I found a website where a stand-up comic talks about their travels. I’ve heard that the life of a stand-up is a lot like the life of a wrestler. You travel all the time. You work shit venues. You may or may not get paid. You suck at it when you first start. You’re alone most of the time. A lot of the people who do it are totally fucked up. Drugs, suicide, etc. If you screw up in comedy, you don’t break your neck. So that’s a difference.
I read a lot of this guy’s blog. Maybe he’s just a more successful comedian than I am a wrestler, but it didn’t seem that much the same to me. All his posts have the format of, I went to this city, I stayed at this hotel, I ate at this restaurant, and here’s how the show went. Sounds like his hotel is always paid for and they were usually nice. He ate at real restaurants and went to fancy coffee places. He has a story about getting confused doing the math trying to leave a tip for a $100 bill at a burger place.
On the other hand, if I used his format I would say “Slept in car, ate what I grabbed out of the dumpster at Burger King at closing time.” The only thing that was the same was the shows. He’ll write “I worked in Waterbury for 30 people last night, crowd was shitty”. Now that sounds familiar to me.
At first I couldn’t understand why a comedy show with 30 people at it could have so much more money to throw at the worker than a wrestling show. But I figured out that they don’t. If you have a bar or a theater or whatever and you want to have comedy, all you need is a guy, maybe two, and that’s it. You can cover that one guy’s hotel and pay them $50 burger money.
Even the crappiest wrestling show has at least five matches. That means you have at minimum 10 people to pay. Plus a referee and a couple other people. Maybe a sound guy. So you have the same money as that comedy show being split 15 ways instead of all going to one person. You can pay for one guy to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. 20 guys not so much.
There are some similarities between stand-up and wrestling but one of them not only doesn’t break your bones and scramble you brains, it’s also more lucrative. Too bad I’m not funny.