JP Sears describes himself as “an emotional healing coach, international teacher, world traveler, and curious student of life,” the kind of description that, for many, suggests a very particular kind of humorlessness and self-righteousness. But Sears, who is well aware of such associations, also happens to run a prolific YouTube channel, AwakenWithJP, where he’s developed a following for his wry send-ups of New Age culture via his alter ego “Ultra Spiritual” JP Sears, a kind of Stephen Colbert for the New Age set.
Dressed in a purple T-shirt and pale green headband, with a flower tucked into his chest-length red hair. Ultra Spiritual JP delivers earnest, convoluted advice on everything from vegetarianism to ayahuasca to the psychology of the selfie, all in pitch-perfect deadpan.
In March, Cubit co-editor Andrew Aghapour interviewed Sears, both in and out of character, at Sears’ Charleston, S.C., home. Last week, Andrew traveled back to Charleston, this time to collaborate with Sears on his latest video, where the two discuss science, religion, and why journalists will one day be replaced by robots.