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 Café 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?


SandraBullock AllAboutSteve poster 500

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

SandraBullock AllAboutSteve stairs 1000

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 . . .