Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival
Working with similar clients simultaneously is a bit like jumping double Dutch. When Liz Thompson approached me about heading the press for Jacob’s Pillow, I expressed concern about also working with the Pillow’s rival, the American Dance Festival. “I don’t care,” she said. I asked Charles Reinhart, the ADF Director at the time. He expressed shock that I asked him. “No other publicist would ask a client how he or she felt about taking on a rival client,” he said. I went to work. I thought about what distinguished the one festival from the other, and realized I could get each its due without playing anyone short. Step one is analysis, figuring out the strengths, singular features, story potentials of each, the distinguishing characteristics, and deciding if and when their interests would conflict, and then onward with the story. Tricky business, but I’d been an expert jump roper as a kid.
One of the great triumphs the first summer was my discovery of Anne Reinking’s love of teaching, which was followed by my arranging for her to teach a jazz class at The Pillow. Being able to include that in the show cinched the CBS Sunday Morning program I had been angling for.
Years: 1982, 1983, 1984, 1998
Art form: Festival