When finding Mr Good, one must first and foremost, know where to look. Yet, since the location of Mr Good tends to be as ambiguous as any definition of his character, let us simply begin with my story.
As any great story of discovery, mine begins with inspiration. When I was 15 years old I had a very profound experience…actually, I had a very profound teacher. Jonathan Murray was as unorthodox a 10th grade English teacher as you’d ever find. He possessed the magical ability of teaching without teaching. Sure, the focus of his class was literature, poetry, your traditional English academia, but the real lessons were of life and love, triumph and tragedy, being and awakening.
I recall one lesson in particular. Mr Murray strode into the classroom without saying a word; he almost seemed angry. He lifted the screen that covered the board to reveal a long list of assignments, and then retired to his desk. If anyone tried to ask any questions, he would simply point to the board.
We worked on the assignments for the entirety of the class, in stark silence, an ominous energy lingering in the air. Then, about 5 minutes before the bell rang, Mr Murray stood and spoke. “Take the work you have done this period and tear it up.” We were shocked, but didn’t hesitate to destroy the assignments. “Now, tell me…how did it feel to be ignored?”
I think you get the picture. Jonathan Murray woke me up that year. He inspired me.
During my time with the Guru of English teachers, I discovered something. Somewhere hidden between poetry readings, plays, and speech contests, I found a unique ability to make people smile…and it felt Good.
You might be wondering, why this specific ability? How did an English teacher pull it out of me? The answer is simple. A truly great teacher will lead you to discover what already lies dormant inside of you…and this is where we begin to find Mr Good.
The next stage of my journey took me on a tour of the dark catacombs of the Theatrical Arts, after all, I was funny, so why not be an actor. I spent my final two years of high school taking as many drama classes as I could. Rather than bore you with the details, I’ll just say, I was Good, and everyone new it. Enter the ego.
After graduation, I enrolled as a Theatre and Dance major at East Carolina University, where I was sure I’d become a legend. Little did I know, I was about to begin a life long relationship with defiance.
To say that I didn’t appreciate the fine art of acting would be a drastic understatement. Besides, all I wanted to do was make people smile, I really didn’t care about “the craft”, and so make people smile I did…every chance I got.
At the utter deterioration of my theatrical education, I was more than the typical “class clown”, I made campus hilarity an art form. Although never cast in any of the main stage productions, I tore the smaller venues to shreds, danced my way through the halls, and let my voice ring out for all to hear. I scoffed at the system as loud as I possibly could, and after a couple years, burned myself out.
This just wasn’t it. I wasn’t being full filled…I was lost. There was however a small glimmer of light, a tiny piece of wisdom I still carried with me…laughter was divine and I knew it. When I heard it, I felt connected, inspired, at peace. The only thing I could think to do was follow it. So I packed my bags, left school, and headed for the Windy City to study at the world’s greatest comedy theatre, The Second City.
If I was enticed by laughter, this was the place to be…or so I thought; the city that gave birth to improv and shown as the home to the world’s surplus of comedy was more of the same disappointment. Devoted comedians sat around and discussed the nuance of timing and character, while I stooped deeper and deeper into weary melancholy. Where was it, what was I looking for? As my defiance grew, I did the only thing I could think of…I began to write. I bottled up all my frustration and disappointment at not belonging into my first one-man show, Imperative Nonsense.
Imperative Nonsense was exactly what I needed, a free forum to create and perform exactly how and what I wanted…for the first time, I felt free.
It’s odd what freedom can do for an individual. When you allow yourself the room to grow, there’s no end to the heights you can reach. Writing and performing was a kind of therapy, but more than that I was channeling an energy inside of me. With every step I was beginning to understand myself and my place in the world. I had become a philosophical comedian.
I understood now what I was missing all along. The comedy was merely a tool to access the divine in myself. I didn’t want to be an actor or comedian; I wanted to help bring new light to our purpose in the universe. I was going to simplify the spiritual and bring happiness to the masses. I had plan, all I needed now was to put a face to the way I felt.
I had always doodled. I don’t know if I would have ever called myself an illustrator, but I did sketch often. It wasn’t that I drew an array of objects; actually I only drew one character over and over. I had been doing this for years, without ever considering what or who I was drawing. That is until he found me.
Mr Good is different for everyone. He is the place inside us where we are One. When you are doing exactly what you love and you feel this sense of unity with your surroundings, that’s him. Whether it’s dancing, building, looking after children, cooking, whatever it is that You do, that’s the Mr Good inside of you. He is our purpose, our destiny.
Was I drawing Mr Good or was I simply drawing myself? I don’t really believe there is a difference. All I know is that I found a way to illustrate the way I was feeling and that is what One is all about…a collection of illustrations and mantras that capture how I am feeling at any given time.
For me, life is about discovering your unique place in the universe. We all have one thing we can offer that belongs to us and us alone. Mr Good is a name I’ve given to the guide to Our place and the person we become when we are there. For me it was laughter, for you…it’s anything. Mr Good is looking for you; all you have to do is want to be found.
— — —