23 May 2019
Larissa Archer has been asked to perform for free so many times she’s lost count.
Despite her years of training, impressive resume and credibility as the founder of San Francisco Bellydance Theater, she often finds herself turning down invitations to dance for a few wrinkled dollar bills.
As Archer explains it, event producers “can’t cut corners on how much beer costs. They can’t cut corners on the rental of the venue.” But many can, and often do, skimp on the take-home pay of the talent that attracts showgoers in the first place.
And it’s not just small clubs. As KQED first reported in March, despite reaching a valuation of $1 trillion last year, tech giant Apple doesn’t pay the artists performing in its stores, compensating them with low-end merchandise such as AirPods and AppleTVs instead.
Following our report, we heard from graphic designers, musicians, muralists and comedians who say they’re frequently asked to work for “exposure” by companies large and small, sharing tales of missing payments, false promises of paid work and full-time jobs disguised as unpaid internships.
Read the full article on KQED Arts.