Every week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – I have decided to start putting them on here (and I will gradually catch up with all the past participants too). Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – This week was Garland Theriot. Here are his answers:

Garland Theriot

Garland is a musician and Associate Director of Acadiana Repertory Theatre. He currently plays with The Mercy Brothers (a Hillbilly Gospel outfit)- you HAVE to see this band and watch Garland in his element. (Catch them at Bach Lunch on the 20th April, and at Festival International – Trust me on this one). Garland’s positive attitude is infectious, his zest for life is catching but unfortunately none of his cool rubbed off on me.

Describe a typical day in your life. 
Wake up, turn on KRVS, feed and walk my dog Norah, earn some money (while listening to KRVS), walk my dog, hang out with one or several of the awesomely rad-tastic people who choose to be my friends, maybe eat some food, spin a few records, maybe earn some more money, walk my dog, go to bed.  Lather, rinse, repeat.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now? 
I suppose it would have to be the death of my father.  Not because it was particularly traumatic for me (I was only 3 years old) but because of what my childhood was like as a result.  My mother never remarried so there was never a really dominant male presence around steering me toward a traditional work-a-day future.  My mom was an artist who loved music and art and she encouraged me to pursue that kind of life if it made me happy.

What values do you live by?
Funny this question should come up because within the last few days I found a quote I’d never read before: “Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.  And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them.”  –Dalai Lama.  That pretty much sums it up for me.  I mean, it’s pretty simple, isn’t it?  Be good to each other.  Love.  Be thankful.

What do you most appreciate?
Wow.  This is deep stuff!  Beauty and freedom.

What is your favorite journey?
The one that starts again every morning.  If I’m lucky, I’ve gotten a little bit wiser, kinder, and more understanding by the end of each day — and maybe I’ve done something kind for someone else to boot.

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
At my piano wherever that may be.

What living figure most inspires you? 
Well, I think the Dalai Lama’s pretty rad and there are countless luminaries in the world who are awesome too but I’d have to say my mom is the person who inspires me the most.  She lost 2 husbands before she was 35 and raised 3 young kids all alone.  She never thinks of herself first and will sacrifice if she knows it’ll help someone – and she’ll never say a word about it.  She’s a hell of a lady.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
“There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.”  –John Lennon

What book would you tell everyone to read?
The Tao of Willie by Willie Nelson

What is the best thing about where you live?
Are you really asking me to tell you the SINGLE best thing about Lafayette?  Impossible!  The only way to sum up the music, the food, the arts community, the hospitality, the history, the festivals, and all the other AWESOME stuff we have would be to say ‘the culture.’

How do you “let the good times roll”?
I’m one of the lucky ones who’s work is also his play.  I rarely have more fun than when I’m on stage playing with a band.  Aside from that, anything that includes my aforementioned rad-tastic friends and/or live music (Festival International is SOOOOO CLOOOOSE!!).

What is your motto?
That thing John Lennon said.

How would you like to be remembered?
As a man who ferociously loved his family and his friends, who ferociously loved art, beauty, and humanity, and who had as much fun as he possibly could in every single thing that he did.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
“Remember what that Lennon guy told you?”

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Music.  Honesty.  Passion.

What is your favorite word?

What do you collect?
Records.  Those big round black things made out of vinyl.  If you spin them at a certain speed and put a needle on them, music comes out.  I know!  Crazy, right?

What food could you live on for a month?
Cioppino stew from Jolie’s Louisiana Bistro. (Manny, that stuff is KILLERRRRR!)

What would you change about yourself?
I’ll answer this one later.  No, seriously – I procrastinate too much.

What literary, movie, or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Garp from “The World According to Garp.”  Although my life hasn’t been anywhere near as insane as his was, I feel like my life is the real-world equivalent or as close as can be approximated.

Describe yourself in five words.
Passionate.  Grateful.  Loved.  Evolving.  Alive.

What is your idea of happiness?
Festival!  People from all over the world joyfully coming together to meet and understand each other, hear each other’s music, learn about each other’s cultures, and be part of something that is absolutely POSITIVE!

What do you most regret?
I would regret it if I spent a bunch of time thinking about things in my past and regretting them.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
“How did you get to be so AWESOME?!”

What would the answer be?
“Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful.”