It’s the end of the year, so I’m overdue for an identity crisis (here’s a link to last year’s).
What precipitated this particular fit of existential pique is my chronic need for new business cards. I’m low across the board but at least two out of the three entities I represent are mere reorders. It’s the third that’s caused me unease. It’s because I’m a multi-hyphenate, which means my job title (if I ever decide on one) is a typographical nightmare of definitions and dashes that looks like Morse Code on a business card.
The card in question is for my own shingle, under my own name where I am… Well, what am I? A writer, filmmaker, conceptual artist, media maven, international playboy-raconteur? Obviously all the above.
A screenwriting partner and I had a gag about the biz in which a “creative executive” describes his function as “executing the creativity,” as if with a guillotine. Thus, inspired, I’m playing with the notion of being a “creative agent,” as in I “agent the creativity” as if with the present participle agens, agentis (“the one doing”) of the Latin verb agere, to “do” or “make.”
Try making that fit on a Moo card.
My attraction to the term “agent” is twofold. First, it could be a sly reference to “agent provocateur,” which has a nice swaggery vibe… Until you Google it and learn that a lingerie company of the same name has successfully co-opted the search algorithm (ditto a popular Eau de Parfum).
Also, upon reflection, “agent provocateur,” at least in the media trade, cuts a little too close to Alex Gibney’s documentary, Agents of Chaos, which examines Russia’s interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election (that the Kremlin could have more influence on American media than your humble scribe is a new level of galling).
Another agency iteration that appealed to me was the tried and true “Creative agency,” which is overrun with people like me.
In my own mind, “agent” could be read as the singular of “agency,” right? Wrong — but if a creative agency was a one-man band, wouldn’t that dude be a “Creative Agent?”
Here’s my rationale for exploring any of this at all — “creative agent” is broad enough an umbrella to incorporate my creative work as well as my professional offerings and corporate enough to telegraph executive-style professionality without all the aforementioned guillotine business.
Moreover, there is the definition of “agency” that describes the capacity of an individual to act independently. That’s the ticket — I have agency over my creativity. Ergo, I’m a creative agent (provocateur of chaos). And I’m here to help.
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