In the year 2005 I was free listener at Tal Ben Shachar‘s packed classes at the Harvard University. One of the excellently conducted lessons at the Positive Psychology course was Comfort Zone. I didn’t know Tal, nor had I had the faintest idea about the amount of students that were going to listen to him, BUT the location sounded very interesting for me – A Cathedral! and the course title – Positive Psychology. Oh. And by the professor’s name – I could guess he was an Israeli.
Tal, was under the white light. We, free listeners, auditors, students – sat silently. The Show has begun. Every lecture was a magic. One day he was lecturing on Comfort Zone. we all have them – our comfort zones. We must have them – they are our family, home, hobby, career.
One day we want to make a change – to take a step forward, jump into the cold water.
This afternoon we went to the West End, to watch the Stomp. A show running in London for 20 years now. In the cast of 8 – we all found ourselves laughing, shouting, applauding or yelling. Everyone on stage was one of us, is one of us – wannabe or will be. Very simple – it is a spectacle – it takes you beyond the here, now, beyond yourself. You can’t take your eyes of the stage for a second – anything can happen.
I can’t stop thinking of Debord’s La Societe du Spectale, also first published in the early 90’s.
At Stomp – as in Debord’s Spectale – boundaries fall apart. No more Alpha and Omega – “dans le cadre du spectacle toute activite est niee” (Debord, p. 29) We are not audience to a “thing happening on stage” – rather – active participants on chairs. We shout, clap, yell, you can’t be wrong as long as you are in the game and familiar with the rules.
Cast – that is one of Stomp’s secrets.