Category Archives: Gay Mid-Life: Musings

A Few Things Following Male Models on Instagram Taught Me

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OK, I’ll admit it: I’m a middle-aged gay man lusting over a number of sweet young Instagram things who have the unmitigated audacity to post endless photos of themselves naked, or nearly naked, or in the throes of their latest physical exploits or modeling sessions. And, dear reader, of course, I am hooked. This is so much better than making friends on Facebook. No, no need to ever pretend to be interested in someone’s political opinion just so they’ll keep you as a “friend” and “like” you; Instagram is pure sexy voyeur heaven.

Some insights (besides the propensity to waste time ogling):

  • You can learn a new language: Italian, Russian, Brazilian Portuguese, and more
  • Models can be just as boring as anyone. Repeated blurry and dark videos of club nights. Boring. Repeated videos or photos of smoothies. Also boring. Repeated images of high protein meals. Super boring!
  • Endless views of your workout routine also do get boring. Exceptions: bicep workouts. Butt workouts.
  • Silent Movie Syndrome: yes, model, your voice can sink you. When in doubt, use the silent approach or do the music-over option. Don’t be responsible for bursting my lust bubble, you manly-man you!
  • They like to show off their dogs and cats as much as anyone on the Internet. Many of these beauties seem to live alone yet they have a pet or pets with personality plus.
  • Who are the unsung heroes or heroines taking the pictures? Many are selfies, sure; but many are not. Are these behind-the-scenes folks partners or roommates or paid assistants? Interns? I think that’s an interesting story in itself.
  • Gorgeous boys can be lonely too. I see it in the faces of their “lights out” photos, I see it in the empty gyms they haunt at all hours of the night (and early morning), sometimes I see it blatantly when they complain about having no one. So I guess there’s a message there for all of us.
  • Mostly what I love is the infectious optimism of youth. I think that comes through loud and clear for all these guys (maybe not with every post!) and I find it quite inspiring. KEEP POSTING PLEASE!

Looking for guys to watch? Here’s a current list of my favorite males to follow on Insta (not in any order!):

ranajo – a Brazilian model-type guy from Bahia. In addition to the usual swimwear mega-eye candy, he also shoots lots of little videos of him and his friends dancing and singing. It has a wonderful youthful Brazilian spirit to it all and you can compile a Brazilian holiday calendar, too.

 

 

 

 

 

Lap_NYC

Lap_NYC – He is probably my favorite. He’s a dancer/model, possibly from Israel (?) originally, working on Instagram to model underwear. Lucky us. Also surprisingly gentle and moody and kind of wistful, which I like. Secret: I found youtube videos of him on what appears to be the Israeli version of “Dancing with the Stars.” It’s great, find it.

 

 

 

 

 

BroganNYC

broganNYC – At first glance – well, sorry, BROgan, I don’t want to be stereotypical, but — he looks like a typical Chelsea or WeHo trophy boy. Except that – he’s nice and he’s really silly! And he has a cute boyfriend he poses with while they eat ice cream in bed! This is the guy you’d think would never talk to you, but his videos indicate anything but that kind of attitude. That’s what I love about it, he turns this exclusionary stereotype on its ear. Bravo, Brogan!

 

 

 

 

CaseyFieldNYC

caseyfieldNYC — Casey appears to be the most down-to-earth and professional of the models listed here. He has a superb sense of humor and gives fun little workout and diet tips in his NY accent as he walks around the big city. Always cheers me up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Corkswag

corkswag — I think Corkswag is a dancer/actor here in L.A. He may also be a go-go boy. In fact, I think he is a go-go-boy. He’s also a major tease but he’s so cute who can hardly blame him? Not me, certainly. And those teeth! Those nipples!

 

 

 

 

 

 

faalbe

faalbe — see above, I’m learning Italian. Is he a dancer? Not sure. Lots of annotated pictures of male pulchritude with Italian words so see, I am learning. Italian men in their underwear teaching across the waters. So grateful.

