Posted 2/8/2008 10:20 PM (#3628) Subject: "Hey" from Richmond, VA
Hi, everyone -- just wanted to introduce myself. My name is Larry Gard, and I'm a brand new student at UMS -- just got started about 6 days ago. I'm loving every minute I spend on this website, and am already immersed in the fascinating coursework UMS provides. Registering for an education in metaphysics at UMS was a big step for me, and one that I instinctively feel will open up many doors (both inner and outer), serve as as great resource for new friendships and alliances, and provide opportunities to expand my awareness and consciousness into areas I've long sensed are there, but, for the most part, haven't yet experienced in a direct manner. I have to mention that already, with less than a full week in coursework under my belt, the UMS staff has proven itself to be very caring and inspirational. I'm so grateful to have received emails from both Margaret Branch and Tracy Martin regarding a few of my essay responses on exams. I wouldn't expect that sort of personal attention from coursework over the internet, and it means a lot.
My background is in live theatre -- I hold a BA (1978) from the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University, did free-lance acting from 1978-1986, joined Actors Equity in 1982, and did lots of graduate work at Indiana University, where I earned certification (1985) to teach English and Theatre on the secondary level. Since then, I'ved taught theatre on the university level, and I've served as artistic director of two different theatre companies - one in Indianapolis from 1986 to 1998, and the other here in Richmond, Virginia from 1998 to the present. Over the years, I've focused my efforts on creative endeavors in the arts and have been lucky to be able to apply those efforts in professional arts settings -- playwriting, music composition, acting, directing and photography. There's more info about all that at my website: http://www.GardSite.com
The theatre company that I currently direct is an educational company called the Carpenter Science Theatre Company at the Science Museum of Virginia. I work with contracted playwrights, actors, directors and designers/technicians to develop and produce short plays that relate to science themes. The majority of our audiences are comprised of school groups. Our mission statement is to "illustrate the impact of science on humanity, and vice-versa." A few examples of show titles would be "Shakespeare and Galileo," "Frankenstrein Lives!," "Here's Pi In Your Eye" and "Mysteries of Plasma." Occassionaly, we also co-produce more mainstream and popular full-length theatre scripts related to science, such as "Inherit the Wind," "Compromise," and "Copenhagen." And every once in a while we throw science to the wind and just do something that's a whole lot of fun, like "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."
All my life, I've been intensely interested in science, so I guess it's not surprising that I've uncovered a niche doing live theatre at a science museum. My first career inspiration at the age of 12 was to be a criminologist. The observable world, the incredible reality of its nature, and its impact on human beings has always been fascinating to me. But my life has also been transformed by metaphysics. Since 1974, I've been reading and re-reading over-and-over again the writings of Jane Roberts. Over a period of many years, those books have transformed my life in many ways. I was a completely different person back then -- did lots of drugs, was battling unipolar depression, etc. etc. And on a lonely cold night back in 1977, sitting with a pen knife pressed against my wrist in a dark dormitory at Webster University, it was the constant and desparate recitation to myself of Seth's remark: "the point of power is in the present" all night long that kept me alive. So, while I'm still striving to understand and apply her writings on deeper levels, some of the basic ideas that Roberts communicates regarding personal creativity, psychological time, the "spacious present," reincarnation and aspect psychology ring very true to me on an instinctual level. And I know that my studies with UMS will be an invaluable resource for expanding my knowledge and application of metaphysics in focus areas both very different from, and yet related to, the Seth material from Roberts.
In terms of a professional application of my education at UMS, I'm especially interested in someday coaching people regarding their personal awareness of, connection to and positive use of creative energies.
I'm looking foward to meeting you all! I've been reading many discussion threads, and am excited to be part of such a community!