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

Outlasting The Weenies

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Saturday February 2nd, 2013 – Saugatuck, MI

   There’s a new generation of comedy show bookers coming up the ranks, and I’m delighted I’m on their radar. When anyone starts at anything, they pretty much have to take their lumps and eat dust, crow or whatever other unpleasant dish is on the menu and they either accept it or move on.

   It’s kind of like when a parent refuses to accept that a child has grown up and still reverts back to calling them a childhood nickname. Those days are over, but not in the parent’s mind. It’s the same with the comedy process. Bookers know they can abuse all the newbies because there will be an endless supply lining up to get whatever anyone may turn down. Respect rarely is given.

   Well, I’ve had my issues with many of them over the years but have clawed and scratched my way to my position now. Whatever anyone may think of me personally, I am a rock solid comic and can handle just about any situation anyone can put in front of me. I’ve become a headliner.

   I’ve also managed to establish a reputation of being a nice guy to deal with, even though there will always be those that think I’ve got three sixes tattooed on my head somewhere. I can’t help what those few think, and can only try to continue doing the best I can onstage and off. And I do.

   It’s paying off because I’m getting calls asking me to work gigs I didn’t know existed. I’m glad to get work in general, but it’s especially nice to be respected by those who are asking. It’s funny how a reputation grows and then becomes part of one’s identity for life with those who make it.

  I feel a sense of respect in comedy now that has never been there before, and even though I had to trade my youth to get it I’ll take it and enjoy every minute of it. Those I met as a piss ant little beginner didn’t have to be nice to me – and many weren’t. Taking it personally was my mistake.

   It wasn’t me as much as the position I was in, but now that’s changing. I’m now someone who can make a booker look good in virtually any situation, and not be a pain in the ass prima donna off stage either. The new breed of people I’m dealing with is realizing that, and it feels fantastic.

   Tonight I worked in Saugatuck, MI for a guy named Jerry Donovan. He’s booking some shows in the Western Michigan area around Grand Rapids, and this one was a pure delight. Jerry wasn’t able to be at this particular show as he had two others going, but that’s a super problem to have.

   I honestly can’t remember how he even got my name, but he contacted me a few months ago to book a show and I got to pick my week which was tonight. There was a full house and they came to laugh. Jerry’s wife Sara was running the show and couldn’t have been easier to deal with. She paid me in cash before I went on, and made sure my intro was correct. This is how it should be.

   I’d work for people like this any time, and they think the same of me. I can feel a synergy with these people, and that’s also how it should be. I am now the one in the driver’s seat with the hard earned experience, but I don’t want to let any of that go to my head. Being easy to deal with will keep the work coming in, and that’s what I want. Slowly but surely I’m outlasting the weenies.

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