Love with a Comedian or How Comedy Ruined My Loved Life

Victoria, TX – 2006
In the meet and greet line after the show, an attractive woman walks up to me and whispers, “If I wasn’t married, I’d fuck you.”

Yup. And I was only in my first year of comedy. Sounds like a big compliment, right? Actually there is an unwritten road gig theory on this. It was told to me by a great comic and great friend, so I won’t say his name (unless he reads this and wants credit). I added a little more.

Sex on the Road: When you’re kind of funny, girls will have sex with you. It’s like encouragement sex. “You did a good job.” You’re easier to approach when you’re kind of funny.

When you’re really funny, you’re more intimidating. They’re not sure they can match with whatever idea they have of you in their head. Girls think you’re a player so you actually get offered less. It takes a female with a strong personality to approach you. Or just a crazy one.

When you’re famous… well, you’re famous. Doesn’t matter how funny you are.

Now, this next statement is kind of a footnote to that. There’s comedians that perform to get funnier and there’s comedians that perform to get laid. If you know the little tricks, you can easily see who is who. I perform to get funnier. I have never performed to get laid.

Being a comic, though, is not as cool as it looks or as awesome as some comics would like to pretend it is. To be honest, our fame is comparable to most cover bands. Especially since we play the same venues from time to time.

People don’t risk their lives to go see a cover band. You’ll never hear of an audience so excited that people got trampled on to get in a bar to see “The Who’s Fighter Chili Days”. In fact, cover bands get 1/10 of the recognition the actual band gets. If a cover band has fans, those great people are usually accompanied by friends they had to absolutely convince to come see the show. Those friends think, “You know what, this might be cool. I mean, I was supposed to fold clothes but this sounds more fun.”

Yes. Going to see a cover band / unknown comic is just a bit more fun than folding clothes to the non-fan.

To the outsider / potential girlfriend,lover, etc, it looks like a comedian’s life is more party than hardy. But it’s mostly hardy. Girls usually don’t like seeing other girls approach their man. Well, unlike actual bands but like cover bands, most comedians have a crowd small enough to completely meet after a show. Thanks to the ease of cameras now, everyone wants a picture. Usually it’s a “Arms around the shoulders, cheesy smile” picture. But every now and then, some audience member who wants to keep the silliness going will try to take what they call “wacky picture”. Their definition of wackiness is silly faces or lifting up a leg on the comic, kissing them on the cheek, grabbing their ass etc. Not because they actually want to do anything with us. Mostly because performers are perceived as “night out toys”. We are as much an accessory as the penis straw bachelorette parties love to drink out of. Usually these interactions are less than a minute and you just end up blind from the multiple flashes because people aren’t ever satisfied with one picture.  Side note: Guys are usually satisfied with one picture.

This process is repeated at least twice a night after two full shows. Hopefully you had a chance to eat in between each show or you just end up depleted after the second show and pictures are done. I don’t know how it is for the comics that like to drink but it’s already too tiring for me. I easily get headaches and occasionally migraines.

After meeting what feels like a sea of faces twice a night for at least 4 days out of the week, the human being can be left drained completely of their senses and tolerance. Then add the early flights or long road trips, the entire experience is … you get it. It’s the work part of being a stand up.

Most comics just want to come home, throw everything all over the living room and just sit in a zombie like quiet for a few hours / days. It’s recovery. Our mind is bleh, our voice is ugh, our clothes are hurgh, our time is *heavy sigh*. Taking pictures outside of comedy is a chore.

“But wait, wait, you post up pictures on Instagram and Facebook all the time.”

That’s part of the job. One of our many tasks that we supposedly have to keep up with. Not because we want to but because a comedian’s social media numbers now plays into getting booked. We strive to become one of the “social media influencers”, just so the industry will give us a chance and we can hopefully get a few more dates on the schedule.

Unlike a cover band, we don’t get to skate by on performing a famous star’s material (yes, yes I know about hacks, lets keep that convo for Norms Late Night pancakes). So the off-week isn’t a vacation either. We have to get out of our zombie state and go to clubs or shows. Plus there’s this weird itch every night if you don’t go to a club. It’s annoying but it’s the life we’ve chosen.

What we really want is “peace and quiet”. Just “normal stuff”. You know, being a citizen and getting errands done.

We are also small business owners. Except, we are our business. Like most small business owners, we are constantly thinking about our business. Our baby. It’s what keeps everything paid for. Unlike most small business owners, we have to be the boss, the employee, the product and the other departments as well. We are our own HR, Creative Team, Shipping and so on. You get the point.

“But most comics are lazy.”

Yeah and most comics aren’t working as much as they like. They’re shitty business owners. We know plenty of shitty business owners.

So there’s work persona and there’s life persona. Life persona is pretty boring. From time to time, I like to just be boring.

