“Remember when you asked me to find the unified field theory of your career?” asked Kit Fergus as he folded the ironing board back into the wall.
Though I couldn’t recall making any such request, I figured this was Kit’s means of backdating his efforts to imbue them with a greater sense of premeditation. This, for Kit, was the difference between a whim and a plan and constituted what he called “quality career management” and “the best 10 percent you will ever spend.”
“You, you’re a producer, I mean you’ve got your head in everything – you write, you make movies, you’re probably a song and dance man – though I never want to see it. In short, you’re my favorite client.”
“I’m your only client,” I reminded.
“But you’re like five in one. You’re what we call in the industry a ‘Renaissance man,’ which is just a fancy way of saying ‘jack of all trades,’” he elaborated, then added archly, “Which is showbiz jargon for ‘amateur.’”
“I’ve been a professional for over a decade, Kit.”
“I know that, you know that, but out there, all they see is a dude with a lot of hyphens on his business card. And a hyphen is really just a minus that moonlights.”
Though I disagreed with Kit’s take on my favorite punctuation mark, I was curious as to where he was going.
“I tried to find a better word for you, but the only one I could come up with is ‘polymath,’ which sounds like a dude with too many wives,” Kit concluded. “Then I was thinking, it’s almost like you have multiple personalities. In a good way. And you’re in media. Add it up. You’re a multimedia art form.”
“You mean multimedia artist?” I had the chutzpah to ask Kit as he prowled around the kitchenette that had recently become his office.
“No – art form,” he said and jabbed my lapel with a finger for emphasis.
“How can I be an art form?” I asked, incredulous. “How can anybody?”
“How can you not these days?” Kit retorted, flouncing a recently acquired rhetorical device. Though I could see the seam in every patch of wool he pulled over my eyes, I knew that Kit’s borg-like sense of purpose meant resistance was futile.
“Listen, Dead,” he began.
“Daed,” I corrected.
“Dada, whatever, if Duchamp can point at a pissoir and call it art, who’s to say I couldn’t point at you and do the same?”
“You calling me a pissoir?”
“I’m calling you art.”
“And what’s a pissoir anyhow?”
“It’s French for multimedia art form,” he said rifling through some pages, one of which he extracted and slammed to the desktop that lay between us like a coffin. “This is a press release I’ve been working on for you.”
I glanced at the typewritten page. It only took me a moment to realize it was photocopied boilerplate with blank spaces where I presumed my name would later be inserted.
“This is our official announcement. We’re going multinational, which is better than national seeing as you’re multimedia and not just media,” Kit explained. “The people like symmetry like that.”
“What does a multimedia art form do?”
“What doesn’t it do?” he said pursing lips over tented fingers.
“Specifically,” I elaborated.
“Specifically, a multimedia art form doesn’t do in-store appearances without the fee upfront a cut of the day’s sales. Other than that, it’s blue skies, baby.”