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

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

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?


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 . . .




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