According to an article on Bloomberg's website, the average stage hand at the New York institution made an average of $430,543 last year. Yes, that's right. $400K. Dennis O'Connell, who oversees the props made $530,044, the most of anyone on the five-man crew that oversees the on-stage operations. You should have spent more time hanging out with the theater nerds.
Clive Gillinson, the artistic and executive director of the three Carnegie stages in Midtown, makes about twice that $946,581. The only people who aren't raking it in are the musicians and singers, who usually pull down $20,000 a night after years and years of training. So, yes, we're happy for the people who make a nice fat check for what is essentially manual labor.
But you could hire a dozen unemployed journalists for the money they're spending on stage hands. Which is a good thing, because that's about as many keyboard-punchers you'd need to lift as much as one stage hand. How did this happen? Bloomberg attributes it to a strong union, the Local One of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. Would they be interested in taking over the Freelancers Guild?