When you look at comedy as a career there are many ways you can go about it. You can be just a writer and write stuff for people or if you are lucky get to write for a show. You can be strictly corporate. Just doing shows for businesses and the like. They pay well, but you need to have a really clean joke set if you plan to do that. This post whoever will talk about the most plentiful of comics, the road comic.
A road comic is normally someone who travels for most of their comedy work. These are the guys that will drive from Washington state to North Dakota and work their way back. This is the most plentiful because there are just more spots that will do one nighters (places that put on one comedy show in a given time period) than there are just comedy clubs that will do the traditional weekend set of shows. Another reason there are a lot of comics doing this is that this is where a lot start and where a lot can make good money. If you are getting a room as well as paid, headliners can make decent money out on the road. I know many comics who feed themselves and their families like this.
It sounds pretty nice, right? You get to travel around doing what you love and potentially get a blow job out of it. It isn’t always blowjobs and lollipops. First, there is a lot of driving. Unless you are getting paid really well, you will most likely be driving. The furthest I have driven for a show was about 12 hours. That is a long time to be sitting in a car watching the scenery go by. It can be even worst in the winter if you are in the Northwest. Travel through the passes is a risk you take being a road comic.
Then there are the actual shows. A lot of them are in bars, and not nice bars, but bars in small towns littered around the country looking for some cheap entertainment. Unless you get a bar that doesn’t care about what they do and throw you on a plank near the jukebox right before they turn off the football game. You may get a room where everyone is there to see comedy and sometimes you will get a place and no one is there to see you do comedy. Those rooms will suck your soul.
Then there is the pay. If you headline and have a good lineup of shows you can actually make enough money to pay things like your rent and your phone bill. If you are a feature act (someone usually assigned to go up before the headliner) then you may barely make it home. Other comics may tell you otherwise, but I have never gotten a bj while in these towns. I have spent many a night sitting in my hotel room playing word or warcraft.
If you want to be a road comic I have a list of things you will need right here. This may not apply to everyone, but I have found these invaluable when on the road
– Smartphone: I don’t know how many times this has saved my butt. From directions to the emails from the booker. My iphone is my copilot.
– Credit card: for those times when you need gas in a small town and the gas station isn’t open
– Laptop: This is mainly for entertainment purposes. I have saved a lot of money by staying in my room instead of going out and spending money
– Ethernet cable: I know it is 2012, but there are still places out there that do not have wifi in the hotel, or their wifi is a too far away from your room. Trust me. You don’t want to be in your room with nothing to do.
– Extra underwear: Have you ever been in a car non stop for 5 hours? If you have you know why you need extra underwear.
– Condoms: Just in case you meet a lady in the world that is turned on by a comic telling jokes in her local watering hole.