Now is the right time to become an American Federation of Musicians member. From ragtime to rap, from the early phonograph to today's digital recordings, the AFM has been there for its members. And now there are more benefits available to AFM members than ever before, including a multi-million dollar pension fund, excellent contract protection, instrument and travelers insurance, work referral programs and access to licensed booking agents to keep you working.
As an AFM member, you are part of a membership of more than 80,000 musicians. Experience has proven that collective activity on behalf of individuals with similar interests is the most effective way to achieve a goal. The AFM can negotiate agreements and administer contracts, procure valuable benefits and achieve legislative goals. A single musician has no such power.
The AFM has a proud history of managing change rather than being victimized by it. We find strength in adversity, and when the going gets tough, we get creative - all on your behalf.
Like the industry, the AFM is also changing and evolving, and its policies and programs will move in new directions dictated by its members. As a member, you will determine these directions through your interest and involvement. Your membership card will be your key to participation in governing your union, keeping it responsive to your needs and enabling it to serve you better. To become a member now, visit www.afm.org/join.
February 11, 2015IM -
So you’ve landed a gig. Awesome! Maybe it’s your first one, or maybe you’ve been at it for years. Either way, there are few things to remember when preparing to head off into the gig unknown. Our resident musicians and booking agents, Joey and Devin, put their heads together and came up with some lessons they learned the hard way. Now you don’t have to! (We’ll keep the lessons anonymous so as not to embarrass the contributors.)
#1: I Forgot to Sign a Contract & Get a Deposit
Sometimes in the midst of booking a gig, the most important part can be forgotten. You show up, do your thing…and then the excuses start. Maybe someone forgot the checkbook, or someone else was supposed to pay you. Bottom line is, you don’t get paid. Unfortunately, if you don’t have a contract or a deposit, there’s not much you can do. So we can’t stress enough: Get those in order before the gig. To help you avoid performing for free, we offer a handy booking tool to take care of all of that for you. One more thing you don’t have to worry about!
#2: My String Broke During the Show
Equipment malfunction is always a risk at performances. You know it, we know it. So to avoid stopping the show altogether, make sure you have some backups on hand. Whether this is strings, batteries, cables, extension cords, or clown noses, it’s always better to be over-prepared than under. Don’t assume that the venue or client will provide the things you may need. Make yourself accountable for everything. Use a checklist to make sure you have everything you need for each gig.
#3: I Drank A Protein Shake Before the Show
We can’t help but laugh a little at this “lesson learned” but it does have some truth behind it. Think ahead to how long you’ll be in the spotlight, and plan accordingly. You may not get a bathroom break for awhile! Read your contract carefully and check out when and where to load in, start time, breaks, end time, etc. Nothing is more miserable than being physically uncomfortable during a gig! So plan ahead, don’t drink a gallon of lemonade beforehand, put on deodorant (thanks, Devin!), and you should be fine.