Posts tagged ‘Mission Paradox’

August 14, 2013

Excitement, Inc – Mission Paradox

From a great blog post from MP

“Why is this live?

That’s the question that Jordan Roth asked during the first TedxBroadway and I swear the question has haunted me ever since.
For those of us that work in the live entertainment/art world that is the cornerstone question.  Why is this particular experience worthy of the cost, time, energy and just plain hassle that comes with making it happen live? read more

Tonight I was at a Summerworks show, was at one last night too. Why do we do this, go to places with lots of stairs and folding chairs, with plastic drink cups and isn’t “temperature controlled for our comfort”?

Because it is here and it is now and maybe you go with friends or go alone and find friends.  But we are all there, and all there for a reason – and it’s happening in front of us and those on the stage and in the wings are there too and it’s happening for them too and we’re all in it together.

And that’s why – it’s a communal experience. It will never be the same again. Sure there are X more performances, and you might go again, or a friend of yours might see it next week – but it will never be the same again.  This was your live experience.

Go or you’ll miss it.

June 19, 2013

From The Archives: #Twitter #Mistakes in the #Arts, and Something To Keep In Mind


This from the website From A Younger Theatre. From their About section:

A Younger Theatre is a platform for young people to express their views on theatre and performance. The site is maintained, edited and published by under 26 year olds who all have a passion for theatre.  A Younger Theatre is a resource and platform for theatre and young people.

You’d better believe I’ve got them bookmarked. Anyway from them:

Theatre Thought: Ten common mistakes that arts organisations make when using Twitter


Also from another bookmark-worthy site – If you are not following Mission Paradox, you should be. I normally link to the post I like, but I want this one on my blog in its entirety because it’s something we all need to keep in mind.

Random thoughts on privilege, the arts and empathy

Self awareness is important.  When a leader of well respected, well resourced arts organization speaks about the “industry”, they have to be aware of the privilege they live in.

For every 1 person making a living in the “professional” arts there are 15 other people who would like to make a living but, for a variety of reasons, are not able to do so.

This matters.  It’s a source of real pain and concern for a lot of people.  It’s important to show awareness of that when discussing the field.

On the other hand, most people with privilege don’t really FEEL privileged.

I’ve talked to a ton of people who make a living in the arts.  When they described their lives and the challenges they have to navigate on a daily basis, I don’t envy them at all.

I wouldn’t want their six figure paycheck.  I wouldn’t want to have to deal with the things they have to deal with.

I find myself thinking about empathy more and more.  It’s so easy for us to jump into our perspective corners:

Bloated, ego filled administrators versus underpaid, long suffering artists.

Overwhelmed administrators versus spoiled, naive artists.

It can get ugly fast.

The key to avoiding that is developing an ability to see and respect the point of view of others . . . even if you really disagree with that view.

More empathy.  More compassion.  We need that in this industry.

April 9, 2013

Quantifying the Qualifiable

A couple of thoughts.

I can absolutely appreciate anyone who doesn’t “get” social media and its value. I look forward to helping/facilitating them to get on the path to getting it. That’s a big chunk of my job. And I absolutely love seeing the nod, the light go on, the excitement about getting it.

What do they need to do?

Be willing to try to get it.  If you are not willing to try to “get it” – you won’t. And no matter what I say, explain, demonstrate – you won’t get it. And you will leave unsatisfied, and not getting it. You’ll be irritated, I’ll feel bad. Harumph.

Why do folks sometimes not get it? Lots of reasons: they’re in unfamiliar territory, they’re not quite sure, they’ve never really used it before, you name it. All viable reasons.

And some are trapped in quantifying qualifiable experiences. A horrifying place to be, I’ve been there, because they are counting beans, and we need to come up with some new ones to count. Because counting old beans with new counting mechanisms does not work.

Which leads to a  mashup repost today from two previous posts on this sort of topic.

Two articles from quite different blogs  – Seth’s Blog and Mission Paradox – that seemingly agree on the same thing – that unanimous is not an option and the devil doesn’t need advocates. Well timed.

An article for you to read on how to convince the AD/ED/GM etc that social media does work.

And a recommendation to pick up a copy of Counting New Beans. 

Or at least google the phrase to get an idea of what it means. Image and statement from the website. Hopefully it piques your interest.


