Posts Tagged ‘The King of Uranus’

Psycho Babbling

March 4, 2014

Monday March 3rd, 2014 – Mt. Prospect, IL

Along with everything else I’ve got going on, I’m still pecking away at the Uranus project on a daily basis. I simply have to force myself to make time, even when there isn’t any. I’ve got more than enough other gnawing gremlins to keep my pea brain busy, but I don’t want to let this die.

If done right, this will be the funding for my golden years – if indeed I’m lucky enough to have any. With all the stress miles placed on my body and psyche until now, I’ll be lucky to make it to St. Patrick’s Day. There are no guarantees for anyone, so I might as well follow my crazy vision.

Actually, it’s not so crazy at all. Everyone else might think so, and that’s good. That’s exactly what I want. It’s an attention getter, and that’s what any business needs. What it also needs is an organization behind it to execute the crazy idea. That’s what I’m working on now and it’s hard.

I am looking to create a trusted brand that makes the most amount of people smile as possible. It would help if they also bought something, but I’ll start with the smile and go from there. I am banking on smiles building trust, and once I have that I would hope sales follow. That’s the plan.

Disney sure did that. Mickey Mouse makes people smile. He’s cute. People trust him, and they pay BIG money to show their allegiance in many ways. I see the King of Uranus and a collection of other characters doing the same. I’m not saying I’m expecting to have a Uranus theme park or movie studio, but I do foresee building a legion of fans that are loyal to my brand. It WILL work.

I know it will work because I continue to test market every day. I have a baseball cap that says “KING OF URANUS” on it, and I’ll wear it on occasion just to see if anyone notices. Many do, and they always at least smile when they notice or once in a while even laugh out loud. It works.

Then there’s my ‘URANUS 1’ license plate. That gets people smiling every single day without exception. I can’t count all the times I have been lost in thought about something at a traffic light and then notice someone in my rear view mirror giggling like a girl scout while taking a picture.

I can only imagine what it would be like if I really went all out and LIVED the gimmick. What would it be like if I had a vehicle completely decked out in Uranus themed garb – whatever that might be – and had it loaded with funny products to sell, or at least catalogs to pass out to people.

I look at the King of Uranus in the same league as Santa. Who doesn’t brighten up when Santa walks into a room? I have to believe even Jews and Muslims get a tingle somewhere. Santa is all about fun and giving and everything good. That’s what I want the King to be too. He’s positive.

Tonight I had another chance to practice on Mike Preston’s ‘Psycho Babble TV’ cable access show. He lets me experiment, and I’m very grateful for the chance. Tonight I got to haul out all of my t-shirt prototypes, along with my ‘I (heart) URANUS’ bumper stickers and promo pics.

I don’t know and don’t care who sees it right now, it’s a chance to get it together. The costume is evolving, as is the character. This is a great way to polish up what I still think is a concept that will be bigger than all the other projects I’ve ever done combined. http://www.psychobabbletv.com.

Psycho Babble TV is a funny cable access show that has been running since 2002.

Psycho Babble TV is a funny cable access show that has been running since 2002.

The cast and crew are talented and hard working people. This is not a joke.

The cast and crew are talented and hard working people. This is not a joke.

Mike Preston is the mind behind the madness. Inspired madman or complete jackass?

Mike Preston is the mind behind the madness. The question: inspired madman or complete jackass? We’re still not sure.

The King of Uranus has appeared on several of the now more than 300 episodes. Most are available to be seen at www.psychobabbletv.com.

The King of Uranus has appeared on several of the now more than 300 episodes. Tonight was another gem. Most are available to be seen at http://www.psychobabbletv.com.

Doesn't EVERYBODY?

Doesn’t EVERYBODY?

A Symphony Of One

September 8, 2013

Thursday September 5th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL/Des Plaines, IL/Rockford, IL

   If there’s anyone else anywhere who has as many projects going as I do with little to no payoff, I’d love to meet them belly to belly and have lunch if for no other reason than to assure myself it isn’t just me out here trying to be a one man symphony orchestra. Sometimes I feel totally alone.

   I love doing what I do, but I don’t love the hectic nature of how I do it. At least a little stability would sure be nice, but one of the reasons I have so many things going is to hopefully hit on one idea so I can back off of the others and focus. That’s easier said than done, and I’m wearing thin.

