Eating Broke: Comic on the Road
Next week marks the official beginning of my summer tour to prepare for my album recording at the end of August. Planning and executing a tour is a tedious process of e-mailing, Facebook messaging, texting, research, praying, pulling out my non-existent hair, and staring at this damn computer screen for hours and hours. SO MUCH SITTING! I started a work-out plan yesterday because I keep seeing this “Creed 2” trailer where Michael B. Jordan is just standing there shirtless looking like he’s never even heard of a carbohydrate. He’s jacked. His pecs have six packs. But, this sort of optical motivation comes at a good time. As I’m about to go on the road for two months and be in the car for hours on end, I need to be conscious of what I’m eating, drinking and make sure I’m moving these old knees around regularly. I’m past the point in my life where I want to look like I’m training to avenge my father’s death in a boxing match. But, ya boy wants to feel good onstage and off. Personally, I need to be even more diligent because I refuse to give up that sweet empty calorie landmine known as craft beer. I mean I’m trying to stay in shape. Not be a fucking buzzkill.
This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone, but comics need to eat on a budget. That Kevin Hart tour bus Thanksgiving Dinner every day isn’t how I’m out here living. I’m on that making a peanut butter sandwich in the gas station parking lot. I noticed that my friend Mat keeps a coffee mug that he refills in the hotel that he’s staying in so that he doesn’t have to keep buying coffee on the road. He also doesn’t drink so he needs A LOT of coffee. That reminds me of when I lived in New York and would sneak into the Holiday Inn in Manhattan and eat the breakfast like I was staying there. Oh man, it was so great. Bacon, eggs, sausage, waffles, yogurt, fresh fruit, pastries. Hot damn was I comfortable. I took stuff to go too. I did it for like four days straight. I would’ve done it longer but on the 5th day, they were like, “HEY! THAT’S THE DUDE THAT EATS LIKE 12 STRIPS OF BACON EVERY DAY! YOU KEEP DOING THAT SHIT AND YOU GON’ DIE! ALSO, CAN WE SEE YOUR KEY CARD?” It was good while it lasted I guess.
Keeping a cooler in the car can’t be overstated. You’ll have a place for fruit, water, and leftovers if you do decide to flex and eat out. A lot of clubs and other rooms will feed you which is amazing but can be tricky. Listen, I’ve tried every chicken tender in the Midwest and believe me when I say, they’re all great. But they are all the same. This go round, I’ll try to eat some green and unfried stuff too...OKAY, MOM!
I think planning ahead is a major part of being able to be in a new city, try new things and stay within a reasonable budget. Because of course, I’m going to have hot chicken in Nashville. Of course, I’m going to Against the Grain in Louisville. And no, I will not be eating peanut butter sandwiches at gas stations when I’m in Atlanta. What would Ludacris even say if I did that in his stomping grounds? Probably “Move bitch! Get out the way!” And I’d be like but Luda, that’s very aggressive and I’m poor and… “GET OUT THE WAY HO, GET OUT THE WAY!”. This would actually be the highlight of the tour if this happened.
Since I’m doing, a bunch of one nighters, I get paid different amounts for each show. In the past, I’ve used this very unscientific rule that I made up myself for daily spending. Don’t spend more than 25% of what you make for that day on food & drinks. This can be a bit difficult, but that’s why you have your cooler baby. If you want to try a cool place in Huntsville, eat breakfast and lunch out of stuff you have in your cooler. Then splurge (up to 25%) on your Alabama dinner. I often get the urge to want to try absolutely everything and go to every place when I’m in a new city. But I have to remind myself, “Dwight. YOU CAN JUST COME BACK!”. This is just a good reminder for lower blood pressure. You can just go back to a place another time. You don’t have to try everything right now. That’s one hell of a burden. Just have what you can afford now and come back when you’re straight ballin. “One day...I’m gonna buy this goddamn town!”
I like to walk around and go for runs. It’s a great way to see wherever you are for free. For example, I always run around Piedmont Park in Atlanta. It’s scenic and is always hopping. Plus, I get some cool Instagram pictures so that people think I’m more important than I actually am. Also, I count it as working off that smothered chicken and waffles and double IPA that I’m going to have later. I know not everyone is the workout or outdoors type, so just promise me that if you’re going to stay inside, stand up every once in a while. Do a lap around the house and keep the blood circulating. I care about you boo. Work for that hot chicken baby!
If I’m in your town, I’d love to grab a coffee, drink, walk so feel free to hit me up! And as always, COME TO A DAMN SHOW!
Peace, love and hugs.