If your health insurance stopped covering your favorite therapist and your ex changed their Netflix password, consider the Kosmodrome, a one-night motivational and immersive theater event happening next month. It combines “elements of science fiction cinema, light, and sound for people who desire complete enhancement of their capabilities to unlock life’s full potential.” And it’s free.
The event will be held on April 18, in a theater-like space at the Producers Club, on West 44th Street. Actually, Daniel Abella its director, prefers to call it a “journey.” Part motivational speech, part movie, part theater, part music, the experience is “a vehicle for personal transformation,” he says.
Abella is a New York-born film director and ex-rock band member who founded the Philip K. Dick Science Fiction Film Festival. He trained in Neuro-Linguistic Programming with Richard Bandler, who co-created the controversial self-help system in the 1970s. NLP has been dismissed as a pseudoscience by some, but it has also been used by psychotherapists and has influenced self-help gurus like Tony Robbins (Scientific American called it “Psychotherapy Lite”). Abella’s own $99 classes in it offer to teach you how to “induce amnesia in others and communicate your message to their unconscious mind,” partly through practice runs at restaurants and cafes.
Abella feels technology has created the crisis of our time. He wants to turn the downsides of technology and entertainment on their head and use the forces to help people connect with themselves and each other. That means “empowerment drills,” where audience members are asked to focus on the moments of tranquility most deep to them in order to connect to the part of them that wants to change.
Among other things, the Kosmodrome promises to assist in “increasing self-esteem,” “reducing addictions and compulsions,” “obtaining life-enhancing flow states,” and “developing an unstoppable attitude.” There’s also a DJ.
Abella was inspired to create the performance after attending a rave in Berlin, and after walking out of movies like The Matrix and Alice in Wonderland feeling like their message could be taken to a next level. (His website includes a clip in which Samuel L. Jackson, in The Negotiator, conveys the debunked claim that certain eye movements can indicate whether a person is lying.)
If, as a New Yorker, existential dread has seeped into your very core, maybe meander up to midtown to discover “the difference between hard and soft reality.”
Correction: The original version of this post misstated the date of the event.