness. It seems to be very focused and very centered. I actually felt when I was watching it, very calm and very relaxed. The way that everything floats, it was kind of like watching an ocean, with waves coming in and waves going out. And it just automatically brought you into the feeling, the atmosphere they are trying to convey. I totally forgot myself and that's why I felt so sad when they said it was the end of the show. I really wanted it to keep going. I felt such a connection with it and such an appreciation of how much study and how much dedication all these performers have for their particular art. It is their life and I think that when they are performing, they are performing their life. It is so vivid.
Reporter: How would you compare this show to the other shows you have seen?
Mr. Mitzman: The difference is that the others were all based on western civilization. This was a new culture and a new experience. It was the kind of thing I really, really enjoy because it was something new. It was in a different language, a different setting, and a different period of time. It was so beautiful, so visually pleasing.
Reporter: Do you still remember which part was your favorite from last year's performance?
Mr. Mitzman: The most impressive one to me, I don't remember the name, well I guess there were two. One was when all of the dancers cane out, walking very elegantly. Their hands seemed to float and altogether it was just so graceful. The other one, which I had never seen before, was the woman who played the two-string instrument [erhu]. I would have never imagined that one could get that kind of tone and that kind of music from such a simple instrument. I played the cello for a number of years, which had four strings. Literally, I closed my eyes and I just absorbed it. It was so beautiful.
Reporter: You have promoted this show to many people. Why do you do this?
Mr. Mitzman: Because I thought it was so beautiful and I want to share it with others who have never seen anything like this before. So I began to contact my clients, other tour companies and bus companies, sending them the literature about it. I just want them to have the chance to offer it to their own clients because this one comes here only once a year. It's a golden opportunity to experience history, to experience culture, and to become really, really engaged in a performance you will never experience unless you go see it. Regretfully, I have my regular job, so I could not spend all of my time promoting the show. I did as much as I could. I hoped I could get at least 2,000 people to attend the show.
My impression is that the best advertising is through word of mouth. I know after people watch the show on January 18-20 in Nokia Theatre, they will come back and they will tell their friends about it, and I know it will be double the following year.
Reporter: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Mr. Mitzman: In October 2007, I had an opportunity to speak in front of a large group of people and I talked about the show. After I spoke, at least twenty people came up and said that they wanted to attend the show. I told them that it allows people to see what it was actually like during the Tang Dynasty and regretfully it is not allowed to be shown in China as I understand. It is shown everywhere else except China. People in China are not permitted to see it. My audience simply couldn't believe that the Chinese government would be against such a beautiful show and prevent their people from watching it. I explained that it denies their own people the chance to see the traditions and values that include freedom of belief and spiritual seeking. I said that it was a tragedy that they could not experience this. When I said this, everybody started to applaud in agreement. Almost everyone there said that they wanted to see the show.
When Mr. Mitzman heard that people from the Chinese consulate in America wrote letters to American government officials asking them not to support or go to watch the show, he said that this was wrong. He said: "They are doing what they did to their own people. I think everyone should have a chance to watch it, as watching history is a privilege, and to watch non-western history in this country is really a unique opportunity."