Should You Be an NFL Cheerleader, or an Opera Singer?

A dark and terrible secret has been revealed recently, concerning the NFL and their compensation of cheerleaders.  Not only did the cheerleaders receive no benefits, but they received almost no salary.  They were responsible for all of their own training, equipment, travel expenses, and pretty much everything else that costs money, and then were required to perform constantly, with their net rate of pay per hour working out to far less than minimum wage.  As it turns out, the NFL has, for years now, been treating their cheerleaders as though they were opera singers.

When I heard about these poor cheerleaders, it made me wonder what, after expenses, my hourly rate was as a singer.  So I decided to look at some of my various jobs from the past and figure it out.  Would I have made more money as an NFL cheerleader?  Or could I rest easy in the lucrative field of freelance singing?  Here is what I found:

JOB 1:
Compensation: $500
Cost of Vocal Score: $80
Travel Expenses: N/A
Meals Between Rehearsals: $50
Voice Lessons and Coachings: $100
Net Pay: $270
Hours of Learning and Preparation: 40
Hours of Rehearsal and Performance: 78
Final Pay Rate: $2.29/hr

JOB 2:
Compensation: $2000
Travel Stipend: $250
Travel Expenses: $325
Cost of Vocal Score: $75
Meals: $300
Voice Lessons and Coachings: $1200
Net Pay: $350
Hours of Learning and Preparation: 60
Hours of Rehearsal and Performance: 48
Final Rate of Pay: $3.24/hr

JOB 3:
Compensation: $1000
Cost of Vocal Score: $130
Travel Expenses: $200
Meals: $400
Voice Lessons and Coachings: $800
Net Pay: -$530
Hours of Learning and Preparation: 30
Hours of Rehearsal and Performance: 47
Final Rate of Pay: -$6.88/hr

So there you have it.  Pay for an opera singer can range anywhere from $3/hr to almost negative $7/hr.  At least in my experience.  And I didn’t include other professional expenses, like headshots, agent fees, etc.  So, in the final analysis, it turns out that perhaps I should have been an NFL cheerleader after all.  They make way more money than opera singers.  Except I don’t think I could pass the jiggle test.

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Posted in Cheerleaders, Football, Money, NFL, Opera, Sports, Tenor Tuesday.

One Comment

  1. You forget that cheerleaders don’t normally eat that much, so it’s probably a much favorable financial situation in that regard.
    P.S. Quilting is another negative pay rate! I finds ’em all…

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