Working The Road

The following is from an article I wrote for a newspaper in Kelowna to promote an upcoming show.

Working The Road

If you want to be a professional comedian, working the road is an essential part of developing your skills and earning your living. Driving long distances across the Canadian landscape to sling your jokes in different cities and towns is a rite of passage and one of the fastest ways to cut your teeth as a newer comic. Road work will put you in situations where you’re forced to either adapt or get your ass kicked, both literally and figuratively. Maybe you start talking to a woman in the audience and flirtatiously tease her because you know it will be an easy laugh. It works, but now her ex-boyfriend across the room is giving you the evil eye. He’s on his fifth pint of PBR and just lost his job because the local plant closed down so he’s got nothing to lose and you’re in a town where fighting is a recreational pastime. In that moment you will be forced to rise to the challenge and make that angry ex laugh like your life depended on it because it very well may. If not your life then at least your pretty face. However the road will make you realize that the biggest enemy you face isn’t drunken strangers looking to pound a soft city kid. The real enemy you will have to confront is yourself when you go from having one of the best sets of your life and basking in the adoration and applause of your newfound fans then back to your hotel room where it’s just you, alone, with your own thoughts. You will do many things to combat this emotional whiplash; all of them sordid and few of them legal. But in the end that’s why you got into this business in the first place. To live a life on the edges of polite society. Being both an impartial observer and active participant in a world that is as nonsensical as it is hilarious. And as you drive off to the next town with cold hard cash in your hand that you earned for telling jokes, something you did for free for years at open mics and empty bars in your hometown, you’ll realize you’re living the dream.