My name is Allison Seidner and I am asking for your support as I run for Local 802 Executive Board. As a native New Yorker, I spent many years on the road as a touring theater musician before returning to begin my career at home in 2007. Entering the scene as a substitute and freelance cellist, the Union felt mysterious and inaccessible. It soon became important to educate myself and understand both our union and the people who represent and protect us.
I have been a member of the Theater Committee since my first Broadway chair in 2010 and have proudly served as a delegate for all of my shows ever since. I have served on the 2016 Broadway Negotiating Committee, taken part in 54 Below contract discussions, and most recently, served on the 2021 Broadway Reopening Committee. As a Theater Committee delegate, I have listened to the issues affecting our regular and substitute musicians and tried to accurately represent their concerns. As an active freelancer, I have worked on stages and in pits at major and minor venues, in studios big and small, on screen and off, and with musicians at all stages of their careers. I strongly believe that everyone has an important voice and should have equal representation, regardless of their experience.
Before the pandemic, I was employed full time at Frozen, freelance work was steady, and my daughter was enrolled in preschool. Then the world shut down, my show closed permanently, and I spent the next 18 months guiding my child through remote schooling while trying to piece together what little work was available. Although the music scene is slowly reopening, my life will look drastically different. I have no job to return to, unemployment benefits have expired, we have lost our union health insurance, and I am reentering the subbing scene after years of having a long running show. The pandemic has affected all of our colleagues in very different ways and many of us are navigating uncharted territory. The Union has made great strides in helping live music return but we are in the beginning stages of recovery and there is still so much to accomplish.
Throughout the years, I have had open and healthy dialogues with both the previous and current 802 administrations. I am confident these relationships will continue moving forward and I will work effectively and productively with whomever I sit with at the table. I find it invaluable to understand all sides of a situation, am comfortable asking questions, and let the things I learn help shape my ideas. I firmly maintain that transparency and honest communication will bring this union together and make us stronger. We are musicians first, and finding unity as we work towards common goals is key. As a new member of the Musicians for Change team, I look forward to growing momentum and helping further the progress that began three years ago. I would be honored represent our musicians and union by serving on the Local 802 Executive Board.