Experience Sharing on Shen Yun Promotion
(Minghui.org) Greetings, respected Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am a practitioner from Chicago. I used to do research work in a lab and did not have many opportunities to communicate with others, so I was not very experienced in talking to people. In the past three years, I have been promoting Shen Yun at ticket selling locations. My skills have improved a lot and ticket selling has naturally become my responsibility.
To sell Shen Yun tickets is not just an everyday sales job—it is saving sentient beings. In order to sell well, one has to be fully prepared, which includes both cultivating and technical skills. Before I went to sell tickets, I always studied the Fa and did the exercises. On the technical side, I not only learned how to introduce Shen Yun but also mastered the ticketing system, since I didn't want to hinder the sentient beings being saved due to my poor technical skills.
Today I’m going to share a few things I experienced selling tickets.
Eliminate the interference and save sentient beings with righteous thoughts
At the ticket selling locations, I felt that we opened the field step by step. At the end of February, we got approvals to sell tickets at more than a dozen gyms. The schedule of the one I went to was from 4-8 p.m. I was told it was in the basement and had no Internet access or phone service, so I loaded the seating charts of all the five shows onto my laptop.
At 4 p.m., right after I had set up the TV, a Chinese woman arrived. She looked at the TV and said it was Falun Gong. I told her that this was the purest traditional Chinese cultural show. She replied to me in English that I talked too fast for her to understand and left. I did not pay much attention to her and continued to introduce Shen Yun to others. She came back in a while and said in Chinese, “I just want to know if this is presented by Falun Gong.” I said it was. She started to curse Dafa and said angrily that we were causing the Chinese people to lose face. I was quite calm and clarified the truth to her, but she wouldn’t listen and got angrier. She wanted to ask the management to kick me out because it was a community gym and she didn’t want Falun Gong to be there. I had never been in such a situation when promoting Shen Yun. What should I do? I started to worry that others would think I was arguing with a customer. If she told the management to kick me out, we would lose this ticket selling spot. Then the sentient beings there wouldn’t be saved and Shen Yun’s image might be damaged, too.
At that time an experience in St. Louis came to my mind. I was lucky enough to see the Shen Yun show in St. Louis in mid-February. In the first program, the Lord of Buddhas attacked the evil red dragon with his supernormal abilities. The white lightning was so powerful that the dragon was defeated immediately, without any struggle. I suddenly understood that Master was showing me how to send forth better righteous thoughts. I could feel Master’s enormous compassion. Before that, I had a notion that I had to close my eyes when sending forth righteous thoughts to make it powerful.
I thought that if a life couldn’t be saved, then he or she shouldn’t affect others being saved. Practitioners’ righteous thoughts can change the environment—how could I let the evil take advantage of this situation? I started to send forth strong righteous thoughts. I told her firmly that I did not want to talk to her anymore and asked her to leave. Then I stood there quietly and sent forth righteous thoughts. An American girl came over to watch the TV and I introduced Shen Yun to her. That Chinese woman grabbed the girl rudely and told her to not listen to me because I was a bad person, but she was so irrational that she was speaking Chinese. The American girl stared at her surprise and didn’t talk to her. I told the girl about Shen Yun as if nothing had happened. She listened carefully and left with a flyer.
I continued to send forth righteous thoughts. The woman left and stood far away from the booth, glaring at me. I continued to send forth righteous thoughts and the fierceness in her eyes disappeared. Then she left and never showed up again.
Later, the TV screen blacked out. I was distressed because the promotion would be much less effective without the TV. Was I going to waste the day’s opportunity? I searched carefully and found something wrong with the TV box. Nobody ever touched it, so how did it stop working? In another dimension, selling tickets and saving sentient beings is a battle between good and evil. The evil wouldn’t want to lose the battle easily, so it interfered in other ways. I fixed the box and two hours had passed. A started to wonder why was I assigned to such a bad spot. Immediately I realized that this thought was not me but was the attachment to fame. Practitioners should think of others first and cooperate unconditionally. I neglected the bad thoughts and felt the field was cleaner. More and more people showed interest and stopped by.
