The acting business, in my experience, is one of the worst paying jobs out there. True, if you get a job as a TV announcer or some other similar gig you might eek out a pretty good living. But, many people in the entertainment world done.
This week, I learned that Jeff Bezos’ birth father was a “circus performer.” I immediately thought, o.k. Jeff’s mother smartened up and realized a circus performer wasn’t going to provide the kind of support she needed for her family so she left him and went out to find someone who would provide that support. In comes Mr. Bezos, a Cuban immigrant with some serious intelligence that he could use to help shape Jeff into a very well put-together kid.
If Jeff went into the circus like his birth father he would likely be worth $181 and not $181 billion. A thespian would probably tell themselves that they wouldn’t want all that money anyway and if they had it they would just give it to poor people. Wanna know how much Jeff Bezos gave to his birth father? From what I’ve heard, nada. Wait, what is Cuban for nothing?
Some performers are lucky to get contracts but for the two movies, and three TV commercials I did, I was paid about enough to pay for the clothes that I wore on the jobs.
I suppose that is why you always her that people like Chris Pratt were waiters or bartenders for years before getting their big break. I get it.
I think more actors should get a piece of the movie pie. Directors might even form a company of actors and pay their base expenses, giving investors the ability to invest in those actors and a piece of their returns. But, in the mean time, the actors would get some kind of a base salary to pay their expenses.
Morgan Freemen was at an agency receiving public benefits and was getting jobs that were not acting jobs. He somehow convinced the agency to allow him to pursue acting jobs while making a small amount of money in between jobs. That is how he was able to pursue acting as a career.
This might be the model for a production company in general. Production companies make movies or other content and then license it out. A production company might have contracts with actors or other staff so that they can produce their content now and in the future. But, I suppose owning a part of the production company and getting a piece of the future revenue is something that would be negotiated into the contract vs. being default.
Thinking this through some more. Maybe I will form a production company.