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His backup plan is a change of scenery

Brett Shannon has been painting sets in Hollywood for 26 years, most recently for on such TV shows such as "Cold Case," "Pushing Daisies" and "Without a Trace." He has been able to make good money, earning $100,000 or more a year.

Recently, though, the Huntington Beach resident took steps to apply for a contractor's license, concerned that the TV work would dry up and he wouldn't be able to pay his ex-wife the $3,200 a month in required for spousal and child support. "If they go on strike and we get locked out, I could lose everything," said Shannon, 45.

Despite the slowdown in construction, he's hoping he can line up enough painting jobs to tide him over should a strike happen. "All I can do is keep my fingers crossed," Shannon said. "I've got to work somewhere."

--Richard Verrier

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