When actor Conrad Cantzen died in 1945, he left $226,608.34 in a special fund to enable performers to buy new shoes each year.
“I leave the Conrad Cantzen Shoe Fund for the people who can’t buy shoes, even if they are not paid-up members of Equity,” his will read. “Many times I have been on my uppers, and the thinner the soles of my shoes were, the less courage I had to face the managers in looking for a job.”
Remarkably, the fund is still running. If you work in entertainment, are currently unemployed, belong to a performing arts union, and haven’t already applied in the past year, the Actors Fund will reimburse you up to $40 toward a pair of shoes costing no more than $100. Details are here.