   Today I had another jam packed day as I got up at 4am to work on organizing my comedy class notes and lesson plans for the coming fall schedule. There is still a solid possibility of Bill Gorgo and me getting a publishing deal, and we’ve been working out our sample chapter in the last few weeks. It’s a LOT of work – which I don’t mind – but also a major sucker of valuable free time.

   It’s a gamble, but one that has to be taken. Getting a publishing deal would add immeasurable credibility to what we’re already doing, and allow us to hopefully become the standard bearers in the teaching of standup comedy techniques. I’ve got this much time and energy already invested, why not take it to the absolute pinnacle? That’s what we’re shooting for, but it takes a full effort.

   Next on the list was getting to a location near O’Hare Airport to record some video rants in full regal splendor as The King of Uranus. This was the last thing I wanted to do today, but there was a camera person on the clock and studio set up involved. There was no way I would blow it off.

   What made it much more difficult was that I had problems with my computer printer and could not print out the revisions I made to the material. They’re basically the rants I did on the radio on 97.9 The Loop in Chicago in 2004 reworked and updated, but not having scripts made it harder.

   Even harder than that, there was a power outage at the location where we recorded and that put even more pressure on cranking it out. We’d all invested time and energy to make this date work, so not having anything to show for it would have been a huge downer. Fortunately, we worked it out and ended up putting six rants in the can to be edited for insertion on the site by next month.

    I’ll have my own King of Uranus channel, and will get to crank out content that hopefully will get hits for both the site and the character. Again, it’s a risk for us all but one we agreed was well worth taking. It requires time and energy to roll all these dice, and that’s why I’m spread so thin.

   It was physically and mentally draining to do the rants, as I had to stand in costume in front of hot lights and by the time it was done I was a sweaty pig. We took and retook shots, but felt they turned out well. It’s all part of the process, and today was the day to put in all of the grunt work.

   After that it was back to Rockford to fill in on WNTA from 3 to 5pm. I knew I-90 was going to be brutal with construction, and it absolutely was. That drains more energy, not to mention doing the actual radio show. That went well too, as I continue to feel more comfortable in the talk radio format. It was another full productive day, but I don’t know long I can keep up this manic pace.

Showbiz Babies

April 22, 2013

Sunday April 21st, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL/Kenosha, WI

    Today was a day to kick back, but only a little. I’m finding myself thoroughly enjoying all that I have piled on my plate – even though the pile is dangerously high. Everything could crash down with a thundering thud at any second, but for now I’m having fun. It’s exactly what I want to do.

   2013 is flying by faster than I can comprehend, but I’m definitely still on my way to having the best year I’ve ever had. I’ve already accomplished a lot, but I see a lot more just around the bend. Decades of preparation have gotten me to this point and I just can’t see wasting even one minute.

   It’s really been a satisfying experience performing the ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows. It is exactly what I dreamed about when I first started doing comedy, and even though it took a lot longer for it to become a reality than I ever imagined it is now and it feels better than good to see it happen.

    Sure, there are a lot of tweaks needed but the basic product is there and it’s now out there and ready to grow. That baby has been born, and it has ten fingers and ten toes. There might be some growing pains and glitches, but all babies have those. For the most part it’s a happy healthy infant.

    All of my projects are like babies to me, and they’re all screaming for my attention. I still have troublesome time management issues, and that’s a sad fact. I’d love to dote over every one of my babies one on one, but I just can’t afford it. The more time I spend on one, the others are jealous.

   ‘Schlitz Happened!’ is getting a lot of attention now, but after next week’s final performances I will put it down for a nap for a little while – probably until fall. Potawatomi Casino and I will get together on a plan for future shows, and I feel very confident we’ll be able to work out all details.

   Another baby that’s just waking up from a nap is standup comedy classes. I’ve got some going both at Zanies in Chicago and Improv Playhouse in Libertyville, IL and I’m finding myself doing them several nights a week of late. I love teaching them, but I’m going to have to organize more.

   Tonight’s baby was ‘The Mothership Connection’ paranormal radio show on AM 1050 WLIP in Kenosha, WI. That’s another project I really enjoy, but I’ve really neglected it of late. We had our best year by far in 2012, but now we’re just kind of drifting along. It doesn’t stink, but we’re not growing and that’s not good. We’ve got a very solid vibe between the crew, and we know it.

   We had a few technical glitches tonight, but that happens once in a while. It could have shaken us, but we didn’t let it and we ended up having an excellent show. We also had some last minute guest cancellations to deal with, and we handled that as well. This baby is ready to start walking.