Which brings me to the number one thing I’ve heard from girls I’ve dated, “I feel like I’m boring around you.” Probably not. You are/were probably the highlight of the week for me. Performers don’t need someone to be exciting. They need someone to relax them. Just be calm. Take the stress away. I personally don’t want to think about upcoming dates outside of my own “office time”. I don’t want to talk about all the shows. Most of the time, “Shows went fine. It was cool”. Shows are just another day at work.

Letting go of my inner voice to lay down and look at you is enough to make my whole week. You look great and I like looking at that. “But I didn’t even get dressed”. I don’t care. Get dressed when you want to and I’ll look at that too.

There can be too much overthinking when you first start dating someone. A lot gets left unsaid. The average person is so afraid to push someone away that we feel faster than we reveal. In the beginning, you want to relate to each other somehow. But this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll relate on everything. In fact, you’ll mostly relate on what you consider absolutely annoying and what you consider pure joy. Everything else in between that is quite a mixed bag.

“Well Nick, this sounds like any basic relationship problems and not specific to comedians.” Ah, yes because comedians are supposed to be more than human. Okay so here’s a specific spotlight problem.

GIRLS WANT TO BE THE PRETTY ONE IN THE RELATIONSHIP!!

When someone is in the spotlight, no matter how they actually look, they are the one in the spotlight. It feels like they are the more desirable one. It feels like they are the more exciting one. You feel like you’re a third wheel to the performer and the audience. Well… you are. But that’s not what we’re thinking. The performer is thinking, “Okay here’s one more part of the job.”

No one wants to feel like people are asking “Why is that guy with that girl?” Especially girls. And some girls want everyone to know, “This is my man!” But that will get exhausting for both sides. Where most girls only have to say that a couple of times throughout the relationship, it’s hard to say that after every show, every weekend. This is our workplace. You don’t need to be at the workplace. You’ll just feel like you’re boring. I’d feel the same way if I hung out with you at your workplace. (Actually, I hate visiting people at their workplace. Especially if they know who I am. And I’m not even famous.)

The biggest concern when dating someone in the spotlight is “Are they going to cheat on me?” Well, anyone can cheat on you. If you date a guy working at Costco, there is just as much of a percentage that he’ll cheat on you. (That percentage being decided by offers and actions.)

With performers, yes, there are more offers. But 80% of them are unreal. It’s like being catcalled. Lets go back to my first example: The Married Lady from Victoria. Even if that lady wasn’t married, you can’t just have sex right when someone brings it up. Especially when you have a line of people waiting to take a picture and have a basic interaction.

Lets remove her marriage from her, use her as an example and take each step. She is now “Single Lady”.

Single Lady: “I want to fuck you”.

Performer: “Great! That sounds pretty cool. Just wait over there while I say goodbye to the rest of the 100+ people waiting in line.”

Single Lady: “Okay, lets take a selfie!”

Now at this point, that’s usually enough. Most people are just as satisfied with selfies as they are with orgasms. Trust me, I’ve seen people’s faces after they take a picture with a famous comic. They are automatically looking at the pic they just took, smiling, reliving the moment and walking forward without looking up. Shit, it might be even better than an orgasm.

Back to the lady waiting at the bar. 30+ minutes later, you walk over to her. She’ll probably have a drink in her hand.

Performer: “Hey, you stuck around.”

Single Lady: “Yeah, that’s cause I want to fuck you.”

Performer: “Oh man, that is so up my alley. I just have to wait to get paid. Has anyone seen the promoter?”

Now, finding the promoter is even harder than finding the g-spot. Because you at least have a general idea where the g-spot is. You can never pin point exactly where the man with your money is.

10 minutes to 2 hours later, you have your money in your pocket. Hopefully the girl is still there. Lets just say she is. There’s two ways this goes down.

Performer: “I finally got my money. What do you want to do?”

Single Lady: “Lets go to your hotel room right now” (This is more rare than the meeting Harrison Ford dressed up as Indiana Jones)

Performer: “Great! I don’t have a car, can we jump in your ride. And I have my suitcase of merchandise. Do you have room for that?”

Single Lady: “Yes.”

Then once you get to your messy hotel room, everything goes down at your usual pace. For someone like me, it’s a lot of talk for hours, I drink coffee, I get exhausted and I never make the first move. The end.

Okay, that doesn’t happen. I did say it could go another route. Here is how it goes down, 98.2% of the time.

Single Lady: “I want to fuck you”.

Performer: “Great! That sounds pretty cool. Just wait over there while I say goodbye to the rest of the 100+ people waiting in line.”

Single Lady: “Okay, lets take a selfie!”

After the selfie.

Single Lady: “So, take my number. I’m going to meet a few friends of mine at this bar downtown. It’s so cool. They have an arcade machine and they play old sitcom theme songs to EDM beats. You can even do karaoke on a mechanical bull. It’ll be so fun.”

Performer: “Wow. Well ok. That sounds fun.”

