Bye bye NC Coast, Hello God Knows Where….

Update Newsflash: The roots are slowly being pulled from deep in the sand of Eastern North Carolina as I prepare for the next leg of the journey for my stand-up comedy career.

Lots of folks here love the area due to it’s wonderful natural landscapes and oceanic delights. I for one lived directly on the ocean for almost two-years. Before I moved down I often pondered if one could grow tired of living near the ocean. Three years later the answer is simple…. Yes.

As lucky as I am to take a five minute stroll to the edge of the Atlantic Ocean I have realized that in living in coastal NC the cons outweigh the pros unless you are set to retire or you are going to college. For the rest of us settled into a job or bouncing back and forth from one to another, the coast is not all it’s cracked up to be. The split between wage and cost of living alone is enough to make you dizzy. And, yes, it’s getting to be time that I start doing closer research to scout out where my future comedy club and home will be.

In the summer of ’08 my eyes took me to Huntington, West Virginia. Huntington had just come up on Forbes Top Places to Live or something like that being the only WV city to do so. It’s cost of living even in the midst of the city is 82% of the national average. Within 300 miles of Huntington there are at least 21 currently running comedy clubs. Within 300 miles of Wilmington there are 5 (about to be 6). So what options does a comic in Wilmington have but to spend all they make by traveling for shows.

So the time came and I visited Huntington. I cruised the whole city, even outside the city, down to the state park just south of the city. My wife and I couldn’t find a moderately priced hotel within 10 miles of the city that wasn’t occupied by meth and/or crackheads. On that note, here is a message about profiling.

I profile. I do it. It’s true. However, it has NOTHING to do with race. I profile cars. If you drive a 1983 Chevy Cavalier with rust falling off while it sits in the parking lot outside your hotel room, I am going to venture to say (from the babyseat in the back seat) that someone hopefully got a babysitter before the weekend long meth binge, or at least cared enough to bring another child old enough to care for the baby that is already numbed to the fact that his/her mother is a wasteoid.

So yeah, Huntington had one major problem. Old, crusty, caved-in buildings. Every block had them except for the really rich hoods. This showed me that no one in this town has the money to give a shit about how it looks. No one in that town seemed to understand how major industry is not going to move into town readily if it looks like it should be condemned. Now I will give it the benefit of the doubt, I never saw Huntington in 1991 but from what I heard it was 10 times worse. Anywho, ixnay on Huntington until further economic research can be done.

Where to next? Knoxville, Tennessee. Why? No Stage tax for starters, secondly, it’s near the mountains and hundreds of lakes, and thirdly, it’s centralized so I can logically do a comedy tour.


Matt Ward Written by:

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