We artists are accustomed to getting offers for unpaid gigs because they'd be “good exposure.” So I wrote this tongue-in-cheek song as a response to these insulting offers. To be clear, I don't oppose playing for free when it's a benefit concert or other charitable event. I just don't like working for free while making someone else a profit.
And the lyric video is out just as the Writers' Guild of America (WGA) has settled their strike with the Hollywood studios on decent, livable terms, which is all they wanted. As I write this, the Screen Actors' Guild (SAG-AFTRA) remains on strike, also trying to make their profession one that could support a family. This is only fair, given the record profits the studios have been raking in.
Of course, I'm also rooting for the United Auto Workers to get more favorable terms after they gave up so much in the financial crisis of 2008 to keep the industry afloat. Now the automakers turn record profits; it's only fair to restore a dignified compensation to the workers who built the profitable products. And of course the healthcare workers at Kaiser Permanente. If we're going to call them heroes, we need to not just praise them, but pay them!
Do you have exposure stories? Share them in the comments below.