The New Yorker has published an interesting short film and interview with stand-up comedian Nore Davis about the economics of trying to make it as a stand-up comedian in New York City.

Davis, from Yonkers just north of the city, has appeared recently on MTV’s Nikki and Sara LIVE, and also Comedy Central’s Russell Simmons Presents The Ruckus. When he’s not on the road, Davis appears regularly in the city at Comic Strip Live, Stand-Up NY and Broadway Comedy Club.

He told The New Yorker that he kept a day job in graphic design until he was 27.

Chasing gigs to make enough money to be a full-time comic, Davis reported earning about $25,000 in 2012. As for the average pay for each gig:

  • Colleges and universities: $1,200-$2,500
  • Casinos: $800-$1,100 (plus transportation, food, lodging)
  • NYC clubs, weeknight spots (Mon-Thurs): $20-$25 per spot
  • NYC clubs, weekend MC work: $150 per show
  • NYC clubs, feature/middle act: $100 per show

Roll the clip!

Nore Davis in The New Yorker, October 2013.