An Orchestra Life Cartoon: Take Two

Long time readers will recall that I spent some time looking for a cartoonist back in 2005 with the goal of creating a cartoon that brings to life the magic that is working and living in the orchestra field. The idea simply wasn’t able to get off the ground at that time but things have changed and there might be some hope for this project yet…

Although there certainly isn’t a shortage of content, the only example of a classical music oriented cartoon that is simultaneously funny, witty, and otherwise entertaining is from Matthew Guerrieri, better known as Soho The Dog (my apologies to anyone I’m missing). As such, I’m very anxious to see the project come to fruition this time around; in the meantime, what sorts of ideas do you think would work for a regular cartoon like this?

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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