I think if anyone needs to make real money from gigs then I think there are about three possible pathways: 1) Become an amazing classical musician and land a gig with an orchestra. My clarinet teacher told me about a sax player friend of his that got tired of the jazz life and so buckled down and woodshedded on bassoon until he got good enough to land a seat in a major orchestra. My clarinet teacher also made a great living as a multi-woodwind player who had his union card, graduated from Peabody Conservatory, and could play anything from classical to jazz. He would get pit gigs for Broadway shows, be asked to fill in on big orchestra gigs for TV specials or whatever, and also made a solid living teaching students like me. 2) Be good enough to play with national caliber acts, preferably as the actual star, but get by financially (maybe) as a side man. 3) Create/join a band that is specifically created and designed to target the corporate/wedding band market. This typically means a very professional package both in reality and on the Internet, pretty massive song lists that can cover almost anything and do it well, and very high level musicianship. I have an in-law that makes his living this way and a few months ago we got together and he told me all about it. It seemed like a hell of a lot of work for a very modest but viable living, but he likes it so there you go. Maybe there's a 4th pathway?-- Play in a really good Christian rock band and go on that circuit?