The Apprentice and The Arts

Tonight on tv3's The Apprentice the arts, and their cause, was represented by two scruffy classical musicians. The task involved a formal presentation to a luxury company, in which, the losing team had hired the two to provide a musical introduction.  However, right before the performance the team realised that they had make a error with the budget and were unable to pay the musicians the agreed amount.

They assumed that the musicians wouldn't mind. Unfortunately for them, the musicians would not accept this and immediately launched into an argument mentioning that they were in a upmarket hotel that was getting paid and that they were expected to work for less than agreed. And rightly so, at over €40 short they were being asked to take an almost 50% cut on a modest fee when €40 would be pocket change to the companies involved.

Although I didn't necessarily agree with how the musicians had made their point, it was without a doubt a valid argument and the situation was telling of society's view of the arts. The women were dressed in the stereotypical artsy style and used the word "posh" in reference to the companies involved.  I do not like that word as it is more telling of the person using it than what they are speaking about but I am glad that they were so quick to stand up for themselves and their profession.  Upon surprise that they were not appreciative for the scraps from the table the project manager agreed that the musicians would receive their full fee. Apparently the scowled at Bill Cullen throughout the entire presentation probably demonizing him as "the man".

The Apprentice tv3. Campaigning for the arts, musicians demanding fair pay.

In the after show aftermath the, now fired, project manager made a Freudian slip when attempting to justify her error. She claimed that she simply forgot that she would have to pay the musicians and hadn't realised that she would have to pay for music for the ad campaign, of which she ended up blowing the budget on. I think the arts are taken for granted, wanted but undervalued. The team had earlier tried to hire a busker from the street who turned out to be an illegal immigrant and perhaps would have been happy with anything. The whole error was caused by a failure to realise that music needs to be paid for and problem was attempting to be solved by short changing the live musicians.

The culture of arts grants allows for a certain level of freedom by removing the commercial aspect and free entry to galleries makes the arts more accessible to all. The downside to this is that people expect it for nothing and do not realise the level of talent, skill and professionalism that is required of any arts worker.

P.S. Of course the adverts produced in this task were horrific and most involved had excessive confidence levels and outlandish impressions of their own creativity. It makes me hate the word "creative".

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