My article/post/whatever you call it The Real Cost of Driving to Gigs for the Freelance Musician is featured inthe May 2008 edition of Overture, the paper for Local 47 (Los Angeles) of the American Federation of Musicians. This article prompted a lot of interesting discussion when it launched in April, and Drew McManus from Adaptistration responded with the Gig After Gas Online Calculator, a very cool application that allows one to plug in mileage, number of services, per service pay and other factors to determine one’s income after the cost of commuting expenses.
Check out the calculator here–you’ll probably slap your forehead and moan at the low net profit of some gigs, and you may gan some new insight into what gigs make the most sense to accept.
This kind of calculation shouldn’t necessarily keep one from deciding to accept work; there are many factors involved in accepting work (getting enmeshed in a scene, making contacts, incorporating that gig with other work, etc.), and I have certainly accepted many a gig that looks like a bad employment prospect in this calculator. But hey, a little knowledge never hurt anyone, right?
Also featured on Boston Musicians’ Association website
The Boston Musicians’ Association also linked to this article along with an excerpt. Thanks, guys! You can check it out here. It’s great to know that these concerns of mine resonate with so many other musicians. The cost of commuting has never been higher for freelance musicians, and every increase in gas prices has a significant effect on our bottom line.
What’s the solution (besides just throwing up one’s hands and selling insurance)? I wish I knew.
Check out Road Warrior – the book!
After many revisions, rewrites, and additions, “Road Warrior Without an Expense Account” (my first book!) is just about ready to launch. This book is based upon the ten-part blog post series that I wrote in 2006 and early 2007. This series has been rewritten, expanded, and rearranged into a concise (about 80 pages) volume of perspectives on the state of the orchestral business, employment trends and statistics, and advice for music students.
I chat for a couple of minutes about this new book and show off my first hard copy (coming to you from an anonymous suburban parking lot as always!):
I hope to have this book available by next week, so stay tuned–I’ll certainly be featuring it on the blog!