 

 

 

 

 

 

coelhorodrigo

coelhorodrigo – the awesomely enterprising beauty of Rio de Janeiro! He is insanely gorgeous, I think he’s a model/stylist and also a jewelry designer. He travels around Brazil a lot for his work and shoots it so you get to see a lot of that beautiful country on Rodrigo’s posts. There’s also more perfect teeth.

 

 

 

 

 

watchjoego

watchjoego — His bio says San Diego but I think he’s usually posting from L.A. He’s one of those who goes to the gym at 4 in the morning. If that’s what it takes to look like he does, I’d do that too, well, if I was 25. Thank god I’m old because I have no desire to be that anymore. But I love looking at Joe! He’s also very upbeat – reminding me of one reason to love young men, because they are OPTIMISTIC. I like that.

 

 

 

 

oddlyshouseofenough

oddlyshouseofenough (gets the prize for best moniker). I don’t know if I could ever see enough of this man. I think this one is local too (SoCal) but the first photo I saw of him was where he appeared to be on a stripper pole that someone had in their kitchen. His own, perhaps? There are also some photos of this guy in leather that are stunning.

 

 

 

 

 

jakejacob01

jakejacob01 is a more recent find. Just a really hot guy who posts great pictures of his awesome self, sometimes with his boyfriend, sometimes not. I think he lives in Texas.

 

 

 

 

 

 

kevincarnell

kevincarnell is another beauty. I honestly don’t know how bodies like this happen, though I suspect they take an insane amount of dedication, good nutrition, and good genes to help that process. I certainly love seeing the results. Do not miss this one!

 

 

 

 

 

 

johnmacconnell

johnmacconnell is an artist, who paints a lot of male nudes, couples, usually looks like they’re watercolors. He sells them, I know that much. He’s also a runner, posts his times and photos of himself in gear. He’s very hot himself. A young man making it in NYC.

 

 

 

 

 

 

e.santiago23

e.santiago23  – kind of your typical super-hot louche medical student from south of the border. Again, check out the nipples! Wide variety of posts from beach to club parties to classroom; I believe he lives in Mexico but is from Puerto Rico, so I also like seeing the backgrounds and his coterie of attractive friends. Also singing – love that about these guys. Doctor, doctor, can you examine me, please?

 

 

 

 

derek_stone87

derek_stone87 — kind of under the radar, don’t know how he showed up on my Instagram but he’s just a very attractive young guy, who has a husband, who might live in Colorado. Takes lots of pictures with pets (dogs esp.) and might be in that (veterinary) profession.

 

 

 

 

 

Who are your favorites? I can certainly add more to my feed. Let me know!

 

 

 

 

On FADA, Notes on the License to Discriminate

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It’s possible that the right wing, now that they control all three layers of the federal government, will try and pass a version of the FADA (The First Amendment Defense Act) so I thought I’d write a bit about it, why it’s unnecessary and basically just a convenient license for using the federal government to discriminate against people you don’t like.

 

The Right Wing doesn’t like a lot of people, though the FADA is usually understood as a backlash targeting LGBT people as a result of marriage equality and other social gains by LGBT in recent years.

Here’s the text of the Amendment:

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the Federal Government shall not take any discriminatory action against a person, wholly or partially on the basis that such person believes or acts in accordance with a religious belief or moral conviction that marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman, or that sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage. [H.R. 2802, introduced 6/17/15]

The Right Wing asserts that this amendment is needed to protect the religious views of people who feel this way, i.e., their first amendment rights. In reality, it would enshrine the right to discriminate against LGBT persons, unmarried single mothers, or any couple of any sexual combination residing together unmarried. Among the things it would allow are these examples:

  • allow federal contractors or grantees, including those that provide important social services like homeless shelters or drug treatment programs, to turn away LGBT people or anyone who has an intimate relationship outside of a marriage
  • let commercial landlords violate longstanding fair housing laws by refusing housing to a single mother based on the religious belief that sexual relations are properly reserved for marriage
  • permit a university to continue to receive federal financial assistance even when it fires an unmarried teacher simply for becoming pregnant
  • permit government employees to discriminate against married same-sex couples and their families – federal employees could refuse to process tax returns, visa applications, or Social Security checks for all married same-sex couples
  • allow businesses to discriminate by refusing to let gay or lesbian employees care for their sick spouse, in violation of family medical leave laws [ACLU, 7/20/15]

So basically, such a law would throw out existing protections LGBT have through the government and allow discrimination based on someone’s beliefs.

