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Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?

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BwayfanMom
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Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#1
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:11pm
Hi All,

I've been keeping up with LB:The Search for Elle Woods. Each episode features that adorably pompous judge Paul Canaan, who is in the chorus of LB. Forgive me if this is rude, but do chorus members earn enough to survive in NYC? I know he can't live on Park Avenue, but he has to eat. Do Broadway actors who aren't the stars of shows make a decent living? Just curious...
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#2
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:16pm
Yes. The minimum Broadway contract is for roughly 1500 a week.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#2
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:20pm
SERIOUSLY??? I'm a middle school teacher. I get paid a fraction of that. Wow...
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#3
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:23pm
Ask one of the hundreds of people who already do it.
"We like to snark around here. Sometimes we actually talk about theater...but we try not to let that get in our way." - dramamama611
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#4
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:47pm
And, as a middle school teacher, you have a little more job security than a chorus member. I mean, if they get into the next WICKED, they're probably OK. But, what about the ensemble for a show like CRY BABY? They now are out of work and trying to find jobs.

However, I think it's ridiculous how little teachers make.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#5
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:57pm
You're right on about the stability BwayfanMom. With a Broadway show you could be out of work with practically no notice. There's also an ENORMOUS gap between what performers on Broadway and Off-Broadway make. Also, when not-for-profits like Roundabout and Lincoln Center produce musicals, their pay scale is less because they work on a different contract.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#6
Posted: 7/19/08 at 10:57pm
You're right on about the stability BwayfanMom. With a Broadway show you could be out of work with practically no notice. There's also an ENORMOUS gap between what performers on Broadway and Off-Broadway make. Also, when not-for-profits like Roundabout and Lincoln Center produce musicals, their pay scale is less because they work on a different contract.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#7
Posted: 7/19/08 at 11:04pm
"With a Broadway show you could be out of work with practically no notice."

How is that different from any other industry nowadays? And people go into performing expecting the insecurity - it's the nature of the beast. It's not like it's a surprise to anyone. If you choose it, you know what you're getting into.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#8
Posted: 7/19/08 at 11:07pm
Do NOT compare the Roundabout and their pay scales with Lincoln Center. They both do have different contracts with the unions, true, but while Roundabout pays considerably less than the average Broadway house, Lincoln Center's pay scale is comparable with the rest of Broadway.

Bear in mind, bwayfanmom, that NYC is incredibly expensive to live in (though I think teachers should be paid more, regardless).
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#9
Posted: 7/19/08 at 11:28pm
Roundabout and LCT (and MTC) both operate on the LORT contract and those rulebooks have special provisions for them and for their productions on Broadway. Both Roundabout and LCT have the SAME minimums in the rules, (which is around $1200 depending on the depth of their role). If a production, such as South Pacific, extends beyond its original run, then after the subscription run plays out, the salaries jump to the Production Contract (Broadway) level.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#10
Posted: 7/20/08 at 4:45pm
Everything you say is true, NSLV, however, just because they have the SAME minimums does not mean they both PAY said minimums. Lincoln Center usually pays more, and if you look back over time, you will notice that with few exceptions, Roundabout will close a show rather than pay Broadway scale. In addition, Roundabout pays their crews considerably less than Lincoln Center, which actually pays as much or more than the usual rate.
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re: Can Chorus Members make an NYC living?#11
Posted: 7/20/08 at 5:46pm
I'm still trying to understand how you're equating his salary with his attitude. If he was less pompous would you assume he made more?
....but the world goes 'round