Vaudeville performers, like those in touring theatricals, were adored on stage and snubbed off it. Lumped together with other itinerants like gypsies, hobos, and vagabonds, they were met with suspicion and distrust wherever they went. They were assumed to be criminals–pickpockets, fakers, shoplifters, grifters. Many hotels refused to take in vaudeville players or actors. Those that did were the lowest quality, usually with one shared toilet per hall and located near the train station. These would cost around a dollar a night. Performers usually tried to save the dollar by taking a night train, traveling on Saturday night after the last performance of the week and arriving in the next town on Sunday. Boarding houses often took up the slack. Most vaudeville performers stayed in boarding houses for a week at a time, eating breakfast and sometimes dinner there, if their schedules allowed.
Circus and carnival workers, called carnies, were even more distrusted, but they had an advantage: they didn’t have to search for lodging at every stop. They lived in wagons that traveled with the show.