Barry Alden Clark
From as far back as I can remember, I’ve had an interest in people, always curious about them, their lives, and on a larger scale, the human condition. My Grandmother used to say I was 13 going on 30, while other people said I had an old soul in a young person’s body. Whatever the case might have been, I was fascinated by, and open to people regardless of race, religion, economic standing or sexual orientation. Somehow at that early age I knew we were all one, all brother’s and sister’s, all children of a much bigger source. And I thought this was normal, until I started to look out at the world around me and began to notice that not everyone else thought or acted the way I did.
I’d say my upbringing was fairly normal, time spent with family, school, various activities, but what was most different, and I realized this later, was I grew up in a certain microcosm of the larger world. Poughkeepsie, New York, home to IBM, the then Apple of the time, was bringing people in from all over the world. My next door neighbors were from Africa, our neighbors across the street from Argentina, as well as a friend whose father was a brilliant French pastry chef from France. I just thought this was normal. Again, it wasn’t until I got older that I began to see this was more like growing up in a big city, where ethnic diversity is the norm.
I grew up surrounded by the arts. My mother and father met while my father was playing in a jazz band and my mother was singing. They held down day jobs and performed professionally on weekends. My father played the accordion, piano, banjo and spoons. He basically could make any object musical. My mother sang like an angel. She could make you cry in an instant. I played trumpet, French horn, and sang in chorus all through grade school, junior high, and high school. I also studied theater, acting and took writing workshops. Again, I thought everybody did.
At the same time as all the creativity was going on, both my parents were hard workers and I learned that work ethic from them. Eventually, I would end up in New York City at New York University where I majored in Theater.
Going to theater school in Manhattan was an amazing way to learn about people, because there are a lot of them there in a condensed space. I banged around New York for nine years getting the occasional out of town theater job, and working in the restaurant business the rest of the time. Eventually, I would be inspired to take a trip around the United States to interview people about their lives in an effort to find out what was really going on out in the world, and to connect with others and help discover the strength of my own spirit and all those people I would come in contact with. So around the U.S. I went. I spent a year doing this via cars, buses, trains and airplanes. And I met so many amazing individuals who were doing everything in their power to live their best lives, with many having major obstacles to overcome. But what I did not see was the negative scenarios so often played out on the television news or in newspapers and magazines. For the first time in my life, I was gaining a real knowing, a wisdom about people, a deep knowing that would set the course for the rest of my life’s work.
Putting It All to Work
After years of customer service work in the restaurant business, I would eventually end up in Los Angeles working in entertainment. All told I’ve spent upwards of twenty years in entertainment includes performing, producing, and casting theater, film and television, as well as writing, hosting, and management positions within the Studio Television industry. My longest run was in the world of Casting where I worked on Features and Television, and then got into Casting Production working at Universal Television for eight years on shows like “Law & Order,” “The Office,” and “House” to name a few.
During my time in television I had a very deep desire to make a meaningful contribution in the world and went back to school and got a master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology, a degree that focuses on helping others to live an integrative and purposeful life focusing on a well-developed four line model of healing, which includes working on the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual levels. I trained in a variety of counseling strategies including Person Centered, Reality, and Gestalt Therapies, as well as Psychosynthesis, Nero-Linguistic Programming, and Rational Emotive Therapy which became the basis of my coaching practice.
So with all this life experience and training under my belt, I left the television business and became a life coach, and for the past 12 years have coached hundreds of individuals in connecting more deeply with their hearts, their life purpose, and helped create a pathway for these folks to move forward in a direction more aligned with who the truly are, and in this process of coaching, these individuals have changed careers, healed relationships, created greater levels of abundance, and connected more deeply with their source. My coaching clientele consist of individuals working in a variety of businesses including entertainment, law, investment banking, pharmaceuticals, and education.
Yes, I did go to school for all this. I have an Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Dutchess Community College, where I was awarded one of two Distinguished Student Awards for my graduating class. I also received a Gould-Mair Scholarship to New York University, where I earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in Theater. I received my master’s degree in Spiritual Psychology from the University of Santa Monica, and did a half of a doctoral program in Clinical Psychology from Ryokan College.