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.
November 6, 2015IM -
by Michael Manley, Director AFM Touring/Theatre/Booking and Immigration Division and Assistant to the President
Welcome to the 2015 International Musician special section on the AFM’s Touring, Theatre, Booking and Immigration Division. In my work as this division’s director, I intersect with nearly every facet of the professional music industry—not only those in the US and Canada, but musicians from all over the world. With so many words and commas in our division name, the only thing that doesn’t cross our desks is boredom. Here’s a partial list of what my hard-working staff and I are up to:
In any one workday, we might come in contact with a symphony orchestra, an African drumming ensemble, a touring Broadway show, or a star’s back-up band. Just as our work brings a diverse array of challenges, it also touches nearly every musician regardless of genre or instrument. Whether your instrument is a trumpet, banjo, or violin, your concerns about transporting it as an in-flight carry-on are the same. Whether you are “on the road” playing Mozart or metal, you want to know where the great after-show eats are. And from the circus to The Sound of Music, musicians need overtime and travel protections in their employment contracts.
In this issue, we take an in-depth look at the life of a touring musical theatre conductor, as the new Beautiful tour launches. We also feature a “how to” on negotiating overscale pay, and an update from our Canadian colleagues on US-Canadian Border-crossing concerns. We hear from the Theatre Musicians Association, and finally we wish “Happy Trails” to the traveling musicians of the Ringling Gold Circus.
We in the Touring, Theatre, Booking and Immigration Division are grateful to connect with such a wide variety of our AFM professional musicians, as well as the community of international musicians. It gives us a unique bird’s-eye perspective on music as a whole. Join us on Facebook, at the “AFM On the Road” page, for day-to-day updates from the traveling musician community.