We make art because we believe it makes better human beings. We make art because we believe it makes being human better. So why do we spend so much energy quantifying the economics of what we do, and so little time quantifying the impact?



April 2, 2013

About Yesterday…

April Fool’s Day. Where no news source could be taken seriously, no matter what they said. I don’t mind some April Fool’s jokes – Passe Muraille’s early Season Announcement was great. And some filled people with hope for a split second, (like the new bike lane infrastructure) only to have it dashed.

Great piece from Mission Paradox – Every day is April Fools.

And an article in the G&M Marketing tomfoolery: 9 memorable April Fools’ pranks from the ad world.

Something struck me in this article about one of the pranks:  “The company’s vice-president of brand marketing told the Today Show that they “just wanted to have fun.” Customers who try to buy the product on the site are told that they are sold out and asked for their e-mail address; the company has hinted that more news on the promotion is to come, likely with some type of discount offer to those who gave their information.”

For some reason that bugs me. You’re trying to gain addresses, friends and followers by – tricking people?

I saw another post on Facebook with a supposed contest, and you could only participate if you followed then on Twitter and/or Facebook.

I don’t know why it’s bugging me, but it does. It might be that I try to consistently flip social media to real life situations – I don’t know what I’d do about someone who “wanted” to be my friend, later owned up to tricking me into it, and then  – still wanted to be friends? Didn’t expect I’d end the friendship? Didn’t expect I’d mention this to other people? Didn’t expect I’d never want to be friends again?

Anyway. it’s my bug and there’s not more to be said about it for at least a year, right? Right.

#civildebates last night at the Theatre Centre – good crowd, good arguments for and against last night’s resolution, and you can search it on Twitter with #civildebates since they live tweeted it.

And Legoland is opening tonight at Passe Muraille and I’m very much looking forward to seeing it.  Lots happening this week and it’s only Tuesday.


March 31, 2013

Sunday Roundup – March 30

SNOOPYAnd with that, tomorrow is the start of April. And I know today is Easter Sunday but we remain on track for the website.

Last week was a quiet week on the blog post front, but a busy one on the Facebook Page and Twitter feed – not everything posted there (like info on ticket discounts, how to articles and political activism updates) winds up here so I invite you to check out either or both for extra content.

(Certainly not to say content here is going to drop regularly, it’s just something I noticed last week.)

About last week…

Our Work Is Never Quite Done an excellent letter to send to your councillor.

You’ll Find No Chinese Pandas In This Post – Just Canadian People – photos of the physical end of The Journey Of NISHIYUU.

Something else from last week:  New Money, New Opportunities from the Live With Culture site: In January, Toronto’s arts community celebrated City Council’s commitment of new funding for arts, culture and heritage. Council’s strategy is contained in Creative Capital Gains: An Action Plan for Toronto, but spending priorities need to be established and the City is looking to the arts community for input and direction. Public consultations have been arranged during the month of April in Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough and downtown. Your input is vital.

Further to the live feedback an online survey will be available here prior to the first public consultation on April 6 (please check back and fill out the survey on the Live With Culture site).

I asked about the format of the sessions and was told The sessions will be round-table style and staff will collecting feedback. See you there.

And of course, when in doubt, The Mission Paradox had a great post last week Promise and Deliver. Take a look, think about what you can promise, and then deliver on it.

And finally Seth’s Blog had something to think about this morning as well about not having just the good parts

If you’re wondering what Snoopy is looking at in the image above, it’s the link below. Happy Sunday!

March 1, 2013

Recommended Reading and My Class Starts Monday

this weekend I’m cleaning up my blog roll – any suggestions of who I should put up there?  Mission Paradox is definitely one of them, and below is a recommended reading of their posts. Showed up in my inbox the other day.

Canada Council deadline today, and grant is ready to go, all but the signing. I’ll wave bye bye as I immediately have to hunker down and start creating a course rubric because I start teaching on Monday –  Jacoba and I have come up with a course that is practical boots on the ground with case studies and projects so that you’ll come away with useful advice, not just the theory of arts marketing. Today is the last day to register I think.

I’ll also be working again with PACT to get the word out about World Theatre Day, coming up March 27.
And a reminder that Laws of Motion opens tonight!