After 6 p.m., an American girl said she would come to purchase tickets after exercising for an hour. She came back around 7 and picked up two tickets. I couldn’t process the tickets because there was no Internet connection, so I filled out the sales book and charged her using a credit card machine. She was a little worried that someone else could purchase her tickets. I told her it wouldn’t happen, but I was worried, too. That day over a dozen ticket selling spots were open, and the seating chart I showed to her had been loaded hours before. After she left I told myself that I had to process the tickets right away. I tried to connect to the Internet using my cell phone, but the signal was weak. I sent forth righteous thoughts and asked Master for help. I was able to connect to the Internet and those two tickets were still available. The Internet was very slow and it took a long time to process every step. The Internet then disconnected and I had to start all over again. I continued to send forth righteous thoughts and asked Master for help. I was touched when the purchase success page finally showed up. I thanked Master in my heart.
At 7:30 p.m. two more girls showed interest. One of them wanted to buy two tickets in the first row on the third floor. I knew we didn’t have the tickets she wanted in our hands. I suggested she sit on the first floor since it has a better view, but she insisted on buying those tickets since that’s where she always sat in the theater. She said if we didn’t have those seats then she wouldn’t buy any, and she was in a hurry to leave. I got anxious and didn’t want her to miss the opportunity to be saved because of the seats. I asked Master to save them. I told her that I would check with my manager to see if we could get those two tickets for her from the theater. Magically, I was able to make the phone call in the basement where there was no signal before. I told her the problem was solved. I knew that Master was taking care of everything.
Hold down the fort and don’t miss anyone with a predestined relationship
It's not for practitioners to find and set up new ticket selling venues. The traffic at different locations varies a lot: some are busier, and some not so busy. I think as long as we can set up a new spot, Master will arrange people with predestined relationships to come. Every ticket selling location can help clear the field, and, with many of them, the whole field will be opened up easily. We had some breakthroughs in adding more ticket selling locations in the downtown area. We went to the cafeterias in several mainstream office buildings during the lunch hour to introduce Shen Yun. At first when I went to some of these cafeterias, there were only a few people. Also, because the field was not opened up, most people were cool. In the worst case, I handed out no more than 10 flyers during the entire lunch hour, but people who showed interest would stop by the booth for quite a long time and I could explain Shen Yun in detail.
In March I went to a supermarket that didn’t have much traffic and stayed there for nine hours every day. There was a little more traffic during the lunch and dinner hours, and I was able to talk to some mainstream people. The TV and booth were set up in the dining area next to the exit where people would pass by after checking out. The hallway was very narrow, and I only had a few seconds to talk to people, because if they stopped at the booth, the exit would be blocked. Although the situation made it very hard to introduce Shen Yun, I decided to stick to my job unless I had to use the bathroom. I also moved my lunchtime to 2 or 3 p.m. when it was not busy.
Working in the cafeterias for two or three hours at lunch time was not too difficult, since I still could introduce Shen Yun to people and sell tickets directly or indirectly. However, to work for nine hours at a supermarket where there were hardly any people was hard. I did it for two days and each one seemed endless. The second day after not seeing many people, I wanted to ask the coordinator to quit. I then thought how I had already promised to come and that nobody else could work here if I quit. This was a window to approach the mainstream anyway. From working for two or three hours to nine hours, I knew I needed to improve myself. I got rid of my negative thoughts and decided to try my best to cooperate as one-body and do my part well.
The third day I adjusted my way of thinking and working and felt the difference. When it was not busy I would recite Hong Yin III. If someone showed interest, I would lead them to the dining area and introduce it in detail. It changed the situation of only handing our flyers and not being able to talk much. I also discovered that, although not many people came to the store, most of them would take a flyer. I sent forth a thought that I would sell tickets here. In the afternoon of the fourth day when I was having lunch at a table next to the booth, a gentleman came to watch the TV and said to himself, “I missed it last time.” I went over to talk to him and told him that Shen Yun was back and that I had the best seats. He looked at the seating chart and said, “Okay, I’ll take these two seats.” He was the boss of a hair salon nearby and had to rush back to work, so he didn’t wait for me to process the tickets. Before he left, he emphasized that he just wanted those two seats and none other. After 10 minutes, two young girls he had sent came over with the ticket receipt and asked whether I was done processing the tickets. I wrote down the ticket order number on the receipt and told them everything was done. Those two seats were arranged for him by Master. I met him again at the same supermarket when I was selling the July show tickets. He was excited to tell me that both the show and the seats were great. He enjoyed the performance a lot and appreciated that I had picked such good seats for him.