I would be awestruck to see where it is in the defining documents of these religions (i.e., The Bible) where it says that you’re supposed to not bake that gay wedding cake or not cut that social security check for that gay man. Cause it doesn’t say that anywhere. Basically, if you believe those documents, they tell you that YOU – the person having that belief – are not supposed to live your life that way. In other words, if you believe those scriptures, YOU should not live a gay life. It doesn’t say anything about the rest of us, which, incidentally, is not even relevant because the United States is not guided or beholden to ancient religious texts.

Also, the Right Wing seems to think that it needs this law to protect its anti-LGBT churches and schools from the big bad IRS. But that argument is easily debunked, e.g. churches of all kinds (Catholics, are you listening?) have been discriminating against women for eons without getting their tax exempt status revoked. And of course, you can always still believe what you want and teach whatever doctrine you have in your religious school. We don’t have the thought police, at least not yet (Minority Report?)

So if these two items are eliminated, what is left? Oh, I guess maybe you can’t just use  your religion as a hammer to punish people you don’t like. Sorry.

It’s like this (paraphrased from a letter to the editor on media matters.com, from “nerzog”):

Religious beliefs are protected. Religiously inspired actions are not. So: They’re still allowed to be bigots, they can think what they want. They can still verbally express their bigotry, if they’re willing to endure the social consequences. What they can’t do is: break anti-discrimination laws.

Most of the data in this post comes from media matters.

 

“Age Appropriate” Daddyhunt Blogs

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I’ve written a number of blog entries on older/younger relationships or on issues affecting aging in gay men. I started that process a few years ago when I did some blog posts on daddyhunt.com’s website, for their blog “Age Appropriate.”

So, if you’re interested, here’s the link back to the archive for those posts.

 

daddyhunt_folsom250x70

Avoiding the Gay Friend Zone — A Few Tips

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154582979_94a26fde15_zI see lots of advice tips on websites and vlogs on YouTube addressing this topic, almost always from a straight perspective, almost always the straight male perspective. About how not to be a woman’s best buddy when you would really like to be her lover.

This is also an issue in gay land. It can be even more confusing, since we find our sexual partners and most of our platonic friends from the same gender as ourselves. When you meet a new gay man, I’m sure I’m not the only one to want to classify him into either the potential dating/sex category or into the possible friend category–almost immediately. (And I am talking here about actual in-person meetings with guys, what they used to call meet-cute, not casual sex transactions delivered via smartphone or computer app —  although those certainly have their place and value.)

And it’s not always apparent which one it should be! Friend or stud? Is he available? Am I attracted to him that way and just as important, does he have an attraction to me? Sometimes further investigation or time is necessary to determine which category this man should fall into.

Does all this seem rather predatory and cold? It seems that way as I’m writing it. I guess a better world would be one where we’re all kumbayah and open to whatever gifts strangers have for us and we have for them, whether that means sex/romance, friendship, neighborliness, networking, help, education and enlightenment, mentoring, or what have you. But I do think it’s honest that people with a sex drive who are looking for possible partners classify newcomers in this binary way.

That said, in gay land I think there’s a pretty quick time limit to figure this out, if indeed sex/romance is really where you want to go with this new person. Because if nothing happens over the course of a few meetings, most of the time that means you are in the friend zone.

So, how to avoid that if your desire is on the personal side?

