For lack of actually knowing what I'm asking, let me explain.
When I do
tar -zcf archive.tar.gz /some/path/to/a/dir
When I go into the archive I see that it has preserved the absolute path of the directory structure. The archive actually contains
/some/path/to/a/dir and then files.
How can I make is so the root of the archive is the actual directory I'm archiving.
I suppose another way of saying this would be: How can I not archive the parent directories.