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Bell Curve


Chorus Member. Salary: $16,000 

You love to sing show tunes in the shower. Lately, you've become obsessed with the liquid notes of "Try to Remember" from The Fantasticks. You're on the third verse, but for some reason, your roommate is on her last nerve. So what if you're tone-deaf—why should that matter?


Featured Performer. Salary: $30,000 

You finally get to have a two-line solo, your first in a major musical. Unfortunately, you get so nervous you come in five beats too early. The orchestra was faultless. You were not.


Understudy to the Lead. Salary: $55,000 

Every night you go out and play your part in the chorus, just hoping to get the chance to have one performance as a lead. You don't wish any harm on the lead...but if he accidentally trips over your dip and ends up with a broken arm, you'll probably reply with the happiest, "I'm so sorry!" that's ever been said.


Top-Billed. Salary: $80,000 

You're so proud of yourself. You kicked, clawed, stepped over, and stomped on the competition. Pat yourself on the back, because you finally get to perform the lead role in a major Broadway production. Of course, your parents still refer to this as your "hobby." They'll just never understand.


Show-Stopper. Salary: $110,000 

At the curtain call, the entire ensemble steps back to salute you. Someone rushes up from the orchestra pit to hand you a bouquet of roses. The entire house rises to its feet in admiration. Why? You just hit your 10,000th performance. We'll stand back and let you take this one.