Hollywood's Jobless: From Heady to Hell

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Hollywood is a company town hit hard by unemployment, reports therapist Susan Winston in The New York Times. For at least 12 percent of its work force, life has gone from heady to hell. The declining number of jobs that are still available go to the young, who will work for peanuts just to be in the industry.

Hollywood has gone the way of so many glamor fields. And a bottom hasn't been reached, not yet. Digital technology is making it possible for amateurs to create good-enough products and services that sell for little or nothing. In addition to Hollywood, this replacement of professionals by "digital" barbarians at the gate is happening in old-line journalism, law, public relations, and marketing.

Right now, too many of the once high-paid artists are still reeling from the displacement, unable to envision and execute a plan for The Next. All they have known is the good life. Normal is a long way from where they have lived professionally.

Although these former Hollywood players may be stuck, their bill collectors aren't. As a result, some are living on the posh streets of communities like Santa Monica in their cars. Without health insurance, they have to get on the waiting list at the free clinic for any kind of therapy.

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