[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 follow him on that Twitter contraption (@alex_falcone).]

Episode 19: Bad Decisions

Friday, August 10 - Stupid Early in the Morning - United Flight #793
I already travel kindof a lot. Maybe not a lot, a lot, but enough that I should know to pack underwear. And enough to know that if the flight leaves at 7am, the 6:05 MAX won't get me to the airport in time. Even if it seemed like it would last night when I was setting my alarm.

It's that classic math problem: Two trains leave Portland at the same time. One gets Alex to the airport too late to catch his flight. The other is faster but it's not actually a train, it's a cab, and it costs 20 times as much. Is it financially feasible for Alex to be a comedian?

The answer is: not really. I'm getting $300 for this weekend and my flight to Tucson cost $290. Even after my sticker money, I'm making about $80 in profit for four shows and my stupid MAX math cost me half of that. Minus $10 that I'm going to spend rather than rerun a single pair of underwear until Sunday (it's supposed to be 110 degrees in Tucson today, so not a good idea) and I'm making $4/hour. On the other hand, that's $4/hour to tell strangers my opinions on birth control and pop music, so it's not a bad deal.

Friday, August 10 - Mid Afternoon - Tucson International Airport
I am in show business, so somebody is going to pick me up from the airport. I am in comedy, which is show business's meth-head cousin, so there is no chauffeur with a little printed sign bearing my name. Instead I am told to wait on the curb (where it is a chilly 108 degrees) and an employee of the club will be here within an hour. This is not to say I'm not treated well. Every club I've worked, the staff has been awesome. Some places even give me up to 50% off their food.

Wilford Brimley came to my show. Hes gotten some of his hair back!
  • Wilford Brimley came to my show. He's gotten some of his hair back!

Friday, August 11 - Just after midnight - The club
I'm still feeling a little gross from my plate of fried mushrooms and zuccinni ("The Salad"). I knew I shouldn't eat them, but I'm not great at making decisions (see paragraph 1) and I can't resist half-price food.

I did really well both shows tonight. A manager told me he'd never seen as many positive comment cards about the feature act. I also had a bonus thrill of getting to follow a special guest appearance from the guy who says "Come on down!" on The Price is Right. Not Rod Roddy—he's moved on to that big Showcase Showdown in the sky—the new guy. No, not Rich Fields. The one who was on Extreme Gong, Junkyard Wars, and Todd TV. No, I haven't seen any of those either. But he's in regular (meth-free) show business! Squee!

He was very funny, a nice guy, and he looks like Walton Goggins so every time I saw him I pretended we were both undercover on The Shield. And he said that if I was ever in LA, he could get me into the show without having to sit in line all day or make a T-shirt about how hot Drew Carey is. But I shouldn't expect to get a ride from the airport.