Tom Miller, who held an exorcism for Richard Spencer at his open mic show last year, is writing a love letter to Gainesville in his newly finished screenplay, “The Tabernacle of Hedonism.”
The screenplay is named after his open mic show currently called “The Tom Miller Show: The Tabernacle of Hedonism.” It has had previous names in the past.
Miller, 53, didn’t want to give too much away about the script, but said that the story is about a group of oddballs and misfits in Gainesville forming a church of absurdity to legalize marijuana, defeat the Alien Motherhood and spread the word of Jamba, who is the Great Dumpster Goddess.
While there is a sci-fi part to this script, it is loosely based on Miller’s life as well as his open mic show.
The screenplay was actually an assignment for the school Miller attends, the Maharishi University of Management. It is a private university in Fairfield, Iowa founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who was a guru to The Beatles.
The school teaches consciousness-based education and it also practices Transcendental Meditation. It is a type of meditation usually called TM created by Yogi.
“Transcendental Meditation played a huge part in the writing of this script, allowing me to access deeper levels of intuition and creativity than ever before,” Miller said.
Miller has only written two screenplays as of now, and both were for the David Lynch MFA in Screenwriting program he is taking at the Maharishi University of Management.
Miller has written plays for theater in the past, but his first play he got produced was called “UMMU.” It had a staged reading at the Acrosstown Repertory Theatre on June 26 and 27 in 2015. It fully premiered at Acrosstown on May 12, 2017.
Miller attributes his love for art to his aunt, Alice Reed, who taught piano. He was adopted by Reed’s sister Alfreda and her husband Nathan Miller when he was one.
Growing up, Miller loved music, acting and writing. Miller has been in many bands in his life and created over 50 albums.
In 1984 he followed some friends to Gainesville and fell in love with the place. Miller later got his BA in acting at UF in 2017.
“Gainesville has a spirit and an energy,” Miller said. “In a way it has its own consciousness and if you dig deep and go in you can find the most extraordinary things in this town.”
Many of the characters in his story are based on people he met in Gainesville. One of the main characters in the story is based on Paul Cohen, who was selling his poems in 1984 when he met Miller.
Cohen later became Rev. Angeldust, who leads The Church of Absurdity that started in 2013.
“The church encourages free thinking and expression,” Rev. Angeldust said. “It is using counter culture and hard drugs to try to end violence.”
Another person who has a character in the script is Rose Loston, a woman, who now goes by Granny, who’s been struggling with homelessness her entire life.
She says she doesn’t mind being written about in Miller’s screenplay.
Miller has hopes for this story to be picked up by a movie company and be produced. He is planning to send his story to industry insiders, vetted script lists and Hollywood.
“The story is about embracing diversity, freedom of speech and accepting one’s self with no apologies.” Miller said. “Yeah, so it has those deep messages and it has aliens.”
Writer and Gainesville resident Tom Miller looks over his most recent work "The Tabernacle Hedonism."