   They all are. Standup comedy is my adult child since it’s been in my life the longest, but I love that like a baby too. Unfortunately, I can’t devote all of my attention to any of them right now so I’m trying my best to at least give each one a hug whenever I can. Being a daddy is no easy task.

   Then there’s The King of Uranus. That whole project has completely come to a halt, and that’s not at all to my satisfaction. I know it’s a goofy idea, but it too has enormous potential. I get that reminder every single day when someone behind me in traffic snaps a picture of my license plate and bumper sticker with a big grin on their face. That idea could be the biggest of them all, but if I don’t do my due diligence as a father that baby will die. They all could, and that’s why my time needs to be spent wisely. I’d hate to see any of these ideas die. It’s up to me to give them breath.

On An Upswing

March 7, 2013

Tuesday March 5th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   The entertainment business – and life itself – is a constant series of upswings and downswings. It’s a roller coaster ride, with the only constant being change. I remember meeting Kenny Rogers years ago when I was living in Salt Lake City, and he had the best attitude I’ve ever seen. He had been in the business for decades and learned to keep an even keel no matter what was happening.

“I’ve been around so long, I’ve experienced every possible kind of up and down anyone could ever imagine,” he said. “I never get too cocky when I’m up or depressed when I’m down because I know it never lasts either way. Sooner or later the tide will turn, and change will come again.”

I never forgot that, and meeting him was a real thrill. We got to spend time with him backstage, and it was very educational. I was working at a country radio station then, and we had the typical backstage meet and greet for listeners who had won tickets. Kenny handled it like the total pro he is, and made everyone – including my co-host and me – feel like we’d been his friend for years.

I’m on a major upswing now, and it couldn’t come at a better time. I haven’t experienced all of the amazing ups a Kenny Rogers has, but I’ve had some and they were fantastic. The times I had a radio job and was able to do comedy along with it were the best, as I had plenty of money to go around and that alone has a way of making life better on all levels. I could get used to that again.

I’ve had my share of down times too. Sometimes it seems like more than my share, but that’s a part of life as well. Bad breaks happen to everyone at some point, and it’s how a person reacts to them that determines how life will turn out in the long run. I’m seeing that now, and after all this time I’m finally feeling like I’m at least starting to have a clue as to how this big game is played.

This next little while is going to be crucial in determining how the rest of my life works out. If I play the game correctly – and I think I can – I’ll be able to finish strong and win. All of the ugly mistakes I made can be turned around, and rather than blame them I will use them as education.

Quite honestly, I did a lot of stupid things through the years and most were deeply rooted in my anger and need to ‘get even’ with the hand life dealt me. I was determined to show everyone who doubted (mainly my father) that I was indeed worth something and would show them in person.

What a waste of time and energy that all was, as my father died and never did think I amounted to anything that pleased him anyway. I could have gotten The Tonight Show instead of Jay Leno, and my father still would have thought I should have gotten a tattoo and been a biker like he was.

If there is any real ‘secret’ to life, I think it’s that we all have to please ourselves and hope that at some point we catch that lucky break everyone hopes for and our dreams come true. I’m about to do a run of ‘Schlitz Happened!’ shows in my hometown at the nicest venue there is. I am also going to get to be ‘The King of Uranus’ at a hockey game next week. If nobody else likes any of that, too bad. I’m ecstatic, and I think I can parlay both into more fun and income in the future if I handle myself correctly now. It’s taken a lifetime to get this far, I want to enjoy every minute.

Eyes On The Prize

February 14, 2013

Wednesday February 13th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

Back to the business of standup comedy. Farting around with antiques is fine to fill spare time, but I’d rather have my days filled to the brim with great gigs and more work than I can handle. In a perfect world, I wouldn’t have time to scour thrift stores because I’d be too busy with comedy.

This is a fine line, and I don’t want to get caught up in the hunt for trinkets. It’s fun, but also an energy sucker if I let it. I need to watch myself and keep that part of my life where it belongs – in the background. I want to be a comedian that deals in antiques, not a junk dealer who tells jokes.

Keeping my eyes on the big picture can be difficult, but there definitely is one. I see myself as a multifaceted entertainer that is the leader of several exciting projects that involve teams of very special people who work together to create quality products greater than the sum of their parts.

