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Readers Blog: Dobie Maxwell's 'Dented Can' Diary

Laughing Skull Festival

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Friday January 18th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Once in a while I’ll actually manage to pull off something halfway intelligent. It turns out I did exactly that several months ago and then completely forgot about it until today. I was reminded I had submitted myself for a comedy festival called ‘Laughing Skull Festival’ when I received the email informing me I had been accepted. It takes place in Atlanta from March 27-31 of this year.

   Comedy festivals are relatively new on the horizon, and I haven’t had a whole lot of experience doing them quite honestly. As a rule, I’ve been too busy actually working to spend time trying to enter festivals which are usually a showcase where industry people gather to harvest ripe talent.

   Montreal’s ‘Just For Laughs’ is a huge one that’s been going for decades, and there was one in Apsen, CO that HBO used to run. I have no idea if that one is still going, and that’s embarrassing for someone who claims to be in that particular business. No wonder I’ve not progressed farther.

   I’ll painfully admit my weakest trait has always been my business acumen. I should know who all the major talent pickers are and where they are picking said talent at any given time, but that’s not something I’ve ever actively pursued. I’d just assumed that world would find me eventually.

   Well, that’s about the most naive assumption I’ve made since believing the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny would keep bringing me money and candy into perpetuity. How could I think I had a chance to get seen if I’d never put myself in front of anyone who might be able to discover me?

   I have no answers other than I have played the game very poorly. I was never sure of myself as far as talent was concerned, and wanted to be really ready when my moment arrived. I misjudged myself horribly in that department, as it turns out I had the talent all along but didn’t believe in it.

   I’m not bragging, but when I’m on my game I can work a live audience with the best of anyone I’ve ever seen in person. It took years of effort to develop that, but the raw ability was there from the start. Not everyone has it, and I wasn’t aware of that in the beginning. I’ve been given a gift.

   It’s like a baseball pitcher with a 100 mile an hour fastball. Not everyone has one, and the ones that do don’t always have it forever. It’s a delicate thing that everyone wants, but not all who get it become instant superstars. I’ve had one the whole time, but managed to avoid hitting pay dirt.

  Whatever happened happened, and I can’t change a lick. What I can and will do is pick myself up and go down to Atlanta to fire my best fastballs in March. I’ll do what I do, and hopefully I’ll catch the eye of someone who sees how much effort has gone into preparing for this opportunity.

   All I need is ONE person who gets it and has power to make things happen and my world gets changed in a heartbeat. Instead of worrying about speeding tickets on my way to Eau Claire and defective driver’s doors, I will have a whole new set of things to occupy my time and I want that. I know I’m ready for something better, and if it’s not this particular opportunity it will lead me to getting in front of that single pair of eyes that needs to see me. This is an exciting time to be me.

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