Hear me out. But know that I wrote this in a moment of utter disappointment and despair earlier this evening:
I don’t think there’s an industry that pays worse than entertainment, specifically theatre. I make a decent salary but no where near where I would be doing the same thing in another industry. I’m frustrated because I began realizing today that the opportunity to make Real Living Wage is getting smaller and smaller (and it’s probably my shrunk fractionally by the time you’ve finished reading this sentence). You know why this is? Supply is low and demand is way. too. high. I’ve known people to take assistant jobs starting at $18k.
People, friends, colleagues: we are worth more than that.
Anyone see how high ticket prices are nowadays? $400+ for a premium seat? If the stage hand gets to earn $500 whenever he mops the stage, surely the industry can afford to pay the “little guys” more too.
The only way to really bring about change is if they couldn’t find anyone to work for $25k-$30k. What could we all do in the meantime? Work at jobs that paid a lot more and didn’t require a 60 hour week, so we’d have the time (and, uh, money) to express ourselves creatively outside work and eventually (hopefully) parlay that into a full time job that we love.
Is this a fantasy? Yes. Probably. No one would ever leave their full time (highly underpaid) job in theatre for a job in something like a job in finance to prove a point. Not in this city. I just wanted to plant a seed.