  • Be direct. This is no time to hope that being flirty will get picked up on or that he’s going to notice you sighing in his direction. Don’t you love a confident guy who verbalizes his desire by saying such things as “I’d like to have sex with you” or “I’d like to spend more time with you to get to know you in a personal way.” I wish that would happen with everyone. It doesn’t, because
  • We’re afraid of rejection. Because it hurts so bad. But if you can get over it, because this is numbers game, you can keep moving things along and go on to the next person. If he says no to your advances, you’re in the friend zone and that’s great. Not great if you had that crush, but yes great because “no” is as good an answer as “yes,” because it is definitive and keeps you moving.
  • Don’t wait too long to figure out what you want with him. After dating/flirting/f****ing with other gay men now for over 40 years I can tell you that you already know in your gut. Trying to decide is just a game we play with ourselves trying to avoid point #2, above (rejection). Honestly there comes a point where that spark that could’ve ignited is gone and he’s going to be your sister not your lover.
  • And it’s great having friends! Not to say that if you end up in the friend zone with someone you really wanted to go to bed with that it won’t be valuable and wonderful and a really fantastic friendship. I had such a relationship with at least one guy that was truly wonderful. And, on the opposite side, I do know at least one married gay couple that were “best friends” forever before the romance kicked in, so that can happen too.

Bonus related item: People who show outsize interest on social media want more from you than lunch once every six months. You can start making up this list of potential partners from those who “like” every photo you ever post on facebook, who retweet your tweets on a regular basis, who “like” your instagram photos, too! Not foolproof but I think it’s a good indicator that he’s interested in more than being affirmative of your social media presence.

The Number One Factor that Allows for a Car-Free Life*

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*in the contemporary United States. I don’t know about other places; I suppose this is a worldwide “law.”

The Blogger at CicLAvia in the valley, outside of OCH's.

The Blogger at CicLAvia in the valley, outside of OCH’s.

I found this post on the Internet. I often look for stories or articles that validate my own car free choice, just so I can feel some camaraderie and not think I’m the only person in the world who has done this and also thinks it’s a doable idea. (I don’t have many friends in L.A. who are car free; some, but usually it’s not been a choice for them and they’re not particularly happy about it and hope to change this circumstance ASAP).

One of the things that Zachary Shahan talks about in his post is the pleasurability of his car free decision. That is key, isn’t it — if it’s not a good and pleasurable way to live, then why do it? I’ve had enough martyrdom in my life already, I don’t really want any more.

I admit that feeling the pleasure is sometimes hard, living in the midst of the most intense car culture on the planet. Also, the writer of this great post is obviously younger than me by decades, and there’s something to be said about youthful optimism in any situation. Isn’t there?

If you haven’t guessed the factor or read the article, I can tell you it’s location. The same old real estate cliche, location location location.

And I think that’s true. The very definition of doable transportation depends on where you are and where you need to go. For myself, I commute to a part time job using a bicycle and public transportation (I take my bike on a subway). For all other daily life activities and shopping, I can walk or ride a bike. For social activities, I usually take public transport or if that’s not really practical, a cab or an Uber or a Lyft, which are always practical in Los Angeles. I happen to live around the corner from a major stop along a major rapid busway. This really does help. It’s a good location.

Another Benefit of Going Car Free: No Cops

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from "Less Than Zero" (Spoiler): this would be transporting dead bodies due to drug overdoses.

from “Less Than Zero” (Spoiler): this crime would be transporting a dead body due to a drug overdose.

How we find out about true crimes – this is assuming that we, I mean the majority of the law-abiding population, are not criminals ourselves, is likely relegated to the media: what we see on TV, what we read in newspapers and online publications and blogs, or what we may hear. Or overhear.

I read the usual papers. I’m also a fan (it’s a guilty pleasure) of Cops, the pseudo documentary TV show that follows police departments around on their law enforcement duties. Let’s forget for a moment that the focus of that show seems to be to see how many young men of color’s lives we can destroy by stupid inflated charges and antiquated and moronic non-violent drug laws. Let’s forget that piece for a moment and just focus on the undeniable evidence that a huge number of crimes (and thus, arrests and interactions with the police) occur in the presence of motor vehicles. Am I right?

