A Sign from Above
My most memorable experience this week at the Kennedy Center Opera House has been, hands down, working with Nita, a sign language translator for the hearing impaired. It was a truly humbling experience because it gave me the chance to listen not with my physical faculties but with an innate instrument that inspires moral introspection—the heart.
|"Every time I walk through this hall, I feel a sense a calming grandeur presiding over the flags."|
As Lao Zi once said, “Those who know do not talk, those who talk do not know.” It seems all too often that we exchange banal platitudes and speak hollow and insincere words to carry on the trivialities of our lives. If we took the time to stop for a moment and listen to the voice of our soul (some earplugs may be necessary), we might be amazed at just how much we can learn from ourselves and from simply observing the world around us. When I took that moment of reflection, I realized that life is so much simpler without the disarray of background noise that permeates our modern environments.
That’s why every time I go on stage, I try to filter out impurities to make sure that I am speaking from my heart. And I believe that the audience can feel it, because when you really mean what you say, people relate to you so much more as a down-to-earth person. Especially for our show, which presents 5,000 years of traditional Chinese culture, we really have to embody virtues such as integrity and modesty to be able to present its depth and inner meaning.
Nita taught me how to say my name in sign language and a couple of sign greetings. I was impressed by her lip-reading ability—she picked up almost everything we said, even while we were gnawing on lamb chops. I also learned from Nita that sign language is unique to every culture, and that there are many different dialects within sign language itself. She did a wonderful job and her movements were natural and poised, just like the dancers’.
Other highlights this week included an interview on CNN International and a VIP reception after Wednesday’s show, in which we met many of our dedicated fans—some are already making plans to see our next production.
August 30, 2010