Get your grants out the door, your paperwork done because it is indeed Friday and we can’t have that hanging over our heads all weekend. And enjoy the following from The Mission Paradox.

1.  Uncommon Service – I truly believe that the ability to define and deliver superior customer service is going to be the thing that separates strong arts organizations from those that fail.  This book provides a good framework for understanding and implementing service.

2.  The Icarus Deception – Seth Godin has long been one of my “invisible mentors” i.e. someone whose advice I have respected and followed for years.  If you don’t read this book, we can’t be friends.

3.  Harvard Business Review – I particularly like the case studies because they present difficult problems with no clear/easy solutions.

4.  Presentation Zen (blog/book) – The ability to effectively present an idea is often the difference between it happening or the idea dying.  Garr Reynolds blog and books are a great guide toward presenting idea effectively to an audience of one of 10,000.

5.  Authentic Arts Marketing – Yes I wrote it, so I’m a little biased but I’m proud at how the little ebook has held up over the years.


November 12, 2012

They Don’t Need You

really good post in Mission Paradox the other day Getting Along Fine Without You.

Last night my day job did an arts performance.  Since the venue only holds 250 people and a lot more people than that read this blog it’s very probable that you missed the show.  

How do you feel about that?

Do you feel like you missed out?

Probably not.  That’s because you are probably ok with whatever you did last night.  Maybe you watched TV, maybe you read a book, maybe you got drunk and did lines of cocaine.  Whatever you did, you were ok with it.

What’s my point?  The point is that you got along fine without what the art I offered.

That new audience you’re looking for?  The younger one?  The more racially diverse one?  The one with more (or less) money?  The one from the other part of town?

They are doing fine without you.

Day at the City is tomorrow, we shall descend on City Hall to meet with various City Councillors to stress the importance of the arts in a city that wants to be great. You can follow #artsdayTO on twitter to tag along for the journey. It’s also the release of the TAPA Stats report which will let you know just what the state of the  arts is in Toronto.

March 4, 2012

Sunday Roundup – March 4

Let’s get to it.

Meetings, Grants, Meetings and a New City – a lot of meetings last week for everyone.

Tomorrow is the 12 hour Arts Marathon – your update on what was going to happen during #12hAM.

February 29 – Arts Marathon – weather conditions, clothing conditions and equipment. For the rest of the day is was all on Twitter at #12hAM.

Job Posting: Executive Director, Toronto Fringe -self explanatory.

Art Is Too Expensive and There’s Nothing to Do Anyway. – the culmination of #12hAM – with pictures!

Blog Post from Mission Paradox – Is Admin an Art? Good article. Good question. And I agree with the final answer.

Today is an admin day, no doubt about that. And some of it consists of government forms and try as I might, there is no art in them.I cannot find it for the life of me. But as in life, some things have to be done.

But after than I’m doing a social media plan for one new client, and reading the play of another, then figuring out a marketing nad PR plan for that play,  and figuring out a VIP list of just who needs to see the art of another client. And I’m also going to start thinking of visual ideas for some online advertising for someone else.

Three pages of government forms ain’t nothin’ compared to doing the rest of it. Have a good day.

November 27, 2011

Sunday Roundup – November 27

Quieter week than I thought, but busier than expected so here we go.

City Mouse, Country Mouse – check out Small Print Toronto’s latest initiative for small city builders.

Theatre, Books, Dance and Interactive Stuff That Makes me Happy – bits and pieces of things to see and read and play with.

I mentioned last week that I am on the Social Media Week 2012 Advisory Board – they are doing Spotlights on each member – so here I am.

Old joke from Mission Paradox: “How do you build a small fortune in the arts?”

It is the second last week of Entrepreneuse School – I can’t believe how quickly it’s gone and how much we’ve learned in ten weeks. Complete business plan in hand by the 6th of December.

Tomorrow I’ll be writing about the 1164 Cabaret I attended on Friday – what a marvelous time. So many interesting people both on and off stage include one woman who is a fantastic photographer.

Sigh  – the 2012 City Budget is being released tomorrow. Tomorrow we shall see what will happen in our city, what is deemed important, what is not.

Deputations to the Budget Committee are scheduled for the 7th. I’ll be there.

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