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Basics of Being An IATSE Member

The International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States, Its Territories and Canada (IATSE) is a labor union that works in association with The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).

IATSE International requires membership dues from local members in the amount of $64 dollars per quarter ($256 per year). Assessments from each member go towards the running of the local, and are currently withdrawn automatically from paychecks by most of our employers as 6% of the gross wages of each worker, and this 6% is issued to our local by the employer. Some employers do not take out assessments, so be prepared to be notified from the Treasurer of outstanding assessments you owe. If you are more than 90 days past due on dues or assessments you will considered Not in Good Standing.

At the end of each year, every member In Good Standing, is refunded 1% percent of the previous years dues.

Locals are run by an Executive Board of officers elected by the membership every three years. In Local 193, only Journeymen members may vote in elections or on any issue in a meeting. The President runs meetings and handles issues between members. The Vice-President takes over when the President is unavailable, and also chairs the Education Committee. The Secretary takes meeting minutes and handles various types of correspondence. If your address or any other contact info changes, please notify the Secretary. The Treasurer handles the financial matters, collects dues, and keeps track of the books.

The Business Agent or BA is the primary liaison with employers: leading the contract negotiating committee, taking and filling labor requests for shows, and dealing with any issues with venues that may arise. With the venue's labor request, the BA contacts members and associated workers (called "over-hires" or "extras") to work the calls.

For each call, the BA appoints a Steward (often himself) who is in charge of the crew. The steward is the Local's representative on the job, and the FIRST contact for all sides of any issue between the show, the venue and the Local.


If you have any issue on a show, you should take that issue to the IATSE steward first. Also be aware that discussing any issues or complaints regarding the union or the show should never happen within earshot of management or the road crew.

There are technically only 4 departments contractually covered under the yellowcard heading: Lighting, Carpentry, Props and Wardrobe.


Promoter/Producer- The big boss: Arranges for the show to happen and ultimately responsible for all elements.

Production Manager- Oversees everything for the promoter, handles all finances.

Stage Manager- In charge of back stage operations and helps facilitate between the departments of the production. Calls the cues.

Designers- Design the portion of the production for which they are responsible and train their respective operator on the execution of their designs.

Technical Director- Supervises and coordinates the technical aspects. Most houses have a TD that looks after the venue and its equipment.

Steward- Representative of local crew. Keeps track of the crew and hours worked, assigns crew to departments, handles employer/employee problems, sees that work rules and contract are followed.

Head Carpenter- Supervises carpenters and carpentry areas including flyrail and shop. Usually handles rigging as well.

Carpenters- Construction and running crew who deal with scenery.

Flys- Carps who handle anything flown overhead.

Riggers- Flymen who install the fly system itself or any temporarily rigged motors or rope points.

Head Electrician- Supervises electricians in preparing, installing and operating everything to do with lighting or electrical system. Install main system power and ensure its safe usage.

Electricians - Assist in the installation and running crew involving lighting and electrical equip.

Sound- (Technically electricians) who install and operate sound systems: speakers, microphones and sound consoles.

Follow spot operators- Electrics hands who run follow spot lights during productions.

Properties Head- Supervises props crew.

Props- Creates, prepares and assists with "properties": scenery that the actors interact with or hold. Props also tends to handle Marley flooring and orchestra pit. They are usually the first crew to become pushers on a load-out.

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