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Rezo Bragin
Rezo Bragin

The Last Hard MenHD LINK

Being your own boss has proved time and time again to benefit ODs who carve their own paths. While only 42% of respondents identified as self-employed, these ODs made an average of $215,634 in 2022, 52% greater than those who are employed but only made $141,635 on average. This gap closed by 28% over the last year, with self-employed workers earning 14% less and employed workers earning 2% more.

The Last Hard MenHD

Following the trend of the last several years, working as an independent contractor was the least profitable self-employment route, with ODs reporting an average of $99,722 in 2022, down 56% from 2021.

Men with zero to 10 years of experience in the field reported an average income of $185,249 in 2022, 40% more than female entry-level workers who made an average of $132,278 in the same year. The gap increased by 16% over the last year, with men in this experience bracket making 3% more than 2021 and women, 8% less for a widening of the divide.

Men with 21 to 30 years of experience practicing optometry claimed an average take-home of $240,675 in 2022, 25% more than their counterparts made in 2021 and 78% more this year than their female colleagues in the same experience level, widening the gap by 46%. Females in this category reported an average income of $134,891, down 8% over the course of the last year.

While not as prosperous a year for optometry as last, the majority of ODs seem to be taking a glass half full approach, with 61% reporting feeling satisfied or very satisfied with their income in 2022 (down from 70% in 2021). They claimed this was due in part to increased patient volume, product sales, professional fees, work hours and office staff.

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Playhouse documents do not offer quantitative data onChettle's work habits until Henslowe begins late in 1597 to enterpayments in his book of accounts for plays and apparel. Contrary toRutter's claim, the entries show that Chettle was a reliable playwright.For example, in the months from March through August 1598, Chettle was a teammember on ten scripts, for eight of which the Admiral's Men paid in fulland presumably subsequently staged: "Famous Wars of Henry I and thePrince of Wales," two parts of "Earl Godwin and his Sons," twoparts of "Black Bateman of the North," "The Funeral of RichardCoeur de Lion," "Hot Anger Soon Cold," and "ChanceMedley" (part one of an eleventh play, "The Conquest ofBrute," was begun in August 1598 but not paid in full until October).(6) These projects appear to be normal financial transactions between thecompany and playwrights. An apparent exception is "The Funeral ofRichard Coeur de Lion," in that the final payments double as anaccounting of loans. Henslowe, having recorded seven payments totaling 105sin earnest for the script over a twelve-day period (June 13-24), completedpayment for the play by paying Chettle 10s and Robert Wilson 20s (for a totalof 135s). To the Chettle payment, Henslowe added that "all his parte ofboockes to this place are payde wch weare dew vnto hime [is payd] & heReastes be syddes in my Deatte the some of xxxs" (HD, 91). To the Wilsonpayment, Henslowe added "& so mrwillson Reasteth in my deateal&einge pay de" interlining "[xxvs] [pd xs Rest to payexs]" (HD, 92). I discuss loan payments in more detail below, but theimportant point here is that the loans to Chettle and Wilson (which areco-mingled with payments to both men in full for their share in the script)apparently did not impede the completion of the play or threaten continuedemployment. (7) Two plays by Chettle and a team of playwrights did notreceive 120s (considered the norm for payment in full): "Pierce ofExton" and "Catiline." There is no way to know from extantrecords whether either play reached the stage, but Chettle alone cannot beblamed if the projects were abandoned. The other team members--Thomas Dekker,Michael Drayton, and Robert Wilson for "Pierce of Exton"; Wilsonfor "Catiline"--might also have been responsible for the outcome.In this same six-month period, Chettle worked solo on two projects: "AWoman's Tragedy" and "Vayvode." Of these,"Vayvode" was completed. The company made four payments for appareland divers things even before Chettle was paid 20s; furthermore, EdwardAlleyn sold the script to the company for 40s in January 1599. The case of"A Woman's Tragedy" is unclear. In the one diary entry for theplay, Chettle was paid a substantial initial fee of 100s, but Henslowespecified that Chettle was "eather to dd [deliver] the playe or els topaye the mony wth in one forthnyght" (HD, 93). No following recordprovides a resolution; even so, scholars including Chambers (2.163) andJenkins (23) assumed the play was not completed. But it is at least possiblethat Chettle forfeited the remaining balance as payment on his debt (see"Loans," below).

Chettle's work ethic is also evident in the pace at which heturned out copy and the sheer volume of his production. During the summer of1598, Chettle worked on nine projects, six of which were collaborations andpaid for in full: "2 Earl Godwin," "The Funeral of RichardCoeur de Lion," "2 Black Bateman," "Brute,""Hot Anger Soon Cold," and "Chance Medley." He alonereceived payments for "A Woman's Tragedy,""Catiline," and "Vayvode." These perhaps were notfinished at that time, but apparel and "diuers thinges" were boughtfor "Vayvode" in August (HD, 97). There are months inHenslowe's records when Chettle does not appear: December 1598, June1599, January 1600, April 1602, and April 1603. He is also absent for nearlya year (from June 19, 1600 to March 31, 1601). (9) However, Henslowe'srecords from June 1600 to December 1600 are themselves spotty. (10) A littlemore than a year after he returned to employment by the Admiral's Men,Chettle was writing also for Worcester's Men, who were at the Rose nowthat the Admiral's Men had moved into their new Fortune playhouse. Assoon as Worcester's took up residence, he began write for them. Hereceived 30s plus some part of 3 [pounds sterling] 6s for a project Henslowecalled "Chettle's tragedy." (11) He also completed "LadyJane" in October with Dekker, Heywood, Smith, and Webster;"Christmas Comes but Once a Year" with Heywood, Webster, andDekker; an unnamed play with Hey wood; and "Shore's Wife" withJohn Day. Meanwhile, for the Admiral's Men, he was completing"Felmelanco" in September and the two-part "LondonFlorentine" December through March.

