Sponsored Content




Intermarkets' Privacy Policy
Support


Donate to Ace of Spades HQ!



Recent Entries
Absent Friends
westminsterdogshow 2023
Ann Wilson(Empire1) 2022
Dave In Texas 2022
Jesse in D.C. 2022
OregonMuse 2022
redc1c4 2021
Tami 2021
Chavez the Hugo 2020
Ibguy 2020
Rickl 2019
Joffen 2014
AoSHQ Writers Group
A site for members of the Horde to post their stories seeking beta readers, editing help, brainstorming, and story ideas. Also to share links to potential publishing outlets, writing help sites, and videos posting tips to get published. Contact OrangeEnt for info
Cutting The Cord And Email Security
Moron Meet-Ups





















Intelligence Analysis: Kim Approved Sinking of South Korean Ship | Main | A Perspective On Why Some of Us Consider Obama Insufficiently "American"
May 23, 2010

Artists, Quit Your Day Job! (tmi3rd)

So, after Nancy Pelosi's remark that artists can quit their day jobs to concentrate on being artists, I figured I'd weigh in... as an artist who's walking away from the profession towards something more normal and relatively more lucrative. Don't worry, the link is to MKH's column in the Examiner. More below the fold...


As many of you know, for the last ten years, I've been a professional opera singer, doing the equivalent of playing in the AA and AAA minor leagues of the profession. I'm now trying to get into medical school (great timing, I know).

So why punch out of the business? A few reasons: for starters, even though I love what I do as a singer, it sure as hell doesn't pay for itself in the minors. Now add on a wife, a delightful dog, and a brand new baby, and life just got more expensive.

One of the things that doesn't get mentioned doing most of the jobs in the arts is the copious amount of time one spends on the road. To give you some idea, 2008 was my most successful year (8 gigs in TN, TX, AR, WI, LA, NY), and I spent well over six months on the road. And, of course, to hell with the expense- being on the road that long with so little time home makes me feel like an absentee husband, to say nothing of being an absentee father. There are more, but this post isn't supposed to be another episode of This Is Your Life. Bottom line- I made more money than I've ever made in the business, and still had to maintain my day job in TV news in order to keep the bills paid.

That's not unique to me- I have more than a few friends who sing at the Metropolitan Opera of New York who still have to keep their temp jobs in order to pay the bills. Many singers I know who are world-class have given up on living in NYC (even though that's where all the auditions are) because it's just too damned expensive.

So how does this apply to health care?

It varies from gig to gig. For instance, on Broadway, you have to belong to Actors' Equity- one of the few unions that actually accomplishes anything- and they provide health and unemployment benefits. These are the requirements to get into Equity- you'll notice that it's rather subjective, as you typically can't audition for Equity work unless you're already Equity! If you belong to AFTRA (that's the TV/radio union) or AGMA (the completely useless opera singers' union), you can buy your way into Equity.

So if you're already playing high AAA ball or in the majors, you can solve a lot of your problems that way. Roughly 5% of performing artists do this or have the option of doing this (and that includes the orchestral and stage hand unions). Unfortunately, if you're playing in a band, if you're a visual artist, and so forth, that isn't really an option until you crack into the majors.

Take away the need for benefits and what are you left with? Well, there's still the problem of paying rent... transportation... food... clothing... and all of life's usual expenses. So what can you realistically expect to make on solid minor league gigs?

The typical contract in opera, for a three-week rehearsal, two-performance engagement for a major role in a AA-level house is about $2K-$3K (we call those Level III and IV houses). That's for a title role (Figaro in Barber of Seville, for example). So let's say you're on the road for three weeks and home for one... in order to keep your bills paid, you'd pretty much either have to go from one big gig to another (and believe you me, you have to be be the flavor of the month to do that), or have a day job at home. That's before even thinking about getting sick, having a retirement fund, or anything else. And, as any of you who've lived in NYC know, that just ain't enough money to live on.

So what? Well, it's just another cheerful fisking of the BS that spills out of Nancy's mouth. Yea, verily, she knows not of what she speaks, even being from Berkeley. Not that any of you needed help to figure that out- it just helps to keep firing facts at the problem.

Post approved by the AoSHQ High Command. Open Blog has NOT been declared.

digg this
posted by Open Blogger at 08:03 PM

| Access Comments




Recent Comments
JQ: "At https://ai.mee.nu Pixy is already up. But not ..."

m: "At https://ai.mee.nu Pixy is already up. But not ..."

m: "367 Cut off from her social and creative communiti ..."

JQ: "I guess da fwench citizens cannot own their own pe ..."

Skip: "Camping did you see the rest of Fall of Minneapoli ..."

Ciampino - Batman and Robin after the steamroller? Flatman and Ribbon?: "513 478 Well let me give you some staple food. Po ..."

JQ: "We, once upon a time, had a contract with Da Fwenc ..."

m: "478 Well let me give you some staple food. Poste ..."

JQ: "When I w*rked at ammo factory, we had guests from ..."

Ciampino - Batman and Robin after the steamroller? Flatman and Ribbon.: "Those Ospreys are nasty, even from development day ..."

MikeN: "Why should Biden acknowledge a kid by a stripper? ..."

Nakliye: "Hello, i think that i saw you visited my website t ..."

Recent Entries
Search


Polls! Polls! Polls!
Frequently Asked Questions
The (Almost) Complete Paul Anka Integrity Kick
Top Top Tens
Greatest Hitjobs

The Ace of Spades HQ Sex-for-Money Skankathon
A D&D Guide to the Democratic Candidates
Margaret Cho: Just Not Funny
More Margaret Cho Abuse
Margaret Cho: Still Not Funny
Iraqi Prisoner Claims He Was Raped... By Woman
Wonkette Announces "Morning Zoo" Format
John Kerry's "Plan" Causes Surrender of Moqtada al-Sadr's Militia
World Muslim Leaders Apologize for Nick Berg's Beheading
Michael Moore Goes on Lunchtime Manhattan Death-Spree
Milestone: Oliver Willis Posts 400th "Fake News Article" Referencing Britney Spears
Liberal Economists Rue a "New Decade of Greed"
Artificial Insouciance: Maureen Dowd's Word Processor Revolts Against Her Numbing Imbecility
Intelligence Officials Eye Blogs for Tips
They Done Found Us Out, Cletus: Intrepid Internet Detective Figures Out Our Master Plan
Shock: Josh Marshall Almost Mentions Sarin Discovery in Iraq
Leather-Clad Biker Freaks Terrorize Australian Town
When Clinton Was President, Torture Was Cool
What Wonkette Means When She Explains What Tina Brown Means
Wonkette's Stand-Up Act
Wankette HQ Gay-Rumors Du Jour
Here's What's Bugging Me: Goose and Slider
My Own Micah Wright Style Confession of Dishonesty
Outraged "Conservatives" React to the FMA
An On-Line Impression of Dennis Miller Having Sex with a Kodiak Bear
The Story the Rightwing Media Refuses to Report!
Our Lunch with David "Glengarry Glen Ross" Mamet
The House of Love: Paul Krugman
A Michael Moore Mystery (TM)
The Dowd-O-Matic!
Liberal Consistency and Other Myths
Kepler's Laws of Liberal Media Bias
John Kerry-- The Splunge! Candidate
"Divisive" Politics & "Attacks on Patriotism" (very long)
The Donkey ("The Raven" parody)
Powered by
Movable Type 2.64