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 Message
    From: jmsatb5@aol.com
 Subject: Re: Hm
      To: alt.babylon5.uk  
    Date: 5/11/2005 11:06:15 PM  

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Mark wrote:
> Seeing at how much some of the stuff JMS is selling on ebay is going
for
> I have two thoughts:
>
> 1) It didn't really hit home till now how rich JMS must be. He
comes
> across as down to earth in so much as he posts on newsgroups like
> anyother member, but if this is the kind of money he can get for what

> he's effectively giving away then jeez...
>

I think that's kind of overstating the case, both as such things are
measured BY LA, and what is required to live IN LA.

The drawback to this business is that if you could live in, say, Cedar
Creek, Iowa and sell scripts, you'd be set. But to live in LA, with
how much things cost here, it eats the hell out of your income, even if
it's a good year. To earn six figures in LA is to just *get by* given
how much real estate and everything else costs. Which manages to be
both ironic and stupid at the same time. Then agents take 10%,
managers/accounts another 5%, the goverment gets 50% or so...and you're
living on 30 cents on the dollar.

Where I'm fortunate is that I don't have any vices...I don't smoke,
drink, gamble or do drugs, so as a result I manage to hold onto a fair
amount of what I bring in. Which means that I don't have to take any
job that I don't want to take. If I chose to stop writing, I could
live off what I have (assuming I died tomorrow) (that's a joke, son).
It's "fuck off" money.

I learned this a long time ago, from Rod Serling...in a TV drama he
wrote called "The Velvet Alley," which was about a TV writer who comes
to LA and is slowly corrupted by it. The velvet alley is described
thusly: "You come to LA and they pay you vast sums of money for what
you do, and slowly your standard of living rises to the point where you
need that amount just to maintain it...and then, they threaten to take
it away from you. And then they own you."

That's the velvet alley.

And that's why I made it a point to always keep enough of a cushion
that I don't ever have to worry about finding myself in that particular
roadway.

But rich? NFW.

jms

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