Archive for September, 2012

September 30, 2012

Sunday Round up September 30

Well, September went fast…and I didn’t even manage to get a round-up in place last week. So!

Where have you BEEN this week?

Linky Friday

Because We’re Singing Into Theatre Season Again

22 Rules to Live By

Post Now, Nap Later, Consult in the Fall

A couple other things that caught my attention last week:

Top Toronto city managers report culture of fear, bullying   – I’d find this disturbing to hear in any workplace, but even more so in the workplace that runs our city.

And this image is an excellent addition to 22 rules to live by, and I think now more than ever – you could add in so many other distractions.



September 28, 2012

Post Now, Nap Later, Consult in the Fall



Found this article in the Globe yesterday.

Fun fact: that’s pretty much my schedule. One of the joys of owning your own business is that to an extent you get to follow your own schedule. I’ve always been a bit useless between 2 and 3 – so I don’t try to do anything that requires creative thought.

Found this in the Star: How to retrieve accidentally deleted computer files – which usually happens between 2 nd 3 in my house.

This? Is fantastic. Making Space for Culture: Public Consultations Fall 2012

To secure space for the arts from the ground up, the cultural community must be proactive, identifying potential partners in health, social services or sports when they are in the planning stages of projects such as community hubs and recreation centres.

To help guide future potential investment when opportunities arise, Toronto’s Cultural Services has embarked on a ward-by-ward consultation and planning process to determine local priorities…Twenty ward consultations will be conducted in 2012 with the remaining 24 wards being surveyed in 2013 and beyond. Ten sessions were held in the spring with 10 more to follow in October. An online survey is being conducted as part of the consultation process, dubbed Making Space for Culture: Ward Planning for Vibrant, Sustainable Cultural Infrastructure. Please take a moment to fill out the survey and join us at any of the consultations.



September 27, 2012

22 Rules to Live By

A reminder that Nuit Blanche is this weekend! Go see some art!
Proud is humming along nicely and you should go see that too.
And it looks like I’m going to be doing some social media work with Young  Associates! AND with Small Print Toronto! AND I’m working with OCAF! AND an October Workshop with Work in Culture!
Fall is looking pretty darned good to me.
I thought this was great. From Bob Bly Copywriter / Consultant – 22 Rules to Live By
1-Show up for appointments 10 minutes early.2-Customers are not always right, but they must be treated as if they are.

3-When speaking before groups, dress up one level from what the group is wearing; e.g., if they wear shorts and tee shirts, you wear business casual.

4-Never offer unsolicited advice.

5-Leave your ego at the door.

6-Don’t waste people’s time by sending them jokes or stories via e-mail.

7-Do not brag by talking about your accomplishments to people who didn’t ask you about them.

8-Be humble.

9-Proofread your e-mails before you send them.

10-80% of your activity should be in your comfort zone, and 20%  outside it. This keeps you both productive and challenged.

11-Of the people who opt into your e-list, 90% of those who eventually buy from you will do so within 90 days of subscribing to the list.

12-The more recently a customer had made a purchase, the more likely he is to do so again.

13-Old but good advice: under-promise and over-deliver.

14-Don’t give your customers their money’s worth. Give them more than their money’s worth.

15-The easiest way to add value to an offer is with a free bonus gift.

16-The most powerful words in the English language are “free” and “you.”

17-Do unto others as they would have you do unto them.

18-Spend time with your children while they are still young enough to want you to spend time with them.

19-Neither a borrower or a lender be.

20-Don’t be so sure you are right. Perhaps you are not.

21-Life is short – over in the blink of an eye. So enjoy it now.

22-Avoid discussing religion or politics with colleagues or customers. There is little to gain from it and much to lose.

September 24, 2012

Because We’re Swinging into Theatre Season Again

and because I just came off one show- HOMEbody opened Thursday, and closed Sunday, and Proud opened Saturday and runs til October 6th.

So some things bear repeating, as a refresher or if you’re new to things – A re-post from last October – How to Stay on A Comp List.

Every place I’ve worked has the comp list – not necessarily the opening night list, but a list that is made up of individuals who are occasionally offered free (comp) tickets to a performance during the run of a show for whatever reason.

I have such a list, I’ve had such a list for every place I’ve worked. The folks on that list are there for various reasons, the main one being that I like them and will only offer them comps to something I think they’d like. I comp for a couple of main reasons: to bump an audience on a quiet night, or to do a little word of mouth marketing towards a different audience for a successful show.

If you accept comps, please do one of the following things:

Show up – that’s the best one.

If you discover you can’t make it (and they are transferable), give them to someone else, in which case they are responsible for showing up.

If you can’t make it, please call, text, fax, message, Facebook, Tweet or email that you can’t make it, and say to please release the tickets to someone else. Even up to ten minutes before curtain, this message is appreciated.

Because when you just don’t show up, I’m left holding the bag on either a) two empty seats in a smallish house that I was counting on helping fill, or b) two empty seats on a fullish house that I can’t do anything with because I’m not sure if you’re having trouble finding a parking spot and are about to come racing in.

And if you just plain forgot? Been there. But then you do have to mention this fact at some point.

Because otherwise I think you’ve left the country, and have to take you off the comp list.

September 21, 2012

Linky Friday


What a week. You might have noticed I’m working on a few things.

Opening shows…you printed and distributed the postcards and posters, and got the pre-press, and booked the ads, and created the Facebook page and you can’t seem to talk to anyone without mentioning the show you’re working on and offering dates and details and here, just take a flyer. You’ve created the buzz.

Is anyone coming? All you can do is hope so. Well, I mean you could rent a bus and drive round the city and tell people to get in, you’re taking them to a play, but you probably don’t have an F class license and –  really? Calm down.

A few links this week I’d been saving for a rainy day – today seems appropriate.

