Costs of living

My friend H kept telling me that as a production assistant in TV in the late 90s, you could make a living in LA. You would be with the crews for weeks, traveling and so forth (traveling is super important because the rate goes up, there’s per diem, juicy OT etc).

Arlan Hamilton says in her book that in 2010 when she started a production assistant gig, she was paid $150 per day. She was travelling.

When I started in 2014, the rate was $125 per day. No travelling. Why? Because production hires inexpensive (but also not as good) local assistants.

So, we go from being able to live by yourself in the late 90s to needing roommates for Arlan in 2010 to needing roommates and two or three jobs for me in 2014. Note the acceleration.

Today? I guess production assistants are paid with gift cards every two weeks while they live with their parents or in a tent on Sunset and Vine.

U.S. rent has increased 175% faster than household income over past 20 years. Yikes.

It’s all wrong and it doesn’t have to be this way.

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