Ask The Expert

Ask The Expert is a new series from Laura Murray Public Relations that calls upon the expertise of arts and marketing specialists to provide insight and wisdom – to all industry professionals that read our blog – on how we can do what we do better. No matter what stage of our career, we are always keen to grow and hone our craft from those in the know.  


For this edition of ‘Ask The Expert’, we were fortunate to connect with three movers and shakers in the arts community: artists who are at the top of their game in the realms of music, dance, and theatre.


We posed the question: “As a producer, what are the top three things you should know before bringing your work to the stage?”


What we got back were wise and insightful tips that every artist – whether a seasoned veteran or a newbie staging their work for the first time – should keep in mind before raising the curtain.


AmberBartonAmber Funk Barton

Artistic Director, the response.


Dream big!

Yes, you will have to deal with financial, logistical, and physical realities soon enough. So, especially in the beginning phases of creating work, I highly recommend allowing your imagination to run wild. You’ll be surprised at what you can accomplish even when you are presented with limitations down the road. Don’t limit your creative vision before you even start!


Play detective

Sometimes I feel as if my job as a choreographer is to find clues to make a production come to life. You start with an idea and as you work towards realizing it, you must pay attention and recognize the images, sounds, and/or movement to intuitively identify whether it belongs in the production you’re making. You have to trust that if you are patient with yourself and your process that your vision will eventually manifest itself.


Love the people you work with

In her book The Creative Habit Twyla Tharp recommends that as a choreographer, one should be in love with their dancers. I quite agree. And I think it should extend even beyond that. The more I surround myself with people that truly inspire me by their talent, from composers to lighting designers to costume stylists, the more it pushes me to bring my A-game into the studio every day. Quite simply I just don’t want to let those amazing people down.


JosephElworthyJoseph Elworthy

Executive Director, Vancouver Academy of Music

Co-Founding Member, Koerner Quartet


One – To identify whether I’m staging this out of necessity or routine


Two – The ratio between attendees who will provide me with unconditional support and those who pine for my career-ending ruin!


Three – The beauty is in the preparation.


AndyThompsonAndy Thompson

Artistic & Managing Director, The Virtual Stage


Project Feasibility
Can your artistic dream match the financial realities? How can you do what you want on the budget you have? How can you assemble the best possible team (on stage and off) with the finances that are available to you?


Potential Audience Engagement
Why would anyone want to watch what you’re about to produce? Better yet, why would they want to pay money to see it? Are you serving the audience’s needs or your own?


Artistic Interest
Are you doing work that excites you? Are you furthering the art form? Are you taking artistic risks? Have you taken your role as a custodian of the art form itself seriously?


Categories: MPMG