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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tony! Toni! Toné!



I spent yesterday watching all my old motivational favorites. They're like sitcom reruns now. Michael Beckwith is my Alex P. Keaton.

I wrapped up with some montages of seminars conducted by Tony Robbins. From what I gather from these videos, people first step up to a microphone with tears in their eyes, then beam with happiness to signify transformation, and then at the end, the whole crowd is ecstatically dancing to a generic song on electric guitar that sounds like the music from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.

Then driving home late last night, I stopped at the corner of Can’t Remember and there was a giant billboard for Tony Robbins.

TONY ROBBINS LIVE. JULY 29-AUG 1.

It was a sign. I mean, it was a billboard, so it was definitely a sign.

This morning I eyed the floor for a good fifteen minutes before I got out of bed. I was paralyzed by the image of a stone wall, and beyond that wall there was a really tall ocean, and I wished I could have a little more time alone on the oceanless side of the wall and without feeling the ocean press at the wall like a giant heartbeat.

-What’s the worst that would happen if you let the wall come down, and you let the ocean in.
-I don’t think I would drown.
-Okay. Then what would happen.
-I'd get tossed around.
-What would that look like?
-I'm a voiceless figurine riding on waves created by other people's decisions.

Unleash the Power Within. I locate the Long Beach package and it’s $795. Ouch. I wish I could work out some kind of payment plan with Tony, seeing as within a year of my attending his workshop I will be eating gold.

Registration is in the Grand Ballroom. The image of standing in line in a huge room with flat paisley carpet wearing a necklace-nametag makes me nauseous and reminds me of bagel-breath. Question: Wouldn't a ballroom have a hardwood floor? Answer: No, because I googled images of “Grand Ballrooms” and aside from the ones that are truly baroque, most of them look like they’re used for Amway banquets.

Then I imagine getting seated in the balcony next to a total pervert who won't even let me hear what Tony Robbins is saying, starting with questions like, "Do you really believe this stuff works?" and then trying to get my respect by telling me he "...USED to be suicidal, but you know what keeps me alive now? WOMEN." And then I have to excuse myself and ask an usher if I can please switch places, and then I'm sitting in my new seat feeling guilty that maybe now I had ruined the pervert’s 795 dollar workshop, and then I imagine him stepping up the mike and saying “My problem….is this woman here,” and he’d point me out in the mezzanine and a spotlight would follow, and I’d say, “Tony, I didn’t do anything.” Then Tony would ask me my dream and I’d say to be “the best solo performer I can be”, and then a month later a new Tony Robbins Montage would come out with images of me crying and ruin my professional credibility.

In the second half of the seminar, Tony asks us to walk across hot coals. I imagine myself not only participating, but volunteering to go first. Tony can see something in me he's never seen before....I'm his new self-improvement prodigee, and he's REALLY going to turn my life around. "This woman..." he'll tell Charlie Rose, using me as an example,....then I black out on the success story.

Or, I'm halfway through the firewalk and lose faith and burn my foot off. And then I think how funny it will be to talk about it at El Cid.

“See what I did for you, Tony?” I play that in my head.

Oh no, I think, as I pour hot sauce on my garden taco, I’ve crossed over to the dark side.

My fantasy testimonial,
“I have to admit, I was skeptical at first. But then when I saw Tony…I mean, you have to be in the room. At first you wonder, how is he going to help me in a room with 4000 other people? How am I possibly going to get the attention I didn’t get as a child? But Tony reached me. He brought me up front, stuck his giant hand through my chest and squeezed my heart. I saw it bubble in his hand. He said IS THIS A HEART OR NOT? Of course I said yes, but I kept thinking I DON’T KNOW. IT LOOKS LIKE A COOKED TOMATO. Anyway, he has this huge presence. You HAVE to go.”
-Lizzy Cooperman, person with formerly untouched heart

Maybe I can just get this Tony Robbins dvd I found on Amazon. Awaken the Giant Within. Maybe if my giant wakes up he'll have the strength to Unleash The Power Within. I hope they get along. All I see is Andre the Giant about to free me from these chains using his brute strength but it turns out what he really needs is the combination for the padlock, and now he's on hold trying to get it from the World Wrestling Federation.

Let’s end with a couple questions I've had swirling in my head:
Are people really made happy by lemon trees?
Will I ever cut my hair old-short?

Thursday, June 3, 2010