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

At Least It's Fun

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Tuesday November 20th, 2012 – Niles, IL/Mt. Prospect, IL

   Fun by day.  Fun by night. That’s how life is always supposed to unfold in my humble opinion. It rarely happens, that’s why it’s memorable when it does. I try to make fun the secret ingredient that makes life bearable. Without that, why get out of bed at all? Too many people are miserable.

   I get miserable too, but days like today help to grease the skids at least a little. My friend Marc Schultz is a booking agent and puts together an annual show business lunch where he invites his performing clients that range from magicians to jugglers to almost everything else in between.

   Marc’s father ran a talent agency talent booked a lot of circus performer type acts of all things, and Marc has evolved with the times. He still books some of those kinds of acts, but also does an array of other things that even includes comedians. I get some work from him once in a while as well, but I consider him a friend far more than an agent. He’s one of my very favorite people.

   We go to lunch regularly on our own, but this is different. It’s like a local version of Broadway Danny Rose where anyone and everyone in the Chicago area who is around shows up and we all sit around and have lunch at a Chinese buffet. I’ve been to several of them, and it’s a total blast.

   Nobody understands entertainers like other entertainers, and Marc always invites an interesting mix of personalities. I’ve met some great people I now consider friends of my own from going to these lunches, and I never like to miss them. Marc encouraged me to invite people of my own, so I went through my list and asked quite a few. Todd Hunt and Karl Newyear were able to make it.

   It’s good to feel a sense of camaraderie, and I love hearing all the stories from other performers to let me know I’m not the only one out there slugging. Magicians and ventriloquists and anyone else who entertains for a living can relate to the extreme degree of difficulty it takes to survive.

   There was a healthy turnout today, and I really enjoyed myself. Quite a few of these people are only people I see at these lunches, but it’s a great way to stay in touch and network. I don’t know how we can help each other, but it never hurts to keep everyone’s name out there so we all do it.

   Tonight I was asked to appear as The King of Uranus on Mike Preston’s ‘Psychobabble’ cable TV show and that’s another can’t miss proposition. I love doing that show, as Mike allows all of his guests to have creative freedom and experiment with ideas without fear of being shot down.

   The vibe on that show is always laid back but still creative, and Mike surrounds himself with a revolving cast of very talented people who get what’s trying to be accomplished. He does it on a wing and a prayer, and that’s what’s even more amazing. He’s been able to keep it going for ten years now, and just like my Mothership Connection radio show it’s a constant work in progress.

   There are always people coming and going, and as in all passion projects the lack of budget is both a blessing and a curse. I’d love to see Mike turn a buck with the show, but for now it’s just a chance to play show business so we all do it. I didn’t make a dime today, but I sure did have fun.

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