Single Lady: “Okay, but you better come.” She leaves. Everything else still takes the same amount of time but now you have to keep looking at text messages on your phone. Every comic you performed with asks if you saw that girl and they let you know how much she looks like she’s down.

You finally get your money. You have to convince a comic with a car to take you to this bar downtown. She didn’t give you an address or a name, so you have to wait for her to text the info. (Happens about 50% of the time because she’s probably more wasted by now. She has to get wasted, she might be hooking up with a random stranger tonight who might also be a player because he’s a comedian and they are like rock stars, right?)

You get to the bar and guess what! She’s drunk and she’s with a group of friends. None of them were at the show. They have no clue who you are and they are mostly guys. They are not happy to see you, a stranger, get a hug from the girl they want to hook up with themselves. Tonight seemed like it would happen for them because she came to the bar a little tipsy already and really happy for some reason. Now she feels like she has to entertain you until closing time because you actually drove over. She’s not acting like she wants you. This could be the liquor, this could be the company, this could be that she lost interest. Who knows? But you drove this far so might as well stick around. You apologize to the comic that drove you and offer to buy him food if nothing works out here. “Lets just stay for 20 minutes and see what happens.” It’s never just 20 minutes. **One time I set my alarm for 20 minutes and left as promised.**

Then this can branch off into more possible endings. She could say, “Lets go to my friend’s house. He’s got more to drink there.” She could say, “Lets go get some food. I know this great Korean Taco place.” She could say, “I’m really drunk. You’re really cute. I’m really drunk.” However it works out, it’s more time spent after already performing for 2 shows, taking tons of pictures, meeting lots of people, not eating right, knowing you have to pack, exhaustion from being up early for morning interviews and getting back to your hotel late because the last shows usually wrap up after midnight.

So… hooking up on the road should be renamed a fucking chore. Yes, having a little TV exposure helps with getting more offers but still leads down the same path. It’s work and who wants to work so hard for some random strange. Answer: Lots of comics in their twenties, less so as you get older. I mostly want to hang out with other comedians, especially the ones that I just worked with and talk about the show. That to me is more valuable than any random sex. Plus my friends are always so much more interesting than her friends. Like so much more!!

Being in the spotlight doesn’t make you easier to find. It magnifies everything 10X. So even simple dating is an extreme when you are in the spotlight. Mostly because you are a small business owner that feels like he needs to stay open as much as possible while staying inclusive with all of your personal life.

And we’re only as popular as a cover band.

Lets list out the problems so far with dating as a comic: We are our work. Our work takes up lots of time. Our work looks fun so you think it’s not real work. Our work is exhausting but it’s all mental exhaustion. We often have late nights and early mornings. Our work is usually on the weekends, the days you want to go out and play. Our work is in a spotlight and requires getting to know lots of people. Our work makes us look sexy but only after the show, at the venue. Nowhere else. We’re boring outside of work.  Oh and sometimes married women want to have sex with us and that makes us question loyalty and marriage as a whole. Lets continue…

Finally, the final problem with dating a performer is: You have to still deal with all the basic problems of dating. (Yes, I know the word finally and the semi-colon wasn’t necessary but I like it).

Dating is more magnified than ever. Technology has made this even worse with social media and instant messaging. Everyone has a certain speed when it comes to interactions. Some need it instantly and constantly. I wonder how these personalities dealt with dating in the 70’s. Worse, everything is read through their own filter in their head.

This leads to tons of “What did you mean when you said that?” Miscommunication happens from all angles and is kind of constant now. (Except for the time one of my exes updated this: “Nothing better than fucking all day to stay warm”. I was performing out of town that day. The dude she slept with grabbed her phone and posted that for her. What a gentleman. Thankfully, my sister saw it and let me know about it. [yeah, fucked up, I know])

Whether we like it or not, we’ve all become social media detectives. Mostly because we grew up with the internet and everything had to be done in a “code”. You remember when you didn’t know what A/S/L meant. The internet has made us private investigators with processes that sound like a madman if we ever had to explain them. A relationship is very fragile. Especially in the beginning. Where you could play coy before the internet, today you can find out way more than necessary with a simple Google search.

My business lives on the internet when I’m not onstage. My life is out there in ways I’m going to have to explain if I ever get famous. But fame is hard for a simple cover band. Success is rare for a small business owner. Love is hard enough in regular mode. It’s much harder under the spotlight.

 

 

So just for extra fun, here’s some of the things girls have told me after a show:  “Yeah, I’ve fucked everyone at this bar so I’m hoping to fuck you tonight.”  “Lets all grab his ass ladies!”  “I’ll fuck you to Rob Zombie any day.”  “Oh my god, I want to pick you up and carry you!”  “We look like brother and sister. That’s hot!”

Here’s what I’ve been told by quite a few comics and even their friends as I’m talking to a girl after a show.  They’ll walk right up to me and whisper, “If you don’t fuck her, I’m going to.”  All these guys were unfunnier than me too.  Shame on them.

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