Here’s a short list:

  • auto theft
  • using an auto as a getaway car for robbing a bank or a store or what have you
  • kidnapping
  • drug dealing/running
  • firearms running
  • vehicular manslaughter
  • vehicular murder
  • mobile prostitution
  • driving without a license
  • driving without registration
  • transporting illegals across state lines
  • using a car for human trafficking
  • using a car for the location of a crime, such as assault, murder, rape
  • using a car for drive-by shootings
  • odometer fraud
  • ram and scam
  • hit and runs
  • speeding while driving
  • unsafe lane changes and other moving violations
  • drunk driving
  • driving while texting
  • driving without a seatbelt
  • using a motor vehicle for a drug factory (hello Breaking Bad)
  • child or animal endangerment (leaving an innocent locked in a hot car)
  • Verbal assaults, i.e. Road Rage

And that is a just a short brainstormed list. As far as I know, you’re not going to get a ticket for walking too fast down the sidewalk. I’ve also never seen a cyclist cited for speeding, though I guess it could happen. No, really, cops are focused on motor vehicles. If you look at that list above, it seems a car is actually a prerequisite for carrying out the crime. For instance, when was the last time you robbed a bank or an art museum and took the bus home? It’s been awhile, I bet.

So there you go, another fringe benefit of going car free. Less potential involvement with authorities. I think we can all agree, these days that’s a lot better for everyone.

And We Went to Guadalajara

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Who? Oh, my brother David and I. To see it. Because I wanted to go to Mexico. Because it was his birthday. Because I was interested in seeing Lake Chapala, where large numbers of U.S. expatriates go. It’s pretty there, not sure it would be too stimulating. Chapala, that is. Perhaps you bring your own stimulation. Affordable most definitely.

So, to answer the question, is it safe to go to Guadalajara? I can answer that. Yes, it was fine. The scariest thing that happened to me over the course of our short, 4 night stay was that one night I had trouble sleeping. I have insomnia sometimes; I can hardly blame that on Mexico. (That damn Obama!)

The people we met there were lovely and they were POLITE. They had MANNERS. I’m not talking just about service people at hotels or restaurants, but people on the street. Imagine that, what a concept! Someone’s mama raised that country right. OK, there were dark alleys, I wouldn’t rush to venture down. There were lots of insanely armed police and security guards all over. I wouldn’t confront them. If you have a modicum of the usual street sense that you’d need in any place like L.A., NY, Chicago, New Orleans, etc., you’d feel pretty safe in Guadalajara. Don’t let the scaredy cat warnings you find on social media and from the state department frighten you. If you’re not going to confront the government of Mexico or the drug cartels, my opinion is, it’s as safe or safer than living in a place like I do, Los Angeles, where really bad things happen to people every day.

OK, end rant. Now for the pictures. I like taking pictures of buildings and parts of buildings, always wondering what is behind the walls, who built the building, who lives there or works there, what their lives are like, etc. So some of these are likely moody that way. Since I live in a place where everything is always new and very dry, old and weathered and moldy (as in lots of humidity) always fascinates me. So enjoy. I will comment on some of the photos directly.

UPDATE October 16 2015 – I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that the Guadalajara area can be dangerous to your health if you’re a member of a cartel or the military or the police. Less than a week after our return, this article on an arrest appeared in the L.A. Times.

 

What would it be like to have gay sex without fear of HIV?

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This article from New York Magazine on PrEP is probably my favorite of the many, many articles I’ve read on Truvada. What follows below are my thoughts on the idea of taking a PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis) for HIV.

154582979_94a26fde15_z

no one I know, but I’d kiss them.

In regards to that question in the title — I did have lots of unfearful sex as a young man, before 1981, in the few years between when I became old enough for sex but before AIDS and HIV arrived. Honestly, that was so long ago now (what is it, 35 years, all my subsequent adult years till now?) I really don’t remember what it was like.

