August 2013

Dress Code for Musicians and Their Audiences

August 26, 2013 08:37

What happened to style for ladies? I realize this may be way off the topic of most of my posts about working musicians, but it does directly involve how female musicians dress for work. As we start a new season of symphonic performances, I often wonder what fashion choices we will see onstage and off. In recent years, orchestras have had to put dress codes in their contracts to make sure that the musicians show up for a concert dressed properly. Perhaps we need a dress code for the audience, too. I can see it now in the fine print on the back of everyone’s ticket is a phrase that says: “Dress accordingly for this event. Those who are found in violation of proper attire may be denied entry.”

Okay, that may be going too far, but many fine restaurants and golf courses have dress codes about “no tank tops, no shorts, jacket required, etc.” Maybe Performing Arts Centers should have a dress code for their patrons. Until they do, I have a few suggestions for the ladies.

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Us vs. Them - Why Unions Are Failing Members

August 20, 2013 08:37

Having recently spent eight straight days in meetings related to the musicians’ union, I see why the AFM is failing its members. Like most unions, it is creating an “Us vs. Them” mentality when it comes to contractors and management. This may work well for other unions, but when it comes to musicians, we are all our own contractors and managers. Most of my musician friends are self-employed, self-managed musicians who are trying to make a living doing what they love – making music! Some get together with other self-managed musicians and give shows or create ensembles with the hopes of being hired as a group for shows. Very few are fortunate enough to have a W-2 employer that guarantees hours and wages and working conditions on a regular basis, and these are usually under a collective bargaining agreement. So why is the AFM treating its own members as the enemy?

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More entries: July 2013

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