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On Snoring Audiences & A Wannabe Blogger's Suspect Motives

April 7, 2010

sleep.jpegTwo things to share with you this morning:

1. A friend of mine texted me the other day from New York to ask if I knew of any good blogs about conducting. I thought he was asking because he wanted to find a good writer or two on the subject to follow. It turns out that I was wrong: he wants to start a blog about conducting himself.

This isn't a bad idea. He's interested in conducting, has done a bit of it himself on the choral music front and has some strong opinions on the subject. Plus there really don't seem to be many good blogs on the subject out there -- it's definitely a niche that needs to be filled. That being said, I don't yet know if my friend is a compelling writer -- that's probably the most important quality a blogger needs alongside expertise and passion for a subject.

His latest text concerned me a little however: "How many followers do I need to warrant press passes?!" he wrote. The "LOL" appended to the end of his message suggested that he was joking about blogging in order to get free tickets to see concerts. But following several conversations I've had with arts PR people lately, I've learned of the strain that freeloading bloggers place on arts organizations. It takes PR people a great deal of time and energy to check out a blogger's bona fides. There are lots of people out there who simply blog as a way to get freebies. Weeding out the genuine web-based commentators from the frauds is a challenge.

So while I'm sure my friend has honest motives for wanting to blog about conducting, perhaps he should consider paying his own way for a while...

2. The Lera Auerbach and Alisa Weilerstein recital at the Herbst Theatre last night was a hypnotic affair. So hypnotic in fact that half of the whitehairs sitting in the orchestra seats were fast asleep by about 15 minutes into the program, which featured Auerbach's cello and piano arrangement of Shostakovich's Twenty-Four Preludes in the first half and Auerbach's own Twenty-Four Preludes for cello and piano in the second half.

There was really no excuse for the snores. The instrumentalists brought much passion to their playing. They seemed like twin sisters not just because they looked similar with their wavy brown hair and chinadoll faces, but also because of their subtly symbiotic approach to phrasing and beginnings and endings.

The music ranged between so many different moods and styles that there wasn't a moment to feel bored, let alone sleepy. I wonder if it's something about the Herbst Theatre that puts people in a comatose state? Or perhaps the crowd imbibed too much steak and wine before arriving? Or maybe it's just a question of age relative to the price of concert seating, in which case, the presenter should find ways to encourage more young people to come and sit in the orchestra seats.


  • I know a few bloggers who are kind of on the cusp of credibility. So what I usually do is tell the blogger that he is comped if he brings a friend who pays.

    It's straight forward, brings in some revenue (essentially a half-price ticket for each), generally gets us something we can blast out and link to, and the bloggers don't really seem to mind cause hey, they're still getting comped.

    What pisses me off more than blogger comps are industry comps. Granted, this has happened to us much more in LA, but we're constantly getting emails from assistants or interns who cite some giant agency/production company and expect to get in for free.

    While industry comps can lead to good things (of the 25 or so industry comps we dished out for FORKING! in LA, someone from Disney came out and ended up calling few of our actors in to record some things for Disney's voice over library), actual business opportunities rarely materialize.

    At least with bloggers, credible or not, you get a good quote to chuck around the Intertubes.

    By Blogger Carl Benson, At April 9, 2010 at 10:23 AM  

  • I don't ask for tickets as a blogger, though they're offered to me occasionally. Sometimes I take them, sometimes not.

    By Blogger Lisa Hirsch, At April 10, 2010 at 5:41 AM  

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