Why are you in business? The first question brands should answer
According to Mr. Sinek, by focusing on the “what” and “how,” companies miss an important opportunity to connect with customers by explaining the “why” behind the brand. When you address the why, you get to the true essence of a company and have an excellent platform for customers to relate to it.

I Want To Put You In  Category – thought this was was interesting, given the work I do.

Collaboration in kind: arts and business partnerships beyond the cheque
Despite the financial element to transactions such as these, the real strength of this approach lies in exchanges that are not based purely on money. While Robertson admits that straightforward philanthropy plays a sizable part in the funding of most arts organisations, including his own, he firmly believes that “the healthiest relationships are often based on something a bit deeper than that”

Wonderful. Happy Friday  – second preview for Proud, second show for HOMEbody. I’m outta here.

September 19, 2012

Where have you BEEN this week?

I asked someone that question yesterday and they gently reminded me it was only Tuesday. It feels farther along and I’m glad it’s not.

HOMEbody opens tomorrow night. You should get a ticket.

Proud previews tomorrow night.  You should get a ticket.

I saw Hiding Words (from you) last week. It’s beautiful. You should see that too.

What have I been doing all week? I think this article from Live With Culture sums it up nicely. I’m off to do the stuff I say I do.

September 16, 2012

Sunday Roundup – September 16

What a week last week. And my birthday!

How Much Can You Pay?

Dear Rob

Hiding Words – ticket deal!

A Show and Change From a Twenty

My dear Rob post went kind of crazy with thousands of hits. Clearly it struck something in people and I’m glad it did.

I also saw Hiding Words (for you) last night – get on that ticket deal – it’s a wonderful piece of theatre.

You should grab a coffee and settle in to read The Charlebois Post this morning – Miles Potter has a piece in it on Proud

Speaking of which, Proud starts previews this week – Thursday and Friday.  And HOMEbody opens this week – hope you have your tickets to one or the other or both.

September 13, 2012

A Show and Change from a Twenty


Quick post today as I’m off to spend the afternoon watching a runthrough of HOMEbody . Also a quick but might big thank you to everyone who shared my Dear Rob post-  that got pretty wild in terms of web hits.

So! The answer is – between $6.00 and $20.00. That’s what we’re paying when we can. Other answers included “whatever the suggested rate is”.

Happy Thursday!

What Do You Pay at a Pay What You Can?

$6 – $10 38%
$16 – $20 23%
$11 – $15 19%
$20+ 8%
Other answer… 8%
$1 – $5 4%
September 12, 2012

Hiding Words – ticket deal!

It’s my birthday today! This past year has quite possibly been one of the best years of my life. With that in mind, I am sharing the love and passing on a cool ticket deal for Gein Wong’s play HIDING WORDS (for you).

Hiding Words (for you)  delves into nushu, a secret language created in 400 A.D. when Chinese women were not allowed to read or write. Set in China during its biggest 19th Century rebellion, a modern Canada where national security is at a heightened state, and a hip urban Hong Kong on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. This interdisciplinary play examines the relationship between women connected through space and time, following their pursuits to influence social change.

Gein Wong has done some amazing work, theatrically inventive, passionate, fearless, organically blending traditional Chinese motifs with video installation, hip hop, modern dance.

Esther Jun directs, and the cast includes the powerful John Ng, Stephanie Jung, Paul Lee and others. It’s running at Harbourfront from September 13 to the  23, 2012.

Book your tickets online, or you can book by email at or by phone at 416-973-4000. You can quote the promo code  NUSHU for $21 tickets.  I’ll be going.

September 11, 2012

Dear Rob

Dear Rob,

I’m going to pretend your job isn’t being Mayor of Toronto, so we’ll cut out all the politics from the get-go. I’m going to pretend you have a job in upper management at some private company for the sake of this letter. Okay? No politics, no right-left whatever. No snark.

I see that you skipped out on yet another very important meeting, one that’s your responsibility. And the reason this time was you had to go coach football, because the coach has to be at the game or the team doesn’t play.

Rob something is becoming clearer and clearer to me every time I hear about something like this. You are an Everyman in one aspect of your life – but you’re not a good ole boy, you’re not a folk hero, you’re not just one of the guys. You are not an Everyman that way.

But like millions of folks out there – you clearly don’t like your job. You might even hate it. And that is where I think you are Everyman.

Millions know how you feel –  the shuffling in at the last possible minute, cutting out early whenever you can, the frustration with your colleagues. A lot of people in this world don’t like their jobs.

They have to go to work anyway. Why? Because they don’t have another job lined up. Their options are limited. Until they line up something else, they’re essentially stuck. Terrible feeling.

Rob? You do have other options. You could work at your family company. That’s the most obvious one. The less obvious one?

Follow your passion. Turn your football foundation into a full-time thing for yourself, and those kids. Because honestly – that’s when you seem happiest. That’s when you work your hardest, I think. That’s when you seem at your best, most positively affected by something.That’s what it’s like to live your calling. Imagine feeling that way all the time? And people all over cheer you on about this initiative. They think it’s great. They think it’s great how much you care.

If you’re in politics because your Dad was – well, maybe it’s not for you. And we all want to please our parents, but you know? Ask any parent what they want for their kids and they’ll say, “I want them to be happy.” You’re in your forties, Rob. So am I. It’s time to be happy, and follow your dream.

Now I’m not saying write up a resignation letter today. But do some thinking. You’ve got a couple of years left in your contract. You’ve already got the – well, the foundation for a foundation. Maybe do some thinking on how to make that an even bigger reality.

And when your contract comes up? Don’t renew it. Don’t even throw your hat in. Concentrate on what would really make you happy. If it’s football and those kids – so be it.

Good luck.


%d bloggers like this: