Unscripted. Unstaged. Julia DrakeUnscripted. Unstaged. is an interview series from Laura Murray Public Relations that speaks with fascinating artists, advocates, administrators, and other individuals who keep the Canadian artistic community visible, viable, and vibrant. This week we spoke with Julia Drake, Communications Director at The National Ballet of Canada. Drake is a seasoned arts marketer who has served as Publicity Director for high-profile organizations including Young People's Theatre, Circus Tivoli, and General Arts Management, and has worked agency-side with William Hartnell Public Relations out of Dublin, Ireland.
Q: If we were introduced at a party – what are the three things you would be excited to share about yourself?
1) My daughter is graduating from University of Toronto with her M.A. this spring.
2) I am looking forward to the summer to sail in a newly restored, turn of the century boat at our cottage. My husband gave me brass letters for her name on the stern (Daisy), so the boat will be gorgeous.
3) The National Ballet of Canada is touring to a number of exciting destinations in the next six months – Los Angeles, Washington, London – and it is always invigorating on the road.
Q: If we checked your nightstand, what books would we find you reading right now?
The Marriage Plot by Jeffrey Eugenides, Picture by Lillian Ross, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen, Annotated Edition by Patricia Meyers Spack.
Q: If we checked your computer, what favourite sites would be bookmarked?
The Guardian, Diegetic Sound, Epicurious, Philosophy Bites, The National Ballet of Canada, American Ballet Theatre, and San Francisco Ballet.
Q: How did you come to do what you do – was there a defining moment you can tell us about?
There was no defining moment. Through extraordinary luck and happenstance I have had the good fortune of always working in the arts. The best job is the one I have now, with Karen Kain and the dancers of The National Ballet of Canada.
Q: When it comes to marketing, is there a particular campaign or a poster, advertisement, or promotion that made a significant impact or that stands out in your mind?
The current campaign is always the most engaging and fun! We are opening our June season with the North American premiere of Hamlet, choreographed for the Stuttgart Ballet by Kevin O’Day. We shot Principal Dancer Piotr Stancyk and captured a great photo that will be used throughout the city outdoors, as well as online that both conveys movement and the interior voyage of Hamlet – and we only see his head and one arm.
Q: Lastly, what inspires you?
Leaving my desk and going to watch rehearsal in the ballet studios.