A number of years ago there was a movement on twitter to create transparency in the work force around salaries to help combat the gender pay gap, especially in the tech industry. I noticed such transparency was lacking among musicians as well, especially when it comes to commissioning rates for composers. Fees for performing gigs can vary wildly, and many wonder if they are being offered a ‘fair’ amount of their time and talent
While I believe every artist can decide what is fair for themselves and balance out monetary compensation with other types of perceived value, I think it’s still helpful to create transparency in the field, both for artists and those who wish to hire them. So, here’s a breakdown of how I make my living. As a point of reference I have put, side by side, a comparison of my average rate of compensation from 2010-2015, when I was freelancing in NY, and 2015-19 freelancing in LA after finishing my DMA at CalArts.
The New York Years (2011-2015)
Currently In Los Angeles (2015-2019)