One of the worst things for a standup is the dreaded off-night on the road. Not only are you not making money the night you are not working, but you have to pay for a hotel room, on top of it.
The first option to cut costs is to split the room with the comic you are working with that week. Unless this person is a great friend, I’m just not down with that. I want my privacy and I have stayed in a couple rooms where the guy in the bed next to me was snoring like Papa Berenstein. You see, this kind of snoring makes it really difficult for me to concentrate on my masturbation.*
*Benefit though is it does give me a good place to aim my money shot.
So the next option is to look for a cheap hotel. What I do is name my own price at Priceline.com, as I have reached a point in my life where I like to stay in a nicer hotel. Usually this will cost me 10-15 dollars more than staying at the Motel 6. Totally worth it to me. If you are willing to risk it, wait until right before you stay and see what Priceline has available, as I got a Fairfield Inn outside of Atlanta last week for 28 bucks. (41 with fees and tax)
Sometimes an option can be crashing at a friends. I’ve reached the point where I’m not down with this, as I don’t want to sleep on someone’s couch. I know how disgusting most comics are. So I’m not about to rest my head at someplace that would set-off a blacklight like it was the Vegas Strip.
I broke my standard rule this past week for a few reasons that I outline here.
So why did I decide this time to stay with my friend, Nathan Timmel versus getting a hotel?
- I’ve known him for a long-time and we have a comfortable short-hand around each other, so it’s not awkward.
- I ended up saving 30 bucks by staying with Nate and his family, which I appreciated. I told him I would take him up on his generous offer as long as I could buy he and his lovely wife dinner. Note: Comics that are crashing on someone’s couch. Don’t be a bad guest. Buy them a pizza or some beer or something. A little effort buys some goodwill.
- Despite these things above, the 2nd most important element to me choosing to go this route was that he has a nice place. Sorry, but I’m not some 20 something punk band member touring in a van. I’m past the point where I will stay at some fleabag motel or apartment. Nathan has a great house, which I’m down with. He has a wife who makes sure of that.
- And now to the most important part. He has a new baby girl and I wanted to meet her and see how it has changed his dark, cynical charm. I’m glad to report he is still the judgmental bastard that his friends have always known, but when he is around her he becomes this sweet, gentle soul that I’m not even sure he even knew existed. It looks good on him.
The next day I grabbed some toast, so the continental breakfast was good at the Timmel’s. We talked the comedy biz for awhile and then I left to do some media stuff I had scheduled.
I live a nice life in a nice house, with a nice wife, with sometimes nice kids. To live this life I have to be one frugal motherfucker. I get free hotels with my gigs almost every night, so something about paying 100 bucks for a Holiday Inn Express kills me. That is why I refuse to pay much more than half of that on an off-night. Tax deduction or not, I’m always focused on the bottom line. Comedians live a strange life, so it’s good to have some normalcy in your life.