The article that started all of this is titled ““Stagehand Scalping” At Carnegie Hall; Where’s The Outrage About $450,000 Salaries For Stagehands?” Perhaps it should be retitled to “Factual Scalping” at the Hands of Libertarians and the AEI: Where’s the Outrage?”
I should’a known this whole tawdry attack would lead back to the usual sources. It does. Why am I even surprised?
The Pink Flamingo has a friend who once described his graduating high school senior son as omnipotent, omnipresent, and omnivorous. I think he has pegged the mindset of a certain type of conservative. You know the ones, they do the tea party thing, lean libertarian, and hate GWB. They are the ones we can thank for losing the US Senate this year. They are the ones who foolishly demand purity and absolutes. Unfortunately in the real world, there is no such thing as absolutes.
The past few days The Pink Flamingo has been going back and forth with someone named “Abdul” from Hyscience. I gather this person is one of the pure, who hasn’t the intellectual courage to use a real name. It’s easier to attack that way, don’t you think?
I guess I committed some sort of tea party blasphemy because I did not condemn the unionized stagehands at the Met, Lincoln Center, and Carnegie Hall. Woe is me. My bad. It matters not that I began my post explaining my feelings on unions – I think they are evil and must be destroyed. All that matters is that I dared to contradict this person. I am so bad.
My argument is that the original author of the original column used the recently revealed salaries of said stagehands is the reason that ticket prices are so high. I think that is a crock. The problem with “Abdul” if that is indeed this person’s real name, is that “Abdul” has never been to any of the venues and knows nothing about the Metropolitan Opera. So, my bad. I dared cross the Tea Party mentality.
Aside from the fact that the tea parties need to get a grip and realize that there are a heck of a lot more conservatives out there who are NOT part of their little revolution than are part of it, the better. They also need to learn that theirs is not the only opinion in the world.
“Abdul’s” little world is Nashville, which is not NYC. He grouses about the wages, but doesn’t quite grasp the fact that the cost of living in NYC is a bit different from Nashville.
The Pink Flamingo started tracking the original article. Guess what? It isn’t about the Met or Lincoln Center but more like a expose about what is going on at Carnegie Hall. I will admit I should have dug further in my original article. What I found changes several stories, including mine. I don’t think this is about unions but something fishy at Carnegie Hall.
Let’s just say something isn’t kosher. This author, too, is wondering if the stagehand salaries are to blame for high ticket prices. Somehow I don’t think the unions are to blame for these salaries – but something else entirely. They are way out of range of a Broadway salary – which is about $125,000 and that of the Met, which is about $250,000.
Those who have never been to NYC to one of these venues need to note that Carnegie Hall is NOT the Metropolitan Opera and is NOT in Lincoln Center and is a separate entity entirely. Somehow I doubt if that information can penetrate the tea party mentality. You see, they know all they need to know.
There might be some merit to the “ticket scalping” argument if one did not comprehend the fact that different programs at Carnegie Hall are different prices. There are 2804 seats in the Isaac Stern Auditorium. The entire facility may be rented. For the 2010-2011 season runs from Sept 29 until May 11. There are approximately 120 “Official” performances. For those who reside outside NYC, there are performances other nights, but are not part of the “official” season.
DISCLAIMER: I am dyslexic and get numbers screwed up, so the following might not be exact. If you multiply the 120 performances by 2804 tickets you come up with 364,520 tickets sold. According to my math, the stagehand salaries add approximately SEVEN BUCKS, seven dollars, $7.00 to the cost of each ticket.
When one considers that the highest average ticket price may be up to $144 and the lowest with decent seating is $48, that seven bucks for union wages doesn’t amount to a hill of beans in this crazy mixed up world of ours. Perhaps there are other reasons ticket prices are so high, including artist fees?
One thing people who don’t attend performances in NYC need to understand is that different shows or performances in a place like Carnegie Hall have different ticket prices. On Sunday nights, when there are non-scheduled performances, I’ve attended where front row seats were $90 and galas where those seats were $450.
I’ve not even factored those non “season” performances into the ticket prices. If I were to do so, it would bring the amount factored in for union wages down even more. But, none of this matters, does it? It also doesn’t matter that the LIBERTARIAN writer who started all of this, Mark Perry, is associated with the losertarian and tea party Jim DeMint adoring American Enterprise Institute.
One might even go back to Perry’s hatchet tea party losertarian hit and discover it is all about damning tax payer support of the arts. I should have known something so intellectually dishonest would have a libertarian-tea party spin. These people are so consistent. Perry is trying to prove that “we the people” are picking up the tab for the unionized workers at Carnegie Hall. Problem is their wages can be factored out in ticket prices, at no more than seven bucks a pop.
Once again we are treated to the pathetically dishonest way the losertarian mind works. These are the people who are behind the American Enterprise Institute and the tea parties.
Back to the Met. There are nearly 200 performances of the Metropolitan Opera a year. The American Ballet Theater also performs at the facility in the summer. The Met has approximately 3800 seats. We know the average salary for a stagehand is approximately $290,000. Each opera season (not counting ballet season) approximately 750,000 tickets are sold.
The American Ballet Theater has approximately 60 performances at the Met this coming season. That amounts to 228,000 tickets sold.
This gives us a total of 978,000 tickets sold.
It is quite obvious those much maligned salaries of the stagehands have very little to do with the cost of tickets at Lincoln Center. Oh, for those tea partiers out there, the Metropolitan Opera House is part of the Lincoln Center facility.
Funny how anyone connected with the American Enterprise Institute just can’t be intellectually honest. Then again, these are the people who backed Joe Miller, Sharon Angle, and Giggles O’Donnell.
Can we really trust them to be intellectually honest about the price of tickets in New York? I doubt it. Then again, as a cheap shot, I if you mentioned Beverly Sills to these people, they would probably consider it a suburb of LA.