This Is The End My Friends

Sunday, 2/17/2013 was a bittersweet day in that Paul Dixon published what will be the last episode for Who’s Minding The Score? (WMTS?); at least, the last one for now…

This Is The End My FriendsFor those who regularly follow the comic strip, you’ve noticed that the latest story thread has closely paralleled some of the more public labor disputes within American orchestras. Dixon’s cartoons have captured the fury with positively perfect dark satire but it took its toll on the artist and about a month ago, Dixon sent me a message to say he needed to take a break as writing the strip was producing as much heartbreak as cathartic joy.

Ever since launching Adaptistration in 2003, I’ve been searching for a cartoonist to help capture daily life inside the typical American orchestra and almost exactly three years ago, Dixon brought that vision to life.

Ever since the first black and white episode (the comic went full color in September, 2010); his razor sharp wit routinely captured the humor of back office orchestra life with satirical brilliance.

Silver Lining

Fortunately, Dixon is staying on as Adaptistration’s official Editorial Cartoonist and he’s got a special treat in store for tomorrow’s post.

If you aren’t a regular WMTS? reader, now’s your chance to dive in and soak up three years of satirical goodness (although I recommend stopping by the character profile page first). And I encourage everyone to take a moment to send in a comment pointing out which WMTS? episode, character(s), or story thread is your favorite and why.

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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6 thoughts on “This Is The End My Friends”

  1. Thanks for all the great cartoons – I’ll be sad to see them go! My favorite is July 22, 2012, which is about the relationship between website and social media engagement versus low ticket sales. I’m a big social media enthusiast and I contribute a lot to the Nashville Symphony’s social media campaign, and after reading this cartoon, I must say I was never able to look at things the same way again! Thanks again for the laughs!

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