Skimpy outfits and wages

Ever wonder what the human cost to the lure of the big time is? Many an aspiring artist has toiled endlessly for a pittance or nothing, eventually to have their dreams end in disappointment. The curtain comes down, and there’s no paycheck.

There’s an entire warehouse in L.A. that’s filled with movie scripts that have never been produced, written by accomplished members of the writer’s union. All that work by a talented group of people, and it just sits and gathers dust. And it would take a dozen warehouses to hold all of the scripts and treatments that have been penned by hopefuls through the years.

Why do they do it? Various reasons, we’re sure. But artists, for some reason, are expected to struggle and starve. Ironically, the struggle itself has produced some plays such as A Chorus Line, and that classic line from a Mickey Rooney film, “Gosh, kids, it’s just crazy enough to work!” Somehow, the aspiring singers and dancers get seen by the right producers, and fame and fortune are right around the corner.

That expectation, the promise of glamour and a steady income still drives artists to take hardships most of us wouldn’t endure. We found that some of the women who joined the Sacramento Kings dance team found out their dreams didn’t match reality. (See “This is Royalty?” by Michelle Olsen, page 18.)

In a business where the basketball players are making thousands of dollars for a minute played, the dancers aren’t being paid anywhere near that for weeks of hard work. While these dancers couldn’t shoot off the dribble, we’re sure they worked on their moves just as hard as the players.