Basic Math

What do actors really get paid?

So with all the backlash against Angus T Jones and his wanting off Two and a Half Men, what I’ve noticed most if how many people think he should be donating all his “filthy” money to charity.

This is crap, for 2 reasons.

1- Everyone is going on and on about how much money he makes, believed to be $300,000 per episode. Which, on the surface, sounds like a shit tonne of money. (Especially to me since I earned less than $1000 an episode) but just because the studio pays $300,000 doesn’t mean that’s what he actually earns. Here’s a basic accounting breakdown of an actors pay.

Gross pay is $300,000.  Being in such a high pay packet, also puts you into a super high tax bracket. Around 40%. So there’s $120,000 gone right off the bat.

Then, most actors have an agent who takes about 20% of the gross. So there goes another $60,000. If you’ve also got a manager, add another 15%, which is another $45,000. So assuming you’ve got a skeleton crew of leeches handlers, your $300,000 turns into $75,000 before you even see it. If you’ve got a publicist, or stylist, or anything else most Hollywood types have, like a lawyer on retainer, take off several thousand more.

Actors don’t work all year. So while someone may earn huge bucks while working, if you only work 13 weeks a year, as most shows do, you’ve got to now spread that $75k a week for 13 weeks ($975,000) over 52 weeks.  So that’s now down to $18, 750 a week. Yes, that still seems like a lot of money, but there’s CEO’s and other people who earn just as much. There’s plastic surgeons and IT people who earn that kind of money. There’s actually a lot of people who earn over $1 million a year. I’m not one of them 🙁

We all have expenses, but celebs have additional expenses. They’re expected to spend bukoo cash on outfits for Red Carpet events, they’re giving money to charity, they’re expected to maintain a “lifestyle”. It’s expensive. Houses in California aren’t cheap. Actors have rent and mortgages and car payments just like the rest of us.

Now to number 2. Why does everyone think actors should always donate their money to charity. The boy is working for that cash. If you hate your job, and lets face it, we’ve all had a job we hated, and probably bitched about, would you be expected to donate the money you’re earning to charity? Fuck no. You’d think you’ve earned it, and the only thing that keeps you turning up each day is that paycheck. Whether you’re a Doctor doing a residency with shitty hours, or working at some crappy restaurant, if you hate it, and tell people you hate it, will everyone start laying into you telling you to work for free, or give back every cent you’ve ever earned? I worked at a shitty chain restaurant, and I tell everyone not to eat there. Does that mean I should give back all the money I earned? (All $2.06 an hour plus tips) When a celeb sues a paper for false stories, people expect them to donate the money. Um, while it’s great that some celebs do, it wasn’t the charity that was damaged. It was the celeb. Ever see a celeb, even a has been, do a show where they get to win money for themselves? No. They’re always expected to do everything for charity. Which, can be awesome. I have fond memories as a kid of doing the Children’s Hospital Telethon. We also did Celebrity Family Feud. We had to fly to Brisbane for the day. We all got a gift, like a pen or telephone. I think we also got a couple hundred bucks, which was then split out as above… But we spent money on incidentals. We didn’t have stylists, so everyone probably bought an outfit. While most celebs love being able to help a charity, and shows like Celebrity Apprentice let celebs make a bunch of money for charity, it does take time and money to do it. Also, why can’t a has been whose now working a civilian job go on a show for themselves. We’ve got bills too! Think someone who used to be on TV can go on the regular Apprentice, or regular Big Brother? Um, no. Good luck with that.

One more thing, how do people know what he does with his money? For all anyone knows, he may already donate a large percentage of his cheque to charity. Just because some celebrities make a big deal about every time they make a donation, doesn’t mean all of them do. Some people make quiet donations to their chosen charity. Just because they don’t see that as a publicity opportunity, doesn’t mean it doesn’t happen. Elvis never claimed his donations as tax deductions, because he said then it wasn’t really a donation. If you announce every time you slip the Red Cross a $100, aren’t you just paying $100 for some publicity? Others may not give lots of cash, but give their time. Some are Big Brothers and Big Sisters, some do Boy Scouts, others help raise awareness. Some join the Guard. It all counts.

Celebrities don’t judge what you do with your money. Let’s not question them so much on what they do with theirs.


Social Media & Celebrities

Connecting with famous people through Social Media.

I love the internet. I love Social Media. I even used to work at a SEO company, and actually got to sit on FaceBook and Twitter all day long. I wrote blogs for several companies and helped  others understand Social Media and how to incorporate it into their business.

Since going public with the past a couple years ago, Social Media has been a mixed bag of fish for me. It was pretty vindicating using television as a medium to share my story. I had been abused in a television environment, so using it as the tool to go public and share what happened to me was a great way of taking that tool and re-purposing it.

As the story broke in Woman’s Day, I was still in Texas. I didn’t even know it had been published, till I saw it online on the WD website. Internet forums starting to go crazy with the story. I was watching the ACA and TT websites as they had coverage of interviews with other people. Then ACA sent Peter Stefanovic to my house in Texas to interview me. We used Skype to stay in contact with people in Australia, trying to figure out just how crazy big things had blown out of control. We were all watching forums like Whirlpool Hey Dad scandal thread. (Which is now several hundred pages over 3 different threads) Twitter went crazy. Hey Dad actually trended for a little bit there. People made all kinds of FaceBook pages. It seemed like everyone who had access to a keyboard had an opinion on the issue.

I got lots of emails, both good and bad. I had people commenting on my website. I was watching the twitter feed to see what people were saying.

I am now very sensitive about what I say about other people on Social Media. I know that people, even celebrities and famous people, or those like me who are simply in the news, do actually read the internet. We do use Twitter. We can see what people are saying about us. Unfortunately, about a good 80-90% of it is negative…

Before saying how much you hate someone on Twitter or in a forum, think about how YOU would feel if someone said that about you. Then imagine you’re reading that while you’re already under a whole heap of stress. It was hard enough going public, laying my soul bare, telling people about my past, without then having thousands of people judge me and post everywhere that I was simply a money grubbing publicity whore seeking an extra 15 minutes of fame and a way to sell Going Down. I was trying to do the right thing. I was trying to speak out about abuse. I was using the medium I was comfortable in, since that was what I knew. I was trying to make an impact, getting the message out there. I had expected there to be some negative reaction, I didn’t expect to see people slamming me on places like Expecting Mothers message boards. I could only imagine what they would be like if their kids came to them for help one day….

Anyhow, over the last couple of years I’ve changed a lot. I have a new outlook on life, and a new outlook on Social Media, as well as celebrities.

I just want to remind people that celebrities and other people in the spotlight are people too. They have good days and bad days. They have feelings, just like you and me. Just like you wouldn’t like it if a bunch of people talked shit about you, celebs aren’t immune to people talking smack about them. I’m sure Liesel doesn’t appreciate people talking about her figure while she’s preparing for the Olympics, (she’s a fucking swimmer people, not a Victoria’s Secret Model) or even Rihanna tweeting that her performance sucked in Sweden, when they didn’t know her Grandma had just died. There are so many cases I can think of when people are coming down on others when all they really need is a hug. I love that Sophie Monk, Piers Morgan and Ricky Gervais are witty in replies, but I’m sure they’re not totally immune either.

Being mean on Twitter is just another form of cyberbullying. Celebs aren’t immune.

So, I thought these Jimmy Kimmel clips were funny. It’s a great way to remind people that Celebrities are human just like us. It’s presented in a funny way, but it has a good meaning behind it. There’s a few of them on YouTube. Go watch, and next time, think before you tweet.

BTW, I’m @shrimptank on twitter.