[Editor's Note: Up-and-comer comedian/actor Alex Falcone—who you've seen perform with Action/Adventure theater, as well in the live talk show Late Night Action w/ Alex Falcone—will be furnishing semi-regular updates from the road to give us an inside peek at the real life of a struggling comic. Want more Alex? Check out his website and his podcast Read It and Weep—a funny show about bad books, movies, and TV.]


Sunday, June 17th - Tacoma, WA

If I had my druthers, weekends would go Friday - Thursday - Sunday - Saturday. Thursday and Sunday are the smallest, most uptight crowds of the week at most clubs, and I don't like that the first and last impression a club has is of me working my ass off for just a couple laughs.

To make things more challenging, the Sunday show in Tacoma is PG-13 which means the show is definitely going to suck.

There's this thing comics say. "What's the difference between a dirty joke and a clean one? One's funny."

That's an exaggeration, but only kinda. The real issue is that a comedy show that's advertised as being PG-13 is going to attract a special audience, one that is self-selecting as "easily offended." It's tough to amuse that group.

I don't have 30 clean minutes and 30 dirty ones that I can just switch out based on the show. I have a Best 30 that I can clean up enough, so mostly my set was exactly the same, but with the best punchlines missing.

It was like listening to rap on the radio. "Rack city, chicks, rack rack city chicks." "I got my neighbors in Paris and they goin gorillas." I'm constantly replacing words with lesser words. It might seem even keel to the viewer, but internally, it's a mess. The whole show I'm in my head running through my jokes like they're mad libs. "Then this [derogatory word for a female] says to me I would never [word for fornicate] with you."

Add to this nobody has any idea what PG-13 actually means, adding to the confusion in my little brain. "Oops, I just said bitch. I didn't mean to, it just came out. They reacted fine. Have I ever seen a PG-13 movie that said bitch? I can't remember. Can I do it again or is this cumulative? The only PG-13 movie I can think of is Titanic and Kate Winslet showed her nipple in that movie. Did anybody call her a bitch? Do I need to show a nipple in any of my jokes? What am I even talking about?"

It's exhausting. Apparently it went fine since even the family with kids told me they liked it. And I got invited back, so I didn't offend the club owner's sensibilities. And as far as I can remember, I didn't show nipples.

Monday, June 18th - Portland, OR

I'm back home for a weekend at Helium and then a week and a half vacation. In order to keep my fiancee from figuring out I was proposing to her on a vacation we were taking a month back, I booked a second vacation and tried to convince her it was the more romantic of the two. To make the charade believable, I actually booked the trip and now it feels like a free bonus vacation.

Since I'm back, let's run the numbers.

For six shows I was paid $300. I made another $122 selling stickers. (The sticker thing blew my mind. That's more than a 40% raise.) The bad news is my car rental, gas, and food added up to $250, cutting my weekend profit to $172. It would be cheaper if I owned a car and didn't need to rent one, but the rest of my life would be way more expensive.

Another interesting number (to me but likely not to anybody else) is this: I performed for about 500 people all weekend. From that, I got 12 new Facebook/Twitter followers. That's a paltry 2.5%. Obviously I'm not doing comedy for the chance to make $172/week. I'm doing it to try and plug the hug-hole my parents left with online "Like"s. And I think that hole needs at least 10% to feel full.