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Getting into musical theater in LA?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by smeet, Oct 21, 2010.

  1. smeet

    smeet Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 27, 2006
    Woodland Hills, CA
    Not sure if this is the right forum for this.

    I've played bass in a few musicals (Jesus Christ Superstar, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Forbidden Zone...) and I really enjoy it. I'm a pretty good reader, so I think it's a good fit for me.

    Now I want to get my name out there and try to play more jobs like this. How do I find openings? I've been searching online (mostly CraigsList), and I've answered a few ads. Is there a better way? Should I join AFM?

    I'm in the Los Angeles area.
  2. Jon Moody

    Jon Moody Commercial User

    Sep 9, 2007
    Kalamazoo, MI
    Manager of Brand Identity & Development, GHS Strings, Innovation Double Bass Strings, Rocktron
    I can't speak for the AFM out there, but it might not hurt to give the local a call and find out what they know and if the musical theatres in town are union theatres (the ones here are not).

    I'd also contact theatres directly and see if you can get the names and contact information of the music directors in the area. Email them, letting them know that you are available for subbing a show if the regular guy can't do it.

    Then wait.

    It took me two years after meeting a music director in town to call me for a full run of a show. Prior to that, I was just filling in for the other bassist when he couldn't do a rehearsal, or a last minute show. It came down to me having a better attitude, and being able to sight-read a book better than the guy that rehearsed with it for a couple of weeks.

    At least here, this is a very closely knit circle of musicians and directors that work at the theatres. You can easily figure out who is in the pit based on who is music directing it; I would think it's the same out there. Directors want reliable people who play well, are reliable, do exactly what is needed of them, are reliable, have a good attitude and are reliable. That is what it comes down to here.
  3. Wally Malone

    Wally Malone

    Mar 9, 2001
    Boulder Creek, CA
    AFM International Representative Endorsing Artist: Accugroove Cabinets & MJC Ironworks Strings
    AFM Local 47 has Collective Bargaining Agreements with some theatres. If you should join Local 47 you should ask for a list of the music contractors. In many situations the MD does not hire the musicians but use a contractor.


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