on the “rich lifestyles” of music artists and movie stars

TODAY’S QUESTION ON QUORA that caught my attention was, “How do music artists have such rich lifestyles if everybody pirates their music?” Since I had just finished my monster mug of Cafe Bustelo—and I tried honey instead of my usual light brown sugar as a sweetener, which I won’t be doing again—I thought I’d give it a go.

My answer to the question How do music artists have such rich lifestyles if everybody pirates their music? is indented below between the two photos. No doubt it is not at all what the questioner intended his question to elicit, which is probably all the more reason he should read it, hennah?


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Fine acting from Ken Xeong, Bradley Cooper, and of course, Sandra Bullock in All About Steve doesn’t stop Thomas Haden Church from stealing every scene he is in. Which is often the norm when you hire him for a movie.

Music artists and movie stars

There is no realistic way to know how “music artists” are doing financially, as they are unorganized and come and go rather rapidly. But we might compare them to Hollywood actors, who have a union, the Screen Actors Guild, to which they must belong to work in the industry with any regularity.

A number of years ago I read how approximately 95% of SAG members had to work a day job because they made less than $10,000 a year as an actor. But that’s not what we think of when we hear when we see “movie star”: we think of the few actors who command $10,000,000 and up for a movie.

So the lives of the Tom Cruises and Sandra Bullocks are far from the norm. When we think “movie star” we should think of some person who waits on tables 50 hours a week for tips and gets a couple of parts a year in movies with no lines and no credit and nobody even noticing them let alone anybody remembering them.

I would imagine that’s what we should imagine when someone says “music artists” . . .

PS: My best friends is one of the most gifted and remarkable musicians I have ever heard. He is in a rock band that gigs occasionally. He is in a small jazz combo that gigs occasionally. Occasionally he gets a call from an orchestra that plays at musicals in Boston to fill in for a member. His primary income is repairing and restoring instruments, at which he also excels. For that reason, he has never had to wait on tables.

All About Steve was nominated for Worst Picture and Worst Actress yet we loved it! Click To Tweet

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FEATURED IMAGE: Some of you might think I wrote the answer above as an excuse to place a photo of Sandra Bullock at the top of this page. Others might think it’s yet another doomed-to-fail attempt to get others to watch the delightfully goofy All About Steve, which was nominated for five Golden Raspberry Awards in 2010, including Worst Picture, Worst Screenplay, and Worst Actress, which Ms Bullock had the privilege of winning. Yet Berni and I loved it, laughing al the way through—of course, we are getting old . . .