open letter to Brad
I was glad I got to attend your talk Thursday night, April 27th at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center, but I've got some suggestions to improve this sort of thing next time.
First off, instead of just walking in and sitting down, you really need to have one of your attendants announce you. You know, build some anticipation in the crowd. After that, you can appear and bestow your blessings on the audience. They'll really eat it up.
Speaking of appearance, you've got to do better than that. No robes? Jeans? And glasses, you wore your glasses for Pete's sake. Didn't they tell you that enlightened beings always have perfect eyesight? It ruins the image.
I think it was a big mistake to sit so close to your audience, I mean, right down on the floor like that. They might get the mistaken impression that you're just a guy. You should maintain some distance, preferably vertical distance, between you and the peons to whom you're speaking.
Oh, and speaking. Well... how to put this? You've got to stop saying, "I don't know" so much. A Teacher (with a capital T) does not admit to not knowing something. Geez, make it up why don't ya? Quote Dogen. Quote Buddha. Quote the Marx brothers if you want to; just don't say, "I don't know."
And buddy, you missed out on some golden sales opportunities there. You didn't bring any books for the audience to buy (charge extra for autographing them, you know). And where were the tapes? And CDs? And the DVDs? You mentioned the book, sure, but you didn't make any sales. One would think that you forgot about the money angle or something.
And when you did talk, you were too deferential to the audience, and took way too many questions and comments. You actually acted like someone else might have something to contribute to the conversation other than you. That's not right. Didn't they teach you how to dominate a room? You need to proclaim more, not just yak like a regular guy, especially about Ultraman. You want to inspire adulation, remember?
Other than these little points, I thought you did fine, and I think as you do more of these gigs, your take should improve tremendously.
You're the next star, babe.
(with tongue firmly in cheek)