Sorry Fred, my experiences just don't add up to yours. I'm very sorry for you for that. I've been blessed to be able to 'get paid for my hobby'. I volunteered my time and talents out as much as I've asked them to be volunteered to me. As a result, many people I've touched with my generosity, and vice versa, are also happily and/or successfully working or taking part in their ongoing projects.
Everyone's gotta start somewhere. I used to go to the same university program as Spike Lee. EVERYone worked for free on his films back then, from the actors to the grips. Some of those people are on his payroll now, or are out quite successfully working in the industry because of the resume/reel they were able to build up.
Let us not forget what Paul Laurence Dunbar wrote, "What happens to a dream deferred? It dries up, like a raisin in the sun."
Pret, keep going. Keep it honest. Give as much as you receive, if not more. Credit everyone properly and often. Put out a solid product all involved can be proud of. Karma will grant you blessings.