Comedy is a tough beast. It’s even tougher when you are in a relationship. I know comedians that have been with their spouse for decades and I know comedians that are on spouse three or four. This article will discuss ways to at least attempt to have a successful relationship. I am not a marriage counselor so if you and your love are having issues, please seek one out. I am just a guy that has seen and been through stuff.
I think it is important to sit your significant other down and have a discussion. Let them know what to expect. If you are a person that isn’t pursuing comedy that hard, then just let them know that it is a hobby of yours and you will be out on certain days. If this is your dream and you are chasing it hard, you have to set them up for a lot of stuff. It’s important to let them know what comedy entails. We as comedians, just assume that everyone knows what we do. They don’t. A lot of the time, laymen assume we walk on stage and just produce these organic dick jokes. This is why you have to approach your mate, and tell them the truth, those dick jokes take a lot of writing and performing. That means late nights at comedy clubs and bars. It seems like a no brainier, but I can tell you of many instances where comedians were surprised that their lover didn’t know what dating a comedian meant. If you are actually performing and making money, you have to let them know that the pay is low and the travel is aplenty (at least over on the west side of the country). What this does is prime them. They can then make the decision to continue a relationship with you if it means that you may not be around a lot.
Another big thing, I feel, is letting them know comedy show etiquette. I have seen comedians come in with their spouse and they will raid the green room of all the consumables. You have to be the one to tell them how to act (not everyone was raised right). You should tell them that just because you are on stage or on the show, that they should not be causing a disruption to the show. That free booze for you, the comedian, does not usually extend to free booze for your significant other as well. I haven’t had an issue with this. I have had an issue where my girlfriend at the time thought it was weird that I was in the green room before the show instead of chilling out in the audience with her. What I did, was I sat her down, and told her that it may seem like I am making things up as I go, but I have actually plotted the course for the show (sometimes, I never said I was a great comedian), and I need the time to gather these thoughts. See to your love one, it may be a night out, but to you it is your job. Letting them know how you work before a show also keeps them from thinking that you get weird whenever you are about to perform. Some comedians can just hang out right until they have to get up on stage. Some need to be in a pit and raised by a series of ropes and pulleys unto the stage. Whatever it is let them know.
I travel a lot as a comedian, and I think a lot of people can not handle this aspect of comedy life. You have to know if your mate is fine with being alone a lot of weekends out of the year. Social media also gets in the way a lot as well. If they can not handle you having your photo taken with a bunch of random people then you may need to go your separate ways. I was dating one young lady that assumed I was just a party animal. I am not, but if people pay to see you sling dick jokes, you better at least appreciate them. So, when she saw a photo of me and some lady smiling, she assumed it was something nefarious when all it was was someone who gave me 10 bucks for a CD that they were probably never going to play.
Comedians are weird creatures. We have a weird sense of humor and we tend to analyze a lot. That is our make up. If your significant other can’t handle these things, then it may be best for you two to call it. I have told every lady I have been in a relationship with since starting comedy, that this is my first love. I love writing and performing and since I do it to pay the bills, they have to understand that I will not cancel a show because it is on a Saturday and we were going to go to the beach, or because it’s your grandparent’s anniversary. If you are going to treat it like a job then that means you may not be there for everything. Being open and clear is the best way to have a happy, healthy relationship…I should have just written that instead of all this.