“This chick makes an absurd amount of money for only a little bit of work.” I overheard this at a show and immediately I wanted to snap. It’s something I hear frequently about comedians, musicians, actors, artists, writers, etc. It’s a common misconception that it’s only that little bit of time on stage that is the work. Most of my friends are involved in the entertainment industry so I see the backside of things.
Let’s discuss this. Yes I’ve seen a comic make $50,000 for a 1hr set at a corporate event (FYI Corporate gigs are where the money is). That one hour set probably took 20 hours of writing, countless nights polishing the material for $0-25 at the local comedy clubs, hours of rehearsing in a mirror, and travel time to the gig. Out of that money she had to pay the opener, midi, and agent/manager.
How about musicians… everyone likes to complain about ticket prices. Your ticket goes to pay for the venue, techs, stage set, equipment rental, crew and talent housing, etc. That show took months of prep and rehearsal that provided no pay.
They have to perform tired, sick, during family crisis, in uncomfortable costumes, in the cold, in the heat, no matter what. Fans hate cancelled shows and most entertainers hate letting down fans. It’s their job and it’s physically and emotionally demanding.
The vast majority of working actors, musicians, comics, etc did not start out making money. Years and years of practice, learning, failure, frustration, time, sacrifice, and perseverance go into “making it”. These people have a passion… a drive if you will. Relationships are even sometimes sacrificed in order to grow a career.
Yeah… look at their Instagrams. They travel, they party, they seem like they have a fun life. It’s work though. The parties are networking… the travel is tiring and hard on your body. The lack of steady paycheck… the knowing you may be busy now but grasping for a job in the future… the pressure to always be “on”.
It’s fun for a hot minute but it gets old.
It’s easy to give up and take an easier way rather than be uncomfortable and have a harder moment in life for the chance of “making it”. I watch the talented entertainers that I am blessed enough to call a friend and I am inspired. They inspire me to follow my heart… to keep trying. I see the hard work they put into it. I see the struggles they go through. They definitely earn every dime they make.