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.
December 1, 2015Bob Popyk - Member Local 78 (Syracuse, NY)
There are a lot of gigs for AFM musicians that do pay well today. I know many musicians who are getting their share of work. However, I don’t think a week goes by where I don’t hear a musician gripe on how bad (in their mind) things can be. You know how it goes: “Club dates have dried up,” “DJs are getting the wedding biz,” and “Pay to play is rampant.” Someone wanted him or her to play for “exposure” and no one wants to pay “what they’re worth.” To those people, if that’s all they see, maybe a career change is in order. They believe it, so it must be so. Complaining doesn’t usually help. Sometimes when you complain too much, you become a prophet of your own destiny.
Here are some ways to deal with those times when you get a little down because things have gone into a momentary tilt:
And above all.
If your motivation is low, it helps to step out of the small picture (the day-to-day) and remember the big picture (where you are going as a musician). Allow yourself to be motivated by the bigger vision, and let goals drive you. Remembering why you are a musician in the first place can help you find some new energy to keep going.
If you’re still struggling with motivation, one of my friends had a great suggestion: Let your to-do list (suggestion number four) be driven by a short-term goal: What would you like to achieve in the next week or—at most—next month, that inspires you to act today? Learning a new tune? Finding a new venue for a gig? Meeting someone who can help accelerate your career? A small “win” can be very motivating. Above all, act successful. Let people see that side of you. You’re a union musician; you’re a professional. Success breeds success. If you look and sound successful, success usually follows.