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

Late But Still Great

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Monday February 4th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   When I started in comedy, all that meant anything to me was to be a big deal in my home town. I didn’t know how life or the entertainment game worked, and I didn’t care. All I wanted was the recognition as being a legitimate comedian – even though the reason I wanted it wasn’t healthy.

   I’ll embarrassingly admit it now even though I didn’t even know it then that I was out to prove myself and show everyone – mainly my father – that I was indeed worth something even though he constantly told me I would never amount to anything. It was important to me to disprove him and anyone else who happened to have a low opinion of me. I was determined to show them all.

   That’s never the right reason to do anything in my opinion, but it took decades of making huge mistakes to figure that out. I fought, clawed and scratched my way up the ranks over those years, learning one painful lesson after the next. It’s only now I feel I’m finally starting to hit my stride.

   Someone told me years ago that if I stayed with it long enough, I would eventually acquire that recognition in my hometown I craved so badly but by the time I got it I wouldn’t care. I couldn’t comprehend that concept then, but I totally do now and it was 100% accurate. I understand now.

   Still, even though it’s late in coming it feels really good. My reasons have totally changed, and now I can just enjoy it for what it is – big fun. I no longer feel a need to prove myself to anyone, as I have more than proved to myself I could do all the things I’d set out to do when I started out.

   I got a call today from Bob Rech, the Entertainment Director at the Northern Lights Theatre at Potawatomi Casino in Milwaukee. We are going to team up on a series of ‘Schlitz Happened! An Old Milwaukee Blatz from the Pabst’ shows on Saturdays in April, and I’m delighted to be there.

   The Northern Lights Theatre is a spectacular venue, and it’s become my absolute favorite stage since I started working there several years ago. Bob and the entire staff are always super friendly to work with, and it’s far and away the best I’ve ever been treated locally. They’ve won me over.

   Even the security and wait staff have been wonderful, and it’s to the point now they invite their friends when I’m there because they enjoy my show. I feel completely at home on that stage, and I have consistently killer shows whenever I work there. Putting this run of shows together will be a grand slam home run and it’s been a long time coming – especially on my end. I am SO ready.

   There’s still a lot of work to do, but this will be a total labor of love. I will be ready to deliver a CLEAN but still funny local comedy show, and it will be a perfect fit for that venue. I’m excited beyond words to get this chance. I made my mistakes years ago; it’s time to get what I’ve earned.

   I’m not going into this to prove anything to anyone other than I’ve grown up and become a top level entertainer like I set out to do in the first place. My father is dead, and so are the issues that made me feel I needed to get his approval. I got my own approval, and that’s all I ever needed in the first place. This is going to be a wonderful experience, I feel it. The timing couldn’t be better.

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