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The harsh reality of making it in Hollywood

Four actors on why they're striking and the struggle to maintain a middle-class living in today's Hollywood.
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Los Angeles Times
Today's Headlines
Click to view images Screen Actors Guild member Bella Cruz, who has been acting since she was 5, recently became a strike captain. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

By Elvia Limรณn, Kevinisha Walker

Hello, it's Wednesday, Aug. 9, and here are the stories you shouldn't miss today:

TOP STORIES

Actors on the picket line reveal the harsh reality of trying to make it in Hollywood. While stars may give Hollywood its glitter, it is the wider acting ecosystem around them that keeps the business running, from character actors whose faces may be familiar even if their names are not, to unknown day players, stand-ins and background performers.

And while the most well-known actors live in multimillion-dollar houses in Malibu and Bel-Air, for that far larger group of non-famous — or at least not-yet-famous — ones, it has become harder than ever in the streaming era to make it into the middle class, let alone stay there. That's especially true in a city as expensive as Los Angeles.

Tory Lanez is sentenced to 10 years in prison in the shooting of Megan Thee Stallion. Canadian hip-hop artist Tory Lanez was sentenced to 10 years in prison Tuesday for shooting Megan Thee Stallion after an alcohol-fueled argument in the Hollywood Hills in 2020.

Lanez, whose legal name is Daystar Peterson, was convicted of assault with a firearm, illegal possession of a firearm and negligent discharge of a gun last December after a dramatic trial that featured tearful testimony from Megan Thee Stallion and a key witness requesting immunity shortly before stonewalling prosecutors on the stand.

'More work for less money': Protests at LAX and City Hall as thousands walk off the job. Thousands of Los Angeles city workers hit the picket lines Tuesday for a massive one-day strike after union leaders accused the city of unfair labor practices, which Mayor Karen Bass and other officials denied.

Service Employees International Union Local 721, which represents 7,000 city workers, began the strike at 12:01 a.m. — the first major walkout by Los Angeles city government workers in decades.

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PHOTO OF THE DAY

Los Angeles city workers gather at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles.
Los Angeles city workers, who were staging a one-day walkout, gather at City Hall in downtown Los Angeles. See more photos here. (Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

CALIFORNIA

Kesha, Dr. Luke and the night they never escaped. A night at a West Hollywood hotel in 2005 looms behind Kesha and Dr. Luke's spectacular musical successes. When she accused him of rape, their careers were swallowed up by scandal. Now their long-raging legal battle has come to an end.

The University of California admits a record number of California first-year students for fall 2023, led by Latinos. UC admitted a record number of California first-year students for fall 2023, led by Latinos and an increase in Native Americans who helped make up the largest ever group of underrepresented students offered admission.

Remnants of Tropical Storm Eugene to bring isolated showers and humidity to Southern California. The cloud system is forecast to bring "typical tropical conditions" to the region that will linger at least until Thursday.

California has made voting easier, but regular voters still skew white and old, a poll finds. California has made a major effort to make voting easier. Those who don't vote regularly say they lack information or aren't interested in the candidates.

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NATION-WORLD

Supreme Court revives federal rules against 'ghost guns.' Police in California say ghost guns have been surging in number and put lethal weapons in the hands of criminals and teenagers who cannot legally buy a gun from a licensed dealer.

A Los Angeles mom sues Southwest after a flight attendant accused her of trafficking her daughter. Mary MacCarthy alleges in the lawsuit that an attendant made "a racist assumption" about her and her daughter, Moira, and never bothered to speak to the pair.

HOLLYWOOD AND THE ARTS

The King's last hurrah: Elvis Presley's 'Aloha From Hawaii via Satellite' turns 50. While not as heralded as the 1968 NBC show known as "The '68 Comeback Special," "Aloha" stands as the last recorded live performance of Presley at the peak of his powers before the downward spiral that ended with his death on Aug. 16, 1977.

DJ Casper, the Chicago hype man behind the 'Cha Cha Slide' phenomenon, has died at 58. Casper died Monday after a seven-year battle with cancer, his wife, Kim, confirmed to WLS-TV in Chicago.

Buying Taylor Swift tickets at the last minute? Make sure they're real. The most common piece of advice: Don't buy a ticket directly from an individual whom you don't know. It's far safer to buy from a reseller such as StubHub, which offers protection against scammy sellers.

BUSINESS

Remote work gave them a reprieve from racism. They don't want to go back. Throughout the pandemic, survey after survey showed what some workers of color have known for years: Workplace politics and discrimination can make the office an undesirable place to be.

$30 water bottles. $20 for paper. The sticker shock is real this school shopping season. At Target and Walmart stores over the weekend, children and their parents perused the aisles for their back-to-school essentials, such as pencils and glue sticks. For some, excitement quickly turned into negotiation.

Marvel Studios VFX workers move to unionize amid Hollywood labor unrest. Crew members at the Walt Disney Co.-owned superhero film and TV studio have filed for a union election, marking the first move of its kind for the visual effects industry.

SPORTS

These L.A. running clubs have Latinx founders. Boyle Heights Bridge Runners are OGs in the Latinx running scene. What started with just six runners grew into a club with more than 30 members. They are celebrating their 10-year anniversary this month.

Column: Lakers just handed the franchise to Anthony Davis, and the future feels fragile. "Hold your breath. Cover your eyes. Cross your fingers," writes Bill Plaschke. "They just handed the franchise to a guy who often has been too brittle to hold it. They just tied their future to an anchor that has been known to drift. They just ensured that the face of their team is going to be … a wince?"

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OPINION

Video of Montgomery racial brawl shows it's not enough to be 'not racist.' "The reason we continue to be reminded about our past isn't that the media keep bringing it up," LZ Granderson writes. "No, we're still here because of 'Not Racist White People.'"

'Barbie' is a billion-dollar milestone for women in Hollywood. Although Greta Gerwig was already successful, having directed "Little Women" and "Lady Bird," this milestone puts her at the top in the hierarchy of Hollywood — a credit to her talent and a wake-up call to studios that diversity of talent is good not just for publicity but also the bottom line.

ONLY IN SOCAL

A woman riding a wave on a pink, white and blue surf board
Where to catch a wave this summer in SoCal, for every kind of surfer. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Whether you've got the latest surfboard prototype or a $100 soft top, get your fix at SoCal surf spots. Newbies beware: Surfers are hungry for waves after a wet spring.

Here's where to catch a wave this summer in SoCal, for every kind of surfer.

FROM THE ARCHIVES

Newspaper clipping from Aug. 10, 1969, detailing the Manson "family" murders
On Aug. 9, 1969, film star Sharon Tate, another woman and three men were found slain in what police said resembled a ritualistic mass murder. (Los Angeles Times)

On Aug, 9, 1969, American actress Sharon Tate and four others were murdered by followers of Charles Manson, leader of a communal religious cult known as the "Family."

The victims were shot, stabbed or throttled, and their bodies were scattered around a Benedict Canyon estate. On the front door of the home, written in blood, was one word: "Pig."

The Times' coverage of the "ritualistic slayings" was featured on the front page of the newspaper.

We appreciate that you took the time to read Today's Headlines! Comments or ideas? Feel free to drop us a note at headlines@latimes.com.

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