What's choreographer Marty Kudelka's favorite part of being on tour? He doesn't have to make his bed every morning.
Kudelka, who has worked with Mariah Carey and Justin Timberlake, is part of a group of performers, including singers, dancers and choreographers, who regularly tour with big name acts as part of their jobs. While many performers have a voice on the job when they work in music videos or on TV and film, they do not have the union contract for their tour work. This affects everything, from access to health insurance to retirement benefits and safety on the job.
This is why the Dancers' Alliance and SAG-AFTRA, which won a groundbreaking union contract for music video dancers last year, is launching a campaign to make sure tour performers also have a union contract when they step on the tour bus.
In a kickoff event last night, more than 500 dancers, singers and choreographers came together to spread awareness about the campaign and began tweeting to Justin Timberlake, Lady Gaga and Katy Perry to support their fight for a voice on tours. The event also featured a performance by Dorian Holley and the tour dancers for Justin Bieber.
Wow just now seeing the tweet mob effect! Search the hashtag #theUNIONIZEtour & see the impact we made!— Galen Hooks (@GalenHooks) August 14, 2013
"I think a contract for future performers would mean protection, would mean security, it would mean stability," said Stevvi Alexander, a singer who has worked with Britney Spears, Sheryl Crow and the Roots. "It would mean that you can give yourself completely to your career and not worry that you're going to be flailing in the wind as you get older."