Tangentially Related

Although the ongoing Writers Guild of America strike isn’t directly related to the orchestra business, the core issue they are striking over is. At the heart of the matter is what sort of share will writers get of revenue from new media. In this business the revenues simply haven’t been large enough to necessitate any serious considerations by any players’ association or management to induce a work stoppage but in Hollywood, it is a different story…

What caught my eye this morning is an interview with Actor/Comedian Robin Williams on NBC’s Today Show where he talked about walking the picket line with striking writers. In his own unique way, Williams described a very complex issue of profits, creative accounting, and past practices, all of which have the writers concerned.

Seeing photos of Williams on the picket line and listening to him talk reminded me of the recent situation is San Antonio where singer Tony Bennett took a moment from a performance in town to support the symphony musicians.

If I can find any video from William’s interview, I’ll post it later today.

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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1 thought on “Tangentially Related

  1. Here is what is nagging at my mind about the writers strike: nobody has mentioned musical shows as a substitute.

    There was a time when a strike like this would have been a chance for a network to make more money; they don’t have to pay for expensive scripted shows and — since all the the nets are in the same predicament — they can substitute musical shows, and light concert music broadcasts are about the cheapest you can do. Until the strike is over, they’re riding a gravy train!

    But I ain’t heard nary a word about it. Now THAT is scary.

    Paul Alter

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