• Paid work

    Posted by on February 15, 2011

    A new comic approached me and another professional comic (meaning one of us doesn’t still work a full time job.) and asked when he could expect paid work.  We both stared at the floor for second and both said “What do you mean by paid?”  For those of you wondering, here’s my experience…  My first paid show was four months into my “career” at a bowling alley in west Columbus.  I brought in 37 people at $7 a head and was paid $40 for 15 minutes of awfulness (that’s a net loss, btw).  It was the greatest moment of my life and yet, possibly the saddest to some.  Over three years later I have traveled to nine states, put 30,000 miles on my car, and not made in enough in any month of comedy to pay my mortgage, electric bill and condo fees.  Only twice have I come close.  Yet, I am considered by some to be on the right path.  I am sleep deprived most of the time, I never know from month to month if have one show or up to twelve per month, and have sat through hecklers, drunks, and general apathy.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything.  Joe DiMaggio said he played hard in case a kid had never seen him before – he never wanted to disappoint.  This is how I feel.  I have to bring my best every time onstage b/c I’m such a nut I don’t want some drunk asshole to say I wasn’t funny after the show.  See you at my first headlining club gig, scumbag.  If you commit this much and you give up, you are the worst joke ever.  There is no runner-up in this biz.  That’s how I do comedy.  How long before you paid, new guy?  That’s up to you.

2 Responses to Paid work

  1. Damon Okey on February 16, 2011 at 7:17 am

    Are you saying you’re the Joe DiMaggio of underpaid comics? Bit narcissistic don’t you think? If you’re the DiMaggio of comedy then I’m the Babe Ruth of weed spraying. Or at least the Jose Canseco of being laid-off.

  2. Rich on February 16, 2011 at 8:30 am

    I agree, Joe DiMaggio was one hell of a ballplayer.