These loans--which show Chettle pawning copies of his scripts,getting arrested, and going to prison--offer scholars fodder for disparaginghis character further. What has not been taken into account is the monetaryenvironment in which these loans were made. Cerasano argues that the"early playhouses were not only experiments in architecture, they wereexperiments in finance" ("Economics," 19). Henslowe was thecenter of a family business that "was more than a household unit"(Grassby 414). He was financier-inchief of a "series of partnershipswith both outsiders and kin" (414). Entries in the diary show Hensloweloaning money to his nephew, Francis, to become a shareholder in theQueen's Men in 1593 and 1595 (HD, 7, 9); he continued to assist hisnephew in a 1597 loan on a house (HD, 120). There are in addition loans toEdmond Henslowe, his elder brother, to purchase property in 1593 (HD, 76),and to the family in conjunction with Edmond's death (HD, 77, 78, 79).Henslowe gave loans to numerous players and playwrights. Chambers listed tenplaywrights including Chettle, all of whom were at one time his collaboratorsexcept for Anthony Wadeson (in so far as is known); Chambers listedtwenty-four players, most of whom would have performed in Chettle'splays (1.363 n3). Even more compelling as evidence of Henslowe as banker arehis loans to men of distinction. These include his attorney, Richard Fuller,who borrowed 20s on August 24, 1594 (HD, 79); fellow Grooms of the Chamber,including Thomas Chaloner (i.e., HD, 43), Valentine Harris (i.e., HD, 61),Roger Evans (i.e., HD, 45), and John Palmer (i.e., HD, 65). One ofHenslowe's distinguished clients was Arthur Langworth, who not onlyborrowed money frequently but signed for large sums such as the 206 [poundssterling] note on December 7, 1594 (HD, 171-2). Chettle was therefore notunusual as a member of the Henslowe family business networks. (16) His serialdebts detail the strategies of a man living (in modern parlance) paycheck topaycheck. (17) He was using the means at hand: perhaps taking less than fullpayment for his work, borrowing for emergencies such as arrest for debt,pawning (and redeeming from pawn) as his cash flow required. On the whole,these strategies seem to have been successful: the loans bundled through thepurchase of scripts disappear in 1600. Personal loans continued, but theiramounts were comparatively insignificant.

Chettle obviously worked well with others, as Henslowe'sentries confirm. In addition to those playwrights named above (many of whomhe collaborated with more than once), Chettle wrote with Henry Porter, JohnDay, Wentworth Smith, Richard Hathway, Thomas Heywood, John Webster, and aman named Robinson. Also obvious is that Chettle worked on some of thebiggest productions mounted by the Admiral's Men. An example is"Seven Wise Masters," for which the company paid Chettle, Dekker,Haughton, and Day 120s in March 1600. Several features of "Seven WiseMasters" suggest that the company expected it to be a blockbuster. Oneis timing: it was commissioned in the spring of 1600 when the Admiral'sMen were competing full bore with the Chamberlain's Men newly situatedacross Maid Lane from the Rose; also, they were building the Fortuneplayhouse and thus anticipating a repertory of strong offerings for the fall.Another is cost. The Admiral's Men spent 38 [pounds sterling] for satinsand taffetas and other things for "Seven Wise Masters," in additionto the 120s for the script. This outlay makes clear that the company put itstrust in the playwrights to craft a show that would reward their investment.A second example of blockbusters is "Cardinal Wolsey," which theAdmiral's Men commissioned Chettle exclusively to write in June 1601 inanticipation of a second fall season at the Fortune. The company investedmore than 38 [pounds sterling] for cloth, doctors' gowns, and diversthings for the play. Significantly, Chettle was getting loans throughoutJune, and in July he redeemed a script from pawn. Even so, on August 24, thecompany commissioned him to write a prequel, "The Rising of CardinalWolsey," with Munday, Drayton, and Smith. If the Admiral's Men hadfinally tired of Chettle's behavior, mid-June 1601 would have been agood time to let him go, or not rehire him, because he had been absent fromtheir employ most of the previous twelve months (June 1600 to March 1601).Instead, on March 25, 1602, they signed a 3 [pounds sterling] bond with himto write for them. By August 1602, he was writing also Worcester's Men(now at the Rose) for whom he worked on five projects. One of hiscollaborators in 1602-3 in both companies was Thomas Hey wood, who was asharer in Worcester's Men. In my opinion, Chettle's continuedemployment, plus his collaboration with the most successful commercialplaywrights working for the Admiral's Men and Worcester's Men, isample evidence of his value as a professional. 041b061a72


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