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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A series of mentors who found me rather than me finding them.
Self love to Divine love back to self love ending with what I call the “Holy Threeway.”
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