Need Referrals? Our New Site Can Help!

Volume CVI, No. 7/8July, 2006

Theresa Couture

Local 802 is pleased to announce the launch of a new Web site devoted exclusively to the union’s referral service, at This site is for members of the public who are looking to hire professional musicians, mainly for single engagements but spanning a wide variety of gigs.

Many members can still recall the days when Local 802 had a “hiring hall” where members could show up, meet contractors, and obtain various gigs. As many know, that practice has not been in existence for quite some time. However, for a little over a decade now, Local 802 has offered a referral service. While it was never intended to be what the hiring hall once was, it is a modest service that we can offer to our members.

Most of the requests that come through the referral service are for single engagements. These requests often come from the general public looking to hire musicians for private parties, corporate events, wedding ceremonies, cocktail hours, receptions and bar and bat mitzvahs.

To a lesser extent, calls also come in from other unions, TV and film producers, and record companies.

Although we do not receive enough calls to accommodate all of the members who are involved, we operate this service on a rotational basis among members and signatories. All members in good standing are eligible to sign up for the service.

That being said, we have long sought to expand the referral service by means of advertising. We felt it best to develop a Web site specifically designed to highlight the referral service. This kind of advertising would provide more exposure, which, in turn, could generate many more calls.

Currently, we advertise in the Yellow Pages and through the Local 802 Web site, where clients can submit a request for a musician or band.


When someone contacts the union to hire a musician for a gig, here’s what happens. The request gets routed to the referral service, which is operated on the third floor of the union in the Club Date Department.

Next, the referral service administrator immediately contacts a minimum of three members or signatories, telling them about the gig possibility.

We then follow up with calls to both the musicians and clients. Potential clients are advised that they must be willing to enter into a contract with the musician or band and 802.

Aside from asking the client about their budget, money is not discussed. All musicians or signatories are free to negotiate their own rates above the established minimums.


If you are a Local 802 member, signing up for the referral service is easy. You must know your union card number. At the top of our home page, click on the red link “Members Click Here!” If you’ve logged in before, use the screen on the left; if you’re new, use the screen on the right to create a password.

Once you’re logged in, click on the red link “Update My Profile,” from the list on the left.

When you get to the question, “Would you like to sign up for and receive e-mails for the Musicians’ Referral Service?” be sure to fill in “yes.” If you’re a member of a group, answer the questions about group name and size. If you’re a teacher, be sure to answer that question also, because we receive requests for teachers from time to time.

As you fill out this page, it’s very important that you input all of the areas of work and styles that relate to you. Why? The referral service uses these profiles to match musicians with the specific requests of the client. Often, we search our database by style of music, so if you’ve not provided this information, your name may not come up in the search. Many members do not have enough information listed in their profiles. In fact, many members only list their names and instruments! The more information you give us about yourself, the better chance we have of matching you to a request that comes in.


Most recently, we have been receiving frequent calls from casting agencies looking to hire musicians to do sideline work for television and film. If you are interested in being referred for sideline work, you must provide us with a professional photo. You may send either a shot taken with your instrument, or a head shot. Photos should be e-mailed to Photos must be in .JPG format and be low-resolution (92 dpi). Do not send us high-resolution images; it will completely clog our e-mail. Either black-and-white or color is O.K. — whatever you think represents you best. If we get a call from a casting agent for you, we may ask you to e-mail us a high-resolution version at that time.


Clients who contact the union often want to get a flavor of you in advance. They want to know if you have a Web site, CD or DVD demo or .MP3’s. In order to get gigs these days, you must have this material ready to send to clients.

(Please note: do not e-mail us .MP3 files! If a client wants to hear you ahead of time, you will contact them directly to send them your promotional material.)

On many occasions, musicians who have been referred received additional calls from the same client. We’d like to see that kind of experience continue and grow.

Julie Ferrara is the current administrator of the union’s referral service. She can be reached at (212) 245-4802, ext. 156 or