It used to be Easy Street for Sam Easton but maaaaan that recession hit hard.
For the three years and 11 months prior to the economic meltdown, Mr. Easton had no fixed address. He'd be travelling from Vancouver to Halifax and back on the regular, headlining shows in big towns, little towns - you name it, the young comic played there.
But then the work slowed and Easton, who was featured in major Hollywood films while headlining comedy shows by the age of 27, learned the starkest truth in showbiz: the highs are exhilarating but the lows are bloody terrifying.
"It's scary being a comic as much as it's exciting, but I think it's that fear that drives us and makes us keep writing new material," he says. "You can frame the fear into a positive situation."
The Vancouver-born comedian had his first taste of comedy at 15 at a funeral for a close friend. He did his routine, and he says it was the first moment he felt the power that comedy provided.
"These people were crying two minutes ago and then they were laughing. It was very, very exciting. A lot of kids feel like no one cares about what they have to say and this was the first time it felt like people cared about what I had to say, and that was exhilarating," he says.
He did a few more stand-up gigs at his high school and pursued it more or less full time in Toronto while attending York University. He moved down to L.A. in 2001. While he was there, he finagled a meeting with entertainment heavyweight Dave Becky and landed a showcase at the infamous Comedy Store on Sunset Boulevard, which earned him the backing of a roster of agents and representatives that can only exist in L.A. From there he landed a plum gig in Final Destination 3, in which he was killed off when an engine fan made a mess of his face. It was one of Easton's shining moments.
But now the roles have dried up and while he's still headlining comedy shows, the frequent cross-country jaunts are long gone.
"My mom always said to find what I was really good at and I wish it wasn't stand-up comedy," he says, half-joking. At 31, it seems Mr. Easton has hit some sort of mid-life crisis.