Besides, at that point for me, there was still a lot of other fear around gay sex, specifically, the idea that it was wrong. It took, it seems, forever for me, personally, to get over those lies we were fed as kids. But when I finally did and was ready to embrace the kind of sex I was born to have, there was Mr. HIV and an entirely new set of rules, and especially, don’ts.

I continued to have sex during the AIDS years, but it was according to the safest guidelines possible and was always, always tinged with a great amount of fear. For the most part, it was never the feeling of giving yourself over totally to the moment of passion; it seemed there was always something lurking, and always something being held back.

I’m from the generation who lived through the 80s when every cold, every flu, every bump or red spot on your skin could be nothing or it could be the first sign that you were, in fact, dying.

So I greet this news of Truvada and PrEP with nothing short of astonishment. Color me shocked that marriage equality is now the law of the land, as it should be; I’m equally stunned that there’s such a thing as Truvada and it can be taken to actually PREVENT HIV infection.

I’m HIV negative. Do I take Truvada currently? No. Will I take it in the future? I’ve had some discussions with my doctor about it. There’s an insurance issue; it’s expensive. There’s possibly work-arounds for that, programs which make it cheaper or even free. She (my doctor) was more concerned about long term effects, and made the point that you have to gauge what makes the most sense for you at a certain point in time. I’m single, I don’t have a partner; I rarely date; it’s not the prettiest situation at the moment but it probably doesn’t make sense for me personally right now.

That all could change. What if I did suddenly have dates? (Hey, it could happen!) I would like to think I could have that freeing option, something that I did not have at 26, or at 30, at 35, at 40, at 45, at 50, at 55 and. . . well, you get my drift. I would like to know what it’s like to have sex without the fear of contracting HIV. It’s not a reality that I know.

a couple of other points:

  • A lot (often it seems the plurality) of the gay men in my age cohort in my location are HIV positive. Truvada would eliminate the HIV barrier that is always there between us, that elephant in the room.
  • There’s that part of me that wants to be uninhibited and spontaneous after decades of worry (as well as other issues that have negatively affected my sex life, specifically, prostate cancer and its treatment). Why can’t I have this? Please, please tell me why? The last quote in the article I linked to above was another question. It asked, simply, Why Should We Keep Punishing Ourselves? 

Escape from Los Angeles

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Los Angeles City Hall. Photo by Jimbolaya

Los Angeles City Hall. Photo by Jimbolaya

“Escape from Los Angeles” is a series of new blog posts. I’m definitely on my journey to discover the next chapter of my life. Blogging about it was suggested by a regular reader of my blog (thank you, Rowan M!)

I’ve written a couple of times before about possibly leaving Los Angeles, here and here.

Probably one of the first things to determine is to decide if this (leaving Los Angeles) is really necessary or not. If it makes sense or not. My mother was always a believer in a “bloom where you’re planted” philosophy and I, as a man who has been sober for over 25 years, am always sensitive to the idea of doing “geographics.”*

So instead of seeing the cup as half empty (which is my default, as a pessimist) I’m trying, at least for a while, to see the cup as half full. Hence, gratitude lists: Every day I’ll write down 3 things in the morning that are working, three things that I’m grateful for for Los Angeles.

Today’s 3 things are:

Planet Queer (only in LA)

Hollywood Bowl (only in LA, and I’m going tonight)

The Red Line Subway

I’ll continue to write down my gratitude for L.A. as long as I feel this is productive. Who knows what I’ll find?

  • geographic, or doing a geographic. Wherever you go, there you are. You always take you with you. A geographic is moving somewhere following the thinking that this move will result in happier or more productive outcomes, i.e., it’s the place that sucks, not me; if I move, I will be happy and successful, etc. It never works.

