Shop Talk S01E07: Changing Your Narrative

How does an industry with so many decades of carefully crafted narrative go about changing on a dime in response to a prolonged pandemic? This was the basic premise of today’s episode and in order to talk it out, I invited two of the sharpest minds I know that work inside the arts field: author, interviewer, and curator Mark Larson and 6-time Emmy Award winning writer/producer, Scott Silberstein.

I dare you to get through this episode an not feel energized. To that end, I don’t think we’ve had an episode with so many wonderful tweetable moments, here are some of my favs:

Nothing will breed a certain amount of contempt and distancing than unfamiliarity, or perhaps more to the point, the feeling of not getting it or being made to feel stupid. Click to Tweet
The arts are the one place where we can all walk into the room and not know a thing about the people there but know that we're all rooting for the same thing. We all want to be entertained, transported, and have something cool to talk about. Click to Tweet
(In the theater), I don't feel like there are rules I might stupidly break…like I did when I brought students to the orchestra. Click to Tweet
If I don't know it, it must be feared. Click to Tweet
We want everything that happens here to have the implicit message 'we've been expecting you.' Click to Tweet
If there's a sense of bequeathing instead of embracing, things go downhill really fast. Click to Tweet
One gift from the crisis…is we got quiet for a moment and we had to sit sat down and do a little more listening. We were really forced to question things we never really questioned before. Click to Tweet
Explore opportunity in your narrative. Click to Tweet
Let's just let go of what we can't have because we can't have it. Click to Tweet

Guests

Mark Larson

ensemblechicago.com | Purchase Ensemble and support indie bookstores!

Mark Larson is an interviewer and curator for AmericanStoriesContinuum.com which compiles his conversations across the country about life in 21st century America. In 2019, he published, “Ensemble: An Oral History of Chicago Theater” (Agate Publishing).

In 2005, he joined National-Louis University as an assistant professor in Secondary Education, the Director of Partnerships and co-director of the Center for City Schools in November 2005. Previously, he was Director of Education at Lincoln Park Zoo (2002-2005), and Manager of Educational Partnerships and School Programs at The Field Museum (1998-2002). Prior to moving to the museum, Larson was an English teacher at Evanston Township High School for 14 years. In 1995, he received the Golden Apple Award for Excellence in Teaching from the Golden Apple Foundation of Chicago.
From 1998-2004, he served as Chair of the Golden Apple Academy. He has made numerous presentations on topics ranging from innovations in teaching to developing collegial relationships in schools. He is currently vice-chair of the board of directors at Polaris Charter Academy in West Humboldt Park.

As an educator, he published two books, Making Conversation: Collaborating with Colleagues for Change; and, with Betty Jane Wagner, Situations: A Casebook of Virtual Realities for the English Teacher, both by Heinemann Books. In 1996, he received the Farmer Award for Best Article for English Journal.

Before beginning a career in education, he worked in theater and television as a special assistant to Burr Tillstrom, creator of the 50’s television program Kukla, Fran and Ollie. With Burr, he worked on three television specials for NBC, appeared at the Kennedy Center, and for three Christmas runs at the Goodman Theater. He co-wrote and –produced Kukla, Fran and Ollie: A Reminisce with Fran Alison for NBC and was a consultant for the Chicago Historical Society exhibit: Here We Are Again!

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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Scott Silberstein

hmsmedia.com

Scott is a 6-time Emmy Award winning writer/producer for 20-time Emmy Award-winning HMS Media, which he co-founded with Matt Hoffman in 1988. He has developed, produced and written broadcast and digital specials including Chicago Voices (with Renée Fleming & Lyric Opera of Chicago), The Hip Hop Nutcracker, First You Dream: The Music of Kander & Ebb, Through The Night with Daniel Beatty, Steppenwolf Theatre Company: 25 Years on the Edge, Second To None (with Tina Fey & The Second City), Dance For Life, Our City Our Shakespeare (with Renée Fleming and Chicago Shakespeare Theater), Get Happy: Angela Ingersoll Sings Judy Garland, The Chicago Dance Project, Dance From The Heart (featuring Ben Vereen and The Joffrey Ballet) and multiple specials with Under The Streetlamp, River North Chicago Dance Company, Jump Rhythm Jazz Project, Celtic Woman and Keith Lockhart & The Boston Pops.

Scott has overseen broadcast, online and commissioned content for a wide array of Broadway shows, national tours, and Chicago and resident performing arts organizations including Hamilton, Lookingglass Theatre, Dear Evan Hansen, Steppenwolf Theatre, Oklahoma!, Deeply Rooted Productions, The Book of Mormon, Court Theatre, Wicked, Giordano Dance Chicago, Jersey Boys, Fun Home, Drury Lane Theatre, Beautiful, The House Theatre, Billy Elliott, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Les Miserables, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Phantom of the Opera, Marriott Lincolnshire Theatre, Mamma Mia!, Lucky Plush, Dreamgirls, The Second City, Hairspray, The Goodman Theatre, The Color Purple, The Joffrey Ballet, Kinky Boots, The Gift Theatre and more.

Scott is an Artistic Associate at Lookingglass Theatre Company, serves on the advisory board for Giordano Dance Chicago and is a past Vice-President of the SeeChicagoDance board of director. As an arts advocate, he is a board member of Arts Alliance Illinois (where co-chairs the Arts Leadership Council and serves as a team leader for the National Arts Action Summit), a member of the Legislative Council for The Broadway League and published of the Arts in Action newsletter. He was a classically trained pianist, winning the Jose Iturbu Scholarship from the Baldwin Piano Music Labs educational program and earning a piano studies certificate from London’s Guildhall School of Music at the age of twelve. He has won three Ruth Page Awards for Collaborative Artist of the Year for original dance scores, sound designs and television projects. As a composer and sound designer, he has created music scores and soundscapes for River North Dance Chicago, Zephyr Dance, Kast & Company and the Lynda Martha Dance Company, including Kira The Young Hunter with Phil Collins.

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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About Shop Talk

The official podcast of Adaptistration.com, Shop Talk invites captivating guests to talk about engaging topics connected to the orchestra business.

Shop Talk Archives | Shop Talk; Last Call Archives

Publication Schedule (subject to change #obvs)

  • E01Reaching Diverse Audiences Through The Marcom Lens, Ann Marie Sorrell and Ceci Dadisman 08/18/2020
  • E02Art Has Always Been Political, Weston Sprott and Jason Haaheim 09/01/2020
  • E03Deconstructing Silos, Anwar Nasir and Scott Harrison 09/15/2020
  • E04Fostering BIPOC And Women Composers, Anne M. Guzzo, Daniel Hege, and Holly Mulcahy 09/29/2020
  • E05: What Orchestras Administrators Really Need, Zak Vassar and Jeff Vom Saal 10/13/2020
  • E06: The Need For Expertise, Mark Almond and Jason Haaheim 10/27/2020
  • E07: Changing Your Narrative, Mark Larson and Scott Silberstein 11/10/2020
  • E08: Centering Equity, Ruby Lopez Harper and Brea M. Heidelberg 11/17/2020
  • E09: How to Create High-Quality Video Content, Bruce Kiesling and Niccolo Go 12/08/2020
  • E10: Walking Back Artistic Elitism, Kenji Bunch and Jenny Bilfield 12/22/2020
  • E11: 01/05/2020
  • E12: 01/19/2020

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.

Comments (powered by Facebook)

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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