This appears on Chris Hau’s Tumblr blog under the title “The Starving Artist in Toronto.”
Someone recently asked me, “Chris, What bothers you in the world of music?”
I was with a friend (who is also a musician) and after discussing it, this was our response:
“Great Question _________! Honestly the problem is the Stereotype of the Starving Musician.
That stereotype affects everything.
Either people think you make no money or lots of money.
It’s in everyone’s head from the beginning.
It’s the starting point from where people think when they think about musicians.
So if someone plans to pay you, or if they pay, they refer to the stereotype first.
This means they often don’t pay you enough. What I have been hearing from other musicians is that some clubs won’t pay because they are offering “exposure”. If the band refuses to play unless they are paid, the club will just find another band who will do it for free. This implies that the musicians aren’t worth anything.