Read this excellent piece by choreographer Annie-B Parsons - She states what everyone who works in the performing arts knows, but rarely is so crass as to point out: the performing arts economy relies on grossly underpaying performers. She cites the actors, singers and dancers in David Byrne's Here Lies Love, which she choreographed, and other shows:
"...audiences might share my chagrin if they knew that those stellar performers—card-carrying Union members who rehearsed for nine weeks before the show opened—“took home” as low as $386 a week during rehearsals and $544 a week during performances. This is BEFORE taxes, agent fees and Union fees. Dutifully and beautifully performing eight shows a week (plus pickup rehearsals, video shoots and recordings), these stars join the working poor of New York City...."
Read the whole article here.