Time To Revise An Old Joke

I have to share an early result from Tuesday’s little self test.  In response to the question:

“Is an orchestra that has performed in Carnegie Hall better than one that hasn’t?”

Many of you have responded by saying that you already knew that anyone can go to Carnegie so long as they can pay the rental fee, so I suppose it’s time to revise the old joke to something like the following:

Violinist Jascha Heifetz being hailed by a man on a New York street. The man asks Heifetz, “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” And Heifetz replies, without breaking stride, “Pay the rental fee”

About Drew McManus

"I hear that every time you show up to work with an orchestra, people get fired." Those were the first words out of an executive's mouth after her board chair introduced us. That executive is now a dear colleague and friend but the day that consulting contract began with her orchestra, she was convinced I was a hatchet-man brought in by the board to clean house.

I understand where the trepidation comes from as a great deal of my consulting and technology provider work for arts organizations involves due diligence, separating fact from fiction, interpreting spin, as well as performance review and oversight. So yes, sometimes that work results in one or two individuals "aggressively embracing career change" but far more often than not, it reinforces and clarifies exactly what works and why.

In short, it doesn't matter if you know where all the bodies are buried if you can't keep your own clients out of the ground, and I'm fortunate enough to say that for more than 15 years, I've done exactly that for groups of all budget size from Qatar to Kathmandu.

For fun, I write a daily blog about the orchestra business, provide a platform for arts insiders to speak their mind, keep track of what people in this business get paid, help write a satirical cartoon about orchestra life, hack the arts, and love a good coffee drink.

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