That’s a mouthful, and more than a handful to actually execute in real life. I’ve got enough on my plate for six lifetimes, and part of that is the reason not much seems to get done even though I’m constantly working on something or other to the point of exhaustion. I’ve got a lot going on.

I think I need to focus more on the finished product of how I see my life working, as it can get too easy to get lost in individual projects. I’d like to be able to pick and choose where I work and experience the best of several worlds. I’m not that far off on one hand, but not close on the other.

For example, I’m getting a lot of standup comedy bookings of late. That’s great, and I’m more than grateful to get them. I’d like to make more money and travel less, and that’s where ‘Schlitz Happened!’ comes in. That’s a local show that can hopefully allow me to stay off the road at least for a while and be more lucrative financially as well. That’s a potential gem, but needs attention.

Comedy classes are also on my mind. I love teaching, as it keeps me close to the core of what I love to be around – creativity. It also allows me to pay my knowledge and experience forward to a generation of those who are hungry to learn. I don’t regret any of the time I’ve spent teaching.

Then there’s the Uranus project. I picture myself as the character of ‘The King of Uranus’- the head of a business umbrella that sells funny products online and in stores everywhere. It will be a brand in and of itself, and a source of income separate from standup comedy but not that far off.

And if that’s not enough, there’s ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show as well. I love doing a talk show – especially one where I can talk about the topics I do. I can bring some humor into it if I want, but sometimes we can get serious too. It’s great fun to do the show, I want to continue.

This is more than enough to keep me busy, and realistically I’ll never get where I’m wanting to go without the help of many other people. I want to create teams for all these projects where I am the leader but others make it happen. It’s getting there, but there’s a lot that needs to be gotten to and every day is a struggle to pack in as much as humanly possible. I’m putting in the effort, but is it the right effort in the right order? That’s where I can get lost, but at least I’m moving ahead.

Website Cobwebs

November 3, 2012

Friday November 2nd, 2012 – Fox Lake, IL

   Where is Dobie Maxwell and who is this mysteriously efficient new life form that has taken his place? Urgent note to the universe: whoever it might be and wherever it may come from, I would greatly appreciate if you could keep it here a tad longer to do what it’s been doing. It’s working!

Boy, have I been making the positive progress lately and I can’t feel any better about it. What a fantastic feeling of deep satisfaction that goes with it, and I wish I had half of a clue as to exactly how or why this particular fire got lit – but it absolutely did. I’m knocking tasks out left and right.

Yesterday it was organizing all my disorganized computer files. I’d been meaning to get to that since who knows when, but I got it done in a day and it feels great. Today I faced another dragon I’d been avoiding literally for years as I addressed my embarrassingly out of date web presence.

I won’t be able to fix this one in a day, but I sure took a major step in the right direction. It’s an absolute necessity these days for entertainers to have a respectable and updated website, but I’ve been painfully lacking in that area for far too long. There are reasons for that, but not one excuse.

I had trusted everything to my former business partner, and when he embezzled money I had to cut ties immediately. That left me hanging in the lurch as far as my website, and I am sure it hurt my credibility. My friend Shelley stepped in and helped me get something going, but it wasn’t at the level it needed to be. No offense to her, she did her best and I appreciate it. But I need more.

I need to take it to a higher level and find someone who does it for a living. That way I can fire them if I need to, even though I hope I won’t need to. I just want someone who can keep me on a level of professionalism to keep me in the game and not make me look like a complete goober.

I’ve never been good at things like consistently keeping my calendar of upcoming bookings up to date, but I can’t think of anything more important to get out there so people who might want to take in a show can find out where I’ll be performing. It’s like owning a store but not getting word out when it’s open or where it’s located. That’s about as stupid as it gets, and I have been guilty.

There are a couple of options to ponder, as I know more than one person who does web design for a living. I’m hoping to build multiple sites for all the different projects I have, and eventually link them all together. There won’t ever be a single person in charge of everything again, and it’s to protect me from ever having to relive the nightmare of what I’ve had to endure in recent years.

I’ve got one person assigned to a King of Uranus site, and another doing a ‘Schlitz Happened’ site. The main ones I needed to focus on desperately were sites for ‘The Mothership Connection’ radio show and my own individual site at www.dobiemaxwell.com. Those are what I did today.

I have a third person working on those, but I’ve been delaying it for reasons that don’t matter – even if they’re legitimate. I’ve been busy, but nobody cares. So is everyone else. I needed to get it done and I got the ball rolling today. The feeling of satisfaction that goes with it is tremendous.