In an earlier Blogpost I mentioned that I don't have an agent. Nor do I have a manager. Should I? To do so would be to entrust someone else to act in my best interests, it's a road I've been down before - allow me please to relate two examples...
There was a coup in the offing. I wanted to revolutionise the Student Union and dislodge the incumbents at my University, but I was too controversial a figure to run as President myself at the time - My friends and I needed someone with no 'prior' in terms of media coverage or controversy, someone articulate, intelligent, unassuming but unswerving - enter William Stockdale. Over a few beers in a Uni bar it was decided "Okay William, you're a nice guy - you're the front man. Articulate what I and others devise as policy and we'll win power easily." I was putting all my faith in him to deliver our vision of the future. We all were.
Prior to the emergency election, the 'great debate' was held in a lecture theatre - it was standing room only and the national press were out in full force. I sat on the stage beside William and quietly reminded him of key manifesto points which he delivered to the audience brilliantly, so much so he received a standing ovation and rapturous applause for his speech. I remember thinking to myself 'This is done and dusted'.
Then it was time for the press to ask questions - the first of which left me thinking the journalist had taken leave of his senses...
"Mr Stockdale, have you ever claimed to be The Messiah? Our Lord Jesus Christ?"
I looked at William and laughed thinking this is some sort of joke that will be made clear in a second or two. William stood up and facing the entire theatre said quietly "Yes, yes I have."
I shook my head thinking 'Okay stop this now. Don't want to alienate the Christian vote. The joke has run its course.'
"You wrote a book once in which you claimed to be the Messiah didn't you? Do you still claim to be Our Lord Jesus Christ?" The journalist wasn't for letting go...
William stuttered slightly, "Th-th-there's a good chance, probability in fact, that I am Jesus Christ, the saviour of humankind." The audience gasped and I held my head in my hands in much the same way Salome would have held the head of John the Baptist. Right there and then in those few questions I watched any hope of a revolution in Academia disappear...None of us knew he had this kind of revelation to make...it was our own personal Armageddon.
The only other time I 'signed away' a part of myself - was when a musical agent offered my band and I a contract which was pretty lucrative - we didn't do our research, we didn't stop to think, we didn't hesitate, we signed on the dotted line...and then rushed home to look him up on Google.
"Music Man Guilty of Sex with a Vacuum Cleaner" was all we got when we Googled his name. At first I held out hope that he was guilty of having sex with a cleaner who used a vacuum in her duties...but no, logic dictated that this would not be an offence - Google didn't lie. His biggest claim to fame it seems was his sexual exploits in a public place with a vacuum cleaner for which he did jail time.
I've never trusted anyone to act for me since. I have no Messiah complex and no unhealthy fixations on vacuum cleaners. I can trust me...most times :)