The Improv Life: My Thoughts on “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport

The Improv Life: My Thoughts on “So Good They Can’t Ignore You” by Cal Newport

This book was inspired by Steve Martin’s famous quote that he uses as a ready-to-go answer for how to be successful in entertainment whenever he’s asked that question.

One of the book’s main arguments is that passion is overrated, and that chasing a career fueled by passion is extremely difficult and leads to burnout and bitterness when your dream gigs don’t arrive in the timeline you had in your head.

Instead, he urges you to collect “Career Capital” – a high level of skills and experience in a very niche sub field that you enjoy working in which allows you to leverage those skills for more opportunities to your liking.

The more “Career Capital” you can acquire, the more control you can acquire in what type of work you can do.

Finally, if you can center the work you do around a “Mission” (work that excites you, utilizes your skill, and keeps you growing through challenges) then you have it made.

It’s a good quick read, especially for anyone who may find themselves in a career slump and wants to get back to a place where they’re doing work they like.

However, one thing stood out.

It’s a little ironic that this book’s main argument inspired by the author’s interpretation of Steve Martin’s original quote – Be so good they can’t ignore you – is antithetical to the reason for Steve Martin’s success. His passion for comedy and performing and pushing himself as an artist beyond his limits is why he broke through and became successful.

That discovery eats away at me, and I’m trying to find a middle ground where the truth of Steve Martin’s original quote and Cal Newport’s twisted-but-practical interpretation can coexist and feed off each other.

This reminds me of when I heard Metallica’s main riff for “Search and Destroy” sampled for a trap song that I hated the instant I heard it. I got that some people would like it, but I knew the original song too well to accept this crap track.


This was a good book, but the twisted interpretation is going to bug me for a while.

#improv #calnewport #sogoodtheycantignoreyou #stevemartin #improvlife

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The Improv Life: I Miss My Comedy Adventures

The Improv Life: I Miss My Comedy Adventures

I’ve been consuming Star Wars like a mother fucker during quarantine.

Clone Wars, Rebels, The Mandalorian, the new Marvel Comics (The Darth Vader ones are lit), the old, decanonized Dark Horse Comics, Youtube clips of Obi Wan Kenobi killing Darth Maul for the second time, that new found footage sketch from Nerdist turning the Mandalorian into a 90’s sitcom.

I just miss having my own adventures with my comedy life; I watch Star Wars heroes try to save the universe and think of my own adventures with my crew of misfits as we try to make my world a better place through comedy bits.

I miss getting in my car and hauling ass to LA, driving with purpose and passion. The drive was ridiculous, but there was something waiting for me at my destination: community

My peers. People like me. Dreamers dedicating their nights to comedy and each other. One shared purpose: making it (whatever that means for each person).

Tomorrow is Sunday. And that day would always be an adventure in LA.

My very last day in LA pre-quarantine saw me taking a class at Groundlings, eating Ramen at my favorite spot, doing an improv practice with random people at my friend’s Renata’s apartment, doing a clown workshop at Catsby, hanging out with my boys Frankie and J-Blaze, watching three hours of amazing comedy, and then, the drive home.

This was such an amazing day, and I was scheduled to have this day every two weeks. I was looking forward to it. But it didn’t happen. It’s almost as if I got one last taste before it all went away.

I miss the drive. I miss the people. I miss the places. I miss the community. Most of all, I miss the purpose and meaning these adventures gave me: I was living my passion and being validated by the universe every step of the way.

Now I got Star Wars. And that’s filling my spiritual void. Star Wars is about family and hope. And they’re giving me hope that one day soon I’ll be reunited with my comedy family. Till then, I’m going to make Twitch Shows work for me.

#improv #comedy #adventure #starwars #purpose #meaning #power

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