‘Why we joined the union’

Volume 118, No. 2February, 2018

Eli Chalmer

I moved back to NYC in January 2017 after playing trombone in the show band on a short cruise ship contract. Before that, I had a full-time non-music career for eight years. I had been playing professionally on the side during that time, but it had never been my main source of income. I’ve made the switch to full-time musician, and it has been going very well. I am much happier as a full-time performer. My wife has been incredibly supportive of the switch, even though it meant financial uncertainty, and that just makes me work even harder to make sure my calendar is full of gigs. My favorite recent gig was a tour that my own trio, Durians, did in the U.K. and Europe. I joined the union to support and be a part of the community of full-time professional musicians in NYC, and to have some skin in the game.