Sunday, December 27, 2015

Against the Pursuit of Guru

I could summarize my adult life as the pursuit of guru status on a variety of topics (blogging, economics, education, improv, business, fatherhood, etc). Instead I feel like that I've become a jack of all trades, GURU of none. Maybe that's not so bad. Here's a clip from a podcast interview with well known improv guru, Armando Diaz on the topic of guru-ness (~54:30):
I just don't like the idea of gurus anyway. I think every amazing person, teacher, or artist is totally fallible and to me when you hear about those things some people get let down. And then suddenly now I don't believe anything that person says.
Reminded me of so many celebrity controversies. They often fail in very public ways, but that doesn't inherently discredit any positives they stood for.
We're all super weak people and I think if you specialize in something, there's something terribly wrong with you. This is the one thing you embrace so much to the exclusion of developing as a full human being. So when I hear that someone is a guru I know that this is going to be a real damaged person and that's okay with me.
It's kind of like drug addicts. Whether as a cause or result, even when sober there is a lot of catch up to do in life. Anything that consumes your life is a loss in what you don't do. There is no such thing as a free lunch. And Armando said, that's okay. Guru isn't bad, it just has a cost.

Starting this week, the Alchemy Comedy Theater will be adding a 5th and 6th weekly show on Thursday nights. That and our total performer list reaching about 70 in the Spring (I feel my life has already stretched Dunbar's Number) will require the theater to run even more without my personal direction in all matters. Which is good.

As I discussed in a podcast I did recently, I grew up in an ensemble. I teach ensemble. I want my business (and maybe someday my classroom) to use those same principles.