Once I met a dancer at another supermarket. She said, “I saw your billboard and was wondering where to purchase the tickets, and I see you right here. Thank you for being here.” She didn’t have any money that day so she gave me her phone number and I called her later and helped her order the ticket. However, on the day of the show she forgot about it and missed the show. She knew it wasn’t reasonable, but she called me to see if there was any possibility of exchanging her ticket to Sunday. I talked to the coordinator and was able to help her. She sent me an email using her cell phone right after the show: “Thanks again for exchanging the ticket for me. As a dancer trained in the Western tradition, I appreciate the artists’ synchronization, energy, and enthusiasm. Awesome stage, wonderful dances, and excellent live orchestra—it was a great show.”
In fact, ticket selling venues are not only places where tickets are sold directly but are also live advertisements. When it was close to the show date, at all the ticket selling spots people were telling me that they had already purchased tickets.
Everyday people help promote Shen Yun
Once I met a very nice elderly lady. Although it was the first time we had ever met, she believed everything I told her about Shen Yun being the No. 1 show in the world and that it showed the essence of China’s 5,000 years of civilization. She said again and again, “I believe you.” I asked her which show she wanted to go to and she said the afternoon show. We had two afternoon shows and I showed her the best seats for both shows. She asked me, “Without considering a date, which seats would you choose?” I said, “Of course the Sunday show, because those four seats are the best in that price range.” She said, “I believe you.” She paid for two tickets up front and asked me to hold the other two until the end of the month when she got her government check. She was going to hold those two tickets for her family in Wisconsin and wanted to sit with them. Two weeks later she bought the other two tickets. She said, “Such a great show. I will ask my friends to see it if they want to come. If they do, I will call you again.” After our last show on Sunday was over, I found that she had left a message on my phone the day before wanting to buy another ticket for her friend. I checked my messages every day except for that day. I felt so sorry that I had missed her message.
The next day I called her to apologize. She tried to comfort me by saying that her friend had changed her mind, and I told her our show had sold-out and that there had been no tickets left. She said, “It was a great show. I could spend so little money to sit in such a good seat and enjoy such a good show. Wonderful! If it's not too much trouble, please do let me know when they come back next year.” I was so happy for her and sad for her friend not to be able to see the show. I hoped to do something to make it up. When I learned that we were going to have two more shows in July, I was really grateful that Master gave me an opportunity to make it up. The first thing I did was to tell her about the show and she was very happy. She asked me to hold four tickets for her and she would find someone to go with her. I held four seats the same as last time. Because we only had one month to sell tickets, I couldn’t hold the tickets for too long. She purchased the tickets before she could find the people to go with her. She told me confidently, “It’s such a great show, I can absolutely sell the tickets to someone.” I was moved by her righteous thoughts. Before the show I asked her about the tickets, and she already found a friend and another couple to go with her. She said, “When Shen Yun comes next year, please let me know the dates early, and I will find more people and sell more tickets.” A saved life is helping to save more lives.
There was an elderly gentleman who told me that he had never seen such a beautiful show, that the performers flew out of the backdrop and flew back, and that it was a good combination of classic and high-tech. He had never seen such a great creation and had no words to describe how beautiful it was. He was happy he had made the right decision. He sent an email to all his friends to not miss Shen Yun when it came to their city!
Putting myself aside to harmonize with the one-body
I like selling tickets by myself because I can calm down easily and handle things well. Therefore, most of the time I sell tickets by myself and don’t have many opportunities to cooperate with others. When selling tickets at business events, Master let me see the power of cooperation. In March we sold tickets at a garden show. Most of the people would go to the exhibition hall in the morning and the market hall in the afternoon. I worked in one of the market halls. On the last day a practitioner who speaks very good English worked with me to sell tickets. At 1 p.m., fellow practitioners in the exhibition hall had already sold more than a dozen tickets, while we hadn’t sold any. I adjusted myself to let her have more opportunities to do the introduction and got rid of my attachment to how much I did. Two hours before the show ended, people all came to our booth as if they had planned ahead. With one family after another, I processed the tickets after the fellow practitioner did the introduction, and we acted in harmony. Within the last two hours we sold more than a dozen tickets.
There was another time we sold tickets at the State Capitol. We couldn’t find other practitioners who could work the whole day and there were only a few who could come during the lunch hour to take a shift. I did not leave the booth because they were unfamiliar with the ticketing system. When I was having lunch by the booth three people came to purchase tickets. I was touched that good cooperation was so powerful.
The field in Chicago has yet to be fully opened up, but I believe that our group effort will change the situation in the near future.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!