I read a hilarious, although painful article at All About Jazz the other day: Careers in Jazz by Bill Anschell. Have some snippets:

People who want to play jazz actually outnumber those who enjoy or even tolerate it, let alone pay to hear it.

It's hard for me to listen to any type of music without any desire to play it myself. I've wondered whether I'd be into jazz if I weren't a musician. It's tough to imagine, as I'd be nothing like myself without playing music, but I don't think I would. I definitely wouldn't pay for it. Too cheap.

Jazz Class Hierarchy

Chosen Ones
Jazz Educators
Silver Spoons
Gig Whores
Working Spouses
Career Professionals

Each classification is described in nerve-prodding detail. I'm definitely a Career Professional for now.

Jazz career trajectories conform directly to the law of gravitational forces: Any and all movement is downward. One Gig Whore might marry a woman who financially supports but personally belittles him; another, when times get lean, might be forced to take a low-level day job for survival. An Epiphyte, finding his available oxygen supply running low, might compromise his musical ideals by becoming a Gig Whore, or stand on principle and join the Survivalists. A Silver Spoon, tired of playing inaccessible music for audiences of four to eight people, might instead enter the industry, founding a new record label that documents, for eternity, the same inaccessible music.

Eek, I'm only a few steps from the bottom. If I could defy gravity, I'd shoot for a combination of Epiphyte, Jazz Educator, and Gig Whore. Is that even possible?

Although most other musicians consider private instruction the final stop before suicide, society is kinder to these unfortunates, allowing them to hide their indignity behind "the importance of arts education," "passing knowledge from generation to generation," and "keeping youth off the streets."

That's why I do it. Won't somebody please think of the children?