According to the bible, the fiftieth year is a time for celebration, the Jubilee. In my fiftieth year, I was breaking up with my new partner, my kids were moving away, and I was… turning 50.
I was trying to face my imminent 50’s at a retreat in Ojai, CA when I met Christine McHugh. I mentioned to her, as a random aside, that I had watched a friend’s one-man-show on his facebook page the night before. Not so random it turned out. Christine replied, “I directed that show!” And so began a year long collaboration in writing, rehearsing and performing “In Search of…. Richard Snyder (the First 50 Years).”
In the 1970’s, “In Search of….” was a TV show, hosted by Leonard Nimoy that searched for the legendary and the obscure, such as UFO’s or the Sasquatch. In 2010, I was searching for myself.
My “In Search of….” is a personal memoir that starts with my childhood in the 1960’s; progresses through college, career, marriage and divorce, and ends with a radiant vision of life after 50. It was performed 5/21/2011 at the Center for Spiritual Living for an audience of 160 people.
Here’s the quick slideshow version.
Chapter 1: (16:33)A Series of Unfortunate Humiliations
A look at life in 1960’s Longmeadow, MA: throwing cereal as a baby, migraines in Nursery School, being bitten by a dog, fierce dragon flies, being nicknamed “Petunia” in gym class.
Chapter 2: (7:45) I Will Never Be Humiliated Again
Humiliations are overcome by academic successes and romantic successes with three remarkable women, but I was keeping secrets.
I discover that I’m a neurotic Jew and proofs are given.
Chapter 4: (9:16) God and His Lack of Interest
Encounters with God: Sunday School in the 1960’s, my first crush in High School, Mysticism and Carl Jung at Bowdoin College, New Age celebrities at Stanford.
Chapter 5: (6:33) The Grand Opening
My carefully constructed identity of successful doctor, father, and husband comes crashing down with divorce.
I learn about the concept of a soulmate and enroll in a course to find one.
Chapter 7: (9:37) God Does an Intervention
A series of mentors who found me rather than me finding them.
Chapter 8: (20:16) Radiant Richard
Self love to Divine love back to self love ending with what I call the “Holy Threeway.”
Bonus Chapter: (12:23)Grandmothers
My Grandmother Snyder who was driven by love and my Grandmother Levine who was driven by accomplishment.
Developed with and Directed by: Christine McHugh
Sound/Lights: Guy Stanley
Event Design and Manager: Jonathan Mathews
Acting Coaching: Eric Mulholland
Singing Coaching: Gina Salá
Song: “Beloved Be Like That to Me” Based on a poem by Rumi, arranged by Amir O’Loughlin
Photoshop: Paul Rosenberg and Jonathan Mathews