"risk more, protect less"
I knew Christopher Gurr from social media before we started working together. Now that ChristopherGurr.com is complete, I can say how proud I am to have collaborated with this incredibly talented artist.
I'm also proud to call this great man a new friend (and I'm not just talking about on Facebook).
Enjoy this exclusive interview... Christopher Gurr is definitely someone to follow and learn from!
Let's start with... why are you an actor?
I am firstly an actor because it was the first place I found a sense of belonging.
I am in part an actor because it is part of my being a theatre artist (actor /director /teacher /musician /slash /slash /slash...) and that is the context and condition I found which allows me—requires me—to investigate and invest in the world.
And a lot of the time, it’s pretty cool.
What are you currently working on or towards?
I’m just at the point of wrapping up a ten-year experiment. It officially ends on October 19th, my birthday. The question of the experiment was, “What would happen if I try to live inside commercial theatre for the next ten years?” I had been, up to that point, a proud LORT* Baby. I was trained for a life in regional theatre and I was, in fact, living a very full life as a theatre artist everywhere but New York City. If there was a singular goal to the experiment it was to get the word Broadway on my resume. That’s been accomplished. Now, I’m framing my next experiment.
*LORT being the League of Resident Theatres, Actors’ Equity’s contractual designation of most major regional theatres.
Sounds like a successful experiment! Who’ve been some of the mentors and teachers instrumental to your success?
While I’ve certainly had some wonderful teachers in my life (and I come from a family of teachers so I’ve got no lack of respect for their impact on our lives), lately I’ve been thinking about how much I’ve learned from the friends and colleagues I’ve had over the years.
I have been inordinately lucky in the groups of people I have lived and worked among in all the chapters of my life. I have had amazing models at every turn. The artists who I can call my colleagues and friends are the most significant contributors to the best parts of me. No doubt about it.
Gotta ask... what do you love about the digital age we live in?
The availability of information.
Agreed. So, what do you hate about the digital age we live in?
The devaluing of understanding.
So tell me... what's your favorite social network? Why?
My relationships to Twitter and Instagram have matured into two different things. Twitter is becoming more of the place where I get information and pass on information, sometimes with comment, sometimes not.
I’ll make recommendations using Twitter.
I may be critical using Twitter.
I definitely promote other artists’ projects using Twitter.
It’s primarily a language-based platform and it serves those purposes well.
Instagram is almost a running journal for me. I’ve never had the discipline to keep a written journal but since I’ve been using Instagram, I find the visual form of memory keeping really appeals to me.
Why did you choose to work with me?
The 30,000-foot view? Your heart and your mind. Close up? I circled you and as I did I kept wanting to get closer and closer. I read your posts, I watched your videos, we engaged on social media, I participated in one of your online seminars, I talked about you with mutual friends, and—finally—we met on the A train. And what I thought was true of your online presence was confirmed in person: you live on the side of Yes. That’s very important to me. So, there’s the heart part. Now for the smart part: the organizing principal of your take on branding, the focus on a primary goal and a singular audience, was almost entirely antithetical to how I tend to think about my career; my brand. I wanted to collaborate with a strong and facile mind that did not work like mine. I chose you.
How would you describe the process/experience?
This process was so enjoyable that, honestly, I was a little sad when we launched. I actually had that feeling I used to have when I completed a particularly great directing project when I would look up at my collaborators and say, “That was cool! What else can we do?”
I'm game! I loved working with you. Tell me... what responses or results have you received thus far?
The feedback has been great. Two things keep getting said over and over: it’s clean and it’s me.
We've covered your online homes. What's your favorite place in NYC?
My apartment. I still can’t believe I have my own apartment in NYC. It’s proof of.... something.
Awesome! To wrap up, what's your favorite quote?
Richard Burton on reviews: “The good ones are never good enough and the bad ones are upsetting.”
Nice! Now... if you could offer advice to your younger self, what would it be?
In all things but finance, risk more, protect less. Financially, save more, spend less.
Tony Howell is a digital strategist dedicated to helping you design your future—creating offline success from your online presence.