Luckily I asked for it shaken*

I’m off to Germany for some James Bond style client work today and won’t be back until Saturday. Although there are plenty of new articles ready to go over the next few days, my travel schedule prohibits the sort of Johnny-on-the-spot coverage you’re used to when something big develops in the Season of Discontent.

Luckily I asked for it shakenHowever, if the gods of travel are smiling on me and there is in-flight Wi-Fi then I may be able to stay on top of things and supplant any scheduled content with breaking news. Granted, I’m traveling uber-light thanks to the breakneck schedule and I’ll only have my iPad so don’t expect any fancy charts or graphs.

How breakneck is it?


  • ORD>LAX; 4h:32m
  • Report to Q branch for mission specific equipment then meet with M and Moneypenny for final briefing.


  • LAX>FRT; 10hr:55m direct flight
  • FRA>HAM; approx 4h train trip
  • Conduct business and engage marzipan purchase.
  • HAM>FRA; return 4h train trip
  • Somewhere amidst all of this, my wife will be out enjoying the opening night of Skyfall.


  • FRA>PHL>ORD 11h:37m:
  • If everything goes according to plan, celebrate operational success by smuggling post-mission marzipan into the final evening’s showing of Skyfall at local theater with my very own Bond girl.

Granted, these are all very much #firstworldproblems and, thankfully, there is plenty of marzipan involved but I do hope to able to write about all of it one day. It’s all genuinely fascinating stuff when you get right down to it but for now, non disclosure statements compel discretion. If and when that changes, you’ll be the first to know.

*Title reference

In Die Another Day, Bond is coming back on a rather turbulent British Airways flight. The air hostess (played by Roger Moore’s daughter Deborah) serves him his martini, to which Bond replies “Luckily I asked for it shaken”.

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.

4 thoughts on “Luckily I asked for it shaken*”

    • Sonja,

      What a wonderful invitation and you’ve reminded me of an important lesson I should know in that I need to announce my travel plans sooner as I would have been happy to extend my trip to accommodation a visit to tour the program and talk to students.

      As it stands, my time in Hamburg is going to be an hour or two at most (unless my flight is very late in which case it’s all up in the air) and then turn right around back to Frankfurt for my departure flight in the early afternoon on the next day.

      I will send you an email with my contact info so that if things change (or you’d like to meet in Frankfurt before I depart) we can see about meeting.


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