No words. Just blessed being able to do the thing i love and make money at the same damn time. Thank you to all who support me. Thank you The New Yorker for featuring me in “Making Money: The Comedian. Rock on!
MAKING MONEY: THE COMEDIAN
When the comedian Noré Davis was getting started, he would drive into Westchester County for his day job, in graphic design, and at night he would head to open mics in New York City—as he put it, “Collecting lots and lots of miles on my first car.” He wasn’t getting paid; the draw was having a chance to practice his new material and to see the headliners who took the stage after him. “The best way to learn is to watch,” he says. “There’s no formula, you just have to do it, see where you fall, and make adjustments.”
Eight years later, Davis, who never goes more than four days without stepping onto a stage, makes his living as a full-time comedian.
After three years of open mics, Davis was approached by a manager and went on the road, finally getting paid for his standup. (His manager likes to remind him that the first three letters of “career” are “car.”) For a while, he spent the weekends performing at colleges and casinos around the tri-state area. (Universities typically pay fifteen hundred dollars for a set, and casinos pay between eight hundred and eleven hundred dollars a week, in addition to covering food, gas, and lodging.) For a while, Davis maintained a gruelling schedule, working at his graphic-design job during the week and spending weekends on the road. Finally, at the age of twenty-seven, he quit the day job.
Now Davis usually performs five nights a week. Television spots on BET, MTV, and Comedy Central have trickled in, and he landed a speaking role on HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” He says that this is mostly thanks to the connections he made during those unprofitable early years.
Davis estimates that he took in around twenty-five thousand dollars in 2012, and says that he cherishes the freedom his standup career allows: “The only thing I answer to now is: go on stage, make them laugh, and I’ll pay you.”