This is the final phase of a seven-year performance art piece entitled, "Professor Miller". Having just joined the Threetles (Gainesville's only three piece Beatles Tribute Band), and having just completed organizing a successful fund-raiser for the Pride Community Center (featuring local artists making art out of 25 retired Macy's Mannequins which raised thousands of dollars for Gainesville Pride), and having just returned from Off-Broadway where he directed a local Gainesville play in the Big Apple, Miller's latest artwork is about going deep within to explore and share the infinite potential provided by Transcendental Meditation. That's right, a member of the Threetles Beatles Cover Band is going to attend the Maharishi University of Management! David Lynch himself couldn't write a weirder movie!
One of the main points of this performance is to inspire and support non-traditional older students who wish to return to University Education. Increasingly, the trend is that more and more older students are returning to higher education to advance their careers, finish what they started, continue exploring and learning in later life, and energize themselves and their peers.
In 2011, writer Kat Bein of the Independent Florida Alligator wrote a story called, "Artist Plays the Role of Student." Local performance artist and musician Tom Miller had announced he would be beginning a 7-year-plus performance art piece wherein he would attend Santa Fe College as an older nontraditional student to earn a degree, then earn a BA from the University of Florida, and finally go on to a Master of Fine Arts program to become a Professor of Theatre, all the while staying entirely in character.
This immersive role Miller has chosen to play has been so effective that not only has he convinced two universities and the public at large that he is in fact a college student, he's now earned an acceptance into the Maharishi University of Management to attend the David Lynch Master's Program in Screen Writing. When asked how he could be such an effective actor, Miller replied, "I'm employing my system of performance where I actually do the thing that I'm acting, but in reality. In other words, it's really happening. So when something is really happening, you can easily convince anybody that it actually is."
The David Lynch Program at Maharishi University of Management is an accredited program of study, but unlike traditional universities, it incorporates Transcendental Meditation, of which Tom Miller is an enthusiastic proponent. Miller is nationally listed among other celebrities in this regard. Scroll down and you'll find him three doors away from Martin Scorsese here: https://www.peoplemaven.com/l/o2kYrq/Practitioners-of-Transcendental-Meditation%2C-Updated-2018
The program is also a "low residency" program which will allow Miller to remain in Gainesville as an actor and performer during the two-year process. He'll have to only travel to Iowa (the location of MUM) four times for ten-day retreats during which time Miller will be experiencing intensive meditation. He'll also attend a final 10-day retreat in L.A. with two finished screenplays in hand, and pitch them to industry insiders and very likely meet David Lynch at the conclusion of the program. Lynch often interacts with students during their course study personally and via Internet. The course of Screenwriting is one teacher to every 8-10 students and progresses one immersive course at a time. The approach is referred to by M.U.M as "Consciousness-Based Education."
Miller was also profiled in the Gainesville Sun in 2010 during one of his performance art pieces in which he watched every episode of Twin Peaks including the European premiere and the subsequent movie, Twin Peaks - Fire Walk With Me over a two day non-stop marathon while only consuming products popularized in the show including coffee, doughnuts, and cherry pie. And as Miller is a long-time Cinephile and David Lynch Uber-Fan, the strange synchronicity of this extraordinary accomplishment is palpable.
At the conclusion of the course, Miller intends to accept his degree, break out of character and return to himself so that he can go back to what he was doing before he began the 7-year performance odyssey which was: acting, performing, learning stuff, and writing screenplays.
During this entire process, Miller has earned a Kennedy Center Award Nomination for Sound Design, was selected to the 2010-2011 FCSAA "All-Academic" Team in Theatre, became a member of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society in March of 2011, became a member of UF Golden Key International Honor Society on Oct. 8 0f 2014, and a member of Dalta Epsilon Iota Academic Honor Society in 2015, and was awarded two scholarships.
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