UPDATE August 19:

Here’s a couple of other stories on the subject – apparently it’s all in the zeitgeist:

Why People Are Leaving LA or Any Big City

Leaving Los Angeles Writer Scott Timberg is Moving After All

 

Thoughts on “Ballet 422” and the David H. Koch Theater at Lincoln Center

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I liked this documentary on Ballet 422, which refers to the 422nd original ballet produced from the New York City Ballet Company. This one comes from choreographer Justin Peck, a 25-year old dancer/choreographer – and it’s his first ballet for the company.

For someone like me, who knows little of the world of dance, it was educational to watch the process of choreography. It’s always been somewhat of an enigma, or it’s like magic. Anyway, I really enjoyed the interplay between the choreographer and the dancers, and the parts that almost seemed co-created, or at least collaborated on. How these fantastic dancers remember what they’re supposed to be doing is truly beyond me! But they do, I guess that’s why they’re stars of the NYC Ballet, eh?  Plus of course, there’s lots of eye candy no matter what your orientation happens to be.

The documentary (from director Jody Lee Lipes) also shows the requisite behind-the-scenes, including some parts of Justin’s life beyond Lincoln Center. We see him waiting for the subway, we see him go to his apartment in a borough other than Manhattan. It looks big enough by NYC standards, but then it got me thinking, he, a member of the corps de ballet probably doesn’t make enough money to live in that toniest part of New York.

So I looked up dancer salaries to get an idea. They are in the range, it seemed, of around $50,000 to $80,000 depending on what city they were dancing in and if they were chorus or principals or had a longer season, etc.

I found this information on The DL Reporter (http://dlreporter.com/2014/04/14/ballet-wage-issues/): (Raquel Nieves, author)

Jeremy Telman in his article, “New York City Ballet Dancers Agree to New Contract,” cited that a quick internet search suggests that a member of the corp de ballet makes $1,500 per week. He describes how the average rent in the city of Manhattan for a cramped one-bedroom is $3,150 per month and that it can get hard to find a two bedroom for under $1 million. “If the dancer gets paid for 38 weeks per year, that comes out to $76,000 per year, and that is a good salary in New York City as long as you can share a studio apartment in an outer borough with two or more other members of the corp (or you can marry an investment banker).[3]” Principal dancers, essentially the “A” list celebrities at ballet companies, make roughly about $1,000-$2,000 more per week than the corp de ballet (think below the line talent). Principals make more with the additional guest performance or teaching gig, but only a small percentage of dancers who join the company ever become principals.

So there you have it, on stage, like so many performers including actors and musicians, dancers appear to be so incredibly glamorous yet the society fails to reward artists for this. I also noticed during my viewing of the film that the theater building at Lincoln Center where the New York City Ballet performs is the David H. Koch Theater.

Yes, as in that Koch! Right, the Koch brothers, those infamous John Birch society right wing billionaire polluters from Kansas!

According to the theater’s website:

In July 2008, philanthropist David H. Koch pledged to provide $100 million over the next 10 years for the purpose of renovating the theater and providing for an operating and maintenance endowment. It was renamed the David H. Koch Theater at the New York City Ballet Winter gala, Tuesday, November 25, of that year.

So great, he’s willing to support the actual structure and maintenance of the physical building, but the dancers who fly on the stage? Well, not so much, apparently. They are members of a union [American Guild of Musical Artists (AGMA)] and, well, you know, the Kochs, they just don’t like unions. Their group “Americans for Prosperity” helps states like Wisconsin gut union contracts, which is just another way to race to the bottom and destroy the middle class.

So I guess the dancers won’t really be able to look to David H. Koch for any help with their meager salaries that don’t really allow them to live in the city in which they perform. I guess it’s always been that way for robber barons, i.e., Andrew Carnegie probably didn’t help any turn of the century violinists with their rent either, though he built a theater in which they could perform.

Not that the $76,000 annual salary would make much sense to someone like David H. Koch, who, according to this piece, made $3 million PER HOUR from investments in 2012.

One of the last images in the film “Ballet 422” is of Justin Peck returning to the dressing room after all the curtain calls for this successful ballet premiere to don his costume to dance in the corps de ballet for the next offering in the program, later the same night. A worker among workers, a union man.