I rarely make “announcements” on this site. And this one, unlike the others I’ve made, is more melancholy than anything else: As of yesterday, I’m no longer represented by a manager, or affiliated with a comedy/speaking/talent agency.Quick and important: If you or your campus/organization/conference had me booked or were in talks of booking me for the near or distant future, there’s a good chance I don’t know about it. Please reach out to me directly (ideally through this page), and I’ll do what I can to get things on track.
Now, the explanation, and history, for those who want to know.
First, it’s important for me to say that this wasn’t planned, nor was it something I wanted. My manager, in a peak 2018 move, essentially ghosted on me. Over the course of the past 10 weeks I’ve gone through the four stages of being ghosted on: (1) Unaware, (2) Rationalizing, (3) WTF Seriously?, and (4) Moving on.
Did I just make those stages up? Yes, I did. But can you relate to them, being a person alive in 2018? (especially if you were born in the 80s or later) Yes, you probably can.
I spent most of my time in the stages of Rationalizing (I know he’s struggling with personal, unrelated stuff; he’s busy; it’s a relatively “down” time in my booking calendar), and then WTF Seriously? (did he seriously ghost on me? is he not going to say anything? are you f*cking kidding me?), which prevented me from Moving on. From writing this post.
In hindsight, I should have made this announcement back in early January. It’s obvious, now, as I’m viewing the trail of wreckage that my early 2018 has become. But everything is obvious in hindsight. I’m incredibly, overwhelmingly sorry to the clients who’ve been ignored, and the gigs that fell through because of this. Seriously: I’ve had almost daily nightmares about it for the past month.
But I couldn’t move on. To explain why, let me share a brief bit of _It’s Pronounced Metrosexual _history.
Since 2011, the primary way that I’ve supported myself has been performing and speaking. That all started with this site, which was originally just an “About” page for the eponymous social justice comedy show. It wasn’t a “free online resource” until awhile after. The free online resource, and indeed all of the free online resources I’ve created, were the result of my downtime between gigs.
About 5ish years ago, after bouncing between [terrible] agents and [struggling] self-representation, I started working with my until-yesterday-current manager. That relationship quickly became one of the most important in my life (and, in a not-so-humble observation, affected the lives of millions of strangers around the world).
My manager helped with the tangible (taking off my plate things like logistics, bookings, client questions, etc.), which freed up more time for me to create. This website reaches millions of people, and in the past several years I’ve created about fifty different projects like this. I wrote more shows. I delivered more original keynotes. I wrote books. I did tons and tons of pro bono gigs.
But more importantly, my manager helped with the intangible.
Doing this work is isolating, exhausting, alienating. Doing 200 gigs in a year, living in hotels and on airplanes, facing thousands upon thousands of death threats, being hated by complete strangers — let’s just say there are lots of opportunities to throw in the towel. But my manager was always there for me, and understood what I was up against, and struggling with, in a way that nobody else could.
He supported my decision to uncopyright all my work, when almost all of my peers (other social justice people) told me I was an idiot. My life is better because of uncopyrighting.
He supported my decision to shift into the gift economy, removing the “market economy” price barriers from people accessing me and my work. Instead, I began to offer my gifts (my shows, my books, my work) freely, and allowed others to choose if/how they reciprocated, based on ability, fairness, or gratitude. As my manager, he supported this decision at a potential personal financial loss. He supported me in this when almost all my peers told me I was an idiot. My life is better because of the gift.
The examples go on. Suffice it to say that my life is better in innumerable ways, and the lives of anyone my work has affected positively are better, because of my manager.
And that’s why it was so hard to make this decision. To make this announcement. Because I don’t know what I’ll do without him, or how I’ll do it, of if I can do it. But I’m going to have to figure it out.
I emailed him yesterday to make the ambiguous clear: I’m moving on.
(Can you break it off with a ghost, or are you just talking to yourself — your representation of them in your mind? Who knows. 2018 amiright?)
I’m not happy with how things ended, but I’m incredibly grateful for why this was so hard.
And before you try to set me up with someone, I don’t think I’m ready to see other managers. I just got out of a long relationship.
Hey, but seriously: if you were in the works of booking me, or trying to book me, you have to start over with me. I don’t have any records from the past, because of this terrible situation. There are still places on this site (I bet) and other sites (for sure) that show my former manager’s contact info or agency as a route to book me: those are outdated, and will be removed ASAP.
I have a really hard time managing my inbox, and am dealing with about 50 spinning plates (deciding which ones are going to have to fall), so I appreciate patience, and am incredibly sorry to everyone who’s been neglected/wronged, and for how my inaction on this front has contributed to that.
Unless I update this post, assume I’m a [struggling] free agent, unrepresented, and anything you see otherwise is wrong.