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Dan Dubelman wrote his first song when he was four years old. Nobody’s counted how many songs he has written in the five decades since. Dubelman got hold of an electric guitar when he was 13 and has never let go.

Known as Doctor Dan, he has performed all over the country – including at Farm Aid with Willie Nelson, Neil Young, John Mellencamp, and Dave Matthews.

Pre-pandemic, he frequently performed and recorded in New York City and Los Angeles. Last year Dan’s band made the Americana charts and hit number 16 on the Jambands Chart. He also became a luthier. Studying under Richie Baxt, the secret Zen Master according to the NYTimes ( After becoming Richie’s protege, he launched Hot Rod Guitars, which utilizes vintage and hand-wound pickups combined with reproductions to make affordable works of art that sound even better than they look!

He started young. At age 5, Dan won a Gold Lion at Cannes for a Cracker Jacks with the great Jack Gilford. As a teen, Dan studied acting at HB Studios with Herbert Berghof himself, and during college at Oxford University through the British American Drama Academy with John Houseman, Derek Jacobi, Rosemary Harris, and many others. Dan is also a writer. In 1988 Dan earned a scholarship to the prestigious Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars Fiction program, where he taught and studied under the legendary John Barth and Edward Albee.

Dan has an extensive background in children’s entertainment. Dan was the first-ever head of Online Entertainment at Fox Kids, and he worked with all the major studios specializing in safe community building for children. He also won Los Angeles Music Awards for Most Creative Marketing. Child actor for CrackerJacks commercial (Gold Lion winner at Cannes).  Later in life, Dan became a NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist, an AFFA Certified Trainer, Group Exercise Instructor, a NASM Senior Specialist, and CPR/AED Certified. For four years at the JCC, Dan worked with older populations, youth, and clients with special needs, including the cardiac rehab program in association with Englewood Hospital. Dan is a certified melt method hand and foot instructor, conducting classes in New York City, as well as senior classes and aqua-fitness. The March of Dimes utilized Dan at Lincoln Center for the warm-up for the March for babies, which featured New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley. He also teaches tennis, paddle/pop tennis ad pickleball to kids 4-90.

My guest for Pivots and Potholes – May 2021

COREY MESLER has been published in numerous anthologies and journals including Poetry, Gargoyle, Five Points, Good Poems American Places, and New Stories from the South. He has published eleven novels, four short story collections, six full-length poetry collections, and a dozen chapbooks. His novel, Memphis Movie, attracted kind words from Ann Beattie, Peter Coyote, and William Hjorstberg, among others. He’s been nominated for the Pushcart many times, and three of his poems were chosen for Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac. He also wrote the screenplay for We Go On, which won The Memphis Film Prize in 2017. With his wife he runs Burke’s Book Store (est. 1875) in Memphis.

He was not a reader when young, being too concerned about the struggle between angels (the opposite sex) and demons (bullies). So, after graduating high school, he went to the library and stood before its wall of fiction and spoke this secret phrase, Teach Me. He attended Memphis State as an English major and, simultaneously, began working at Waldenbooks. After five years he was given a choice between continuing college or being the manager of the bookstore. He chose the latter and never looked back. Like many readers he dreamed of becoming a writer. He has two children and, shortly after the birth of his second, he developed agoraphobia and panic attacks. This has limited his movements but not the cloud-cuckoo-land in his head, from which he wrings his fiction and poetry. He has published twelve novels, four books of short stories, and six full-length books of poetry. With his wife he owns one of the oldest bookstores (est. 1875) in the United States.

More to come…


pivots and potholes

About Pivots and Potholes

In December of 2019, I was planning my move to New York the following Spring. I had been accepted at NYU for my master’s and was excited about the new possibilities: Then—Covid. The  Pivots and Potholes podcast was born from the process I went through to determine if I needed to scrap my plan entirely or make tweaks during this pause to facilitate my forward movement in the same direction. The first step of my process is to reach out to friends and colleagues who have expertise that can be helpful. Pivots and Potholes will host published writers, singers, musicians, film producers, data analysts, systems security administrators, artists, and other professionals. These individuals offer a unique perspective into making life decisions they encountered when evaluating relationships, career choices, addressing addictions, seeking help with emotional or psychological challenges, food choices, dealing effectively with other people, and myriad other life decisions. Example of a situational Pivot and Pothole Pivots and Potholes will help you better understand how to effectively evaluate your life challenges and put a new life plan together to navigate previously tricky situations and then execute it to achieve your goals. Join us as we discuss the unexpected benefits, funny stories, and difficulties faced, which all led to a new chapter of life.

Defining Pivots and Potholes

I define Pivot as a full stop of a life plan that you are working towards requiring a re-framing or creation of an entirely new set of goals. Pothole I define as those occurrences which jolt us in some visceral manner bringing our awareness to a, possibly, unknown issue with our forward trajectory: It is a pause that allows us to evaluate and recalibrate our journey.

Example of a situational Pivot and Pothole

Everyday each of us make large and small decisions that impact our life. Some of those decisions are easily made because there is a limited number of logical choices. For example: A previous decision was made to eat more healthy meals, while making your shopping list you have to decide if you want to purchase processed snack foods or a healthier option. Clearly this is an easy decision, though it might be challenging to follow through.

An example of a decision that requires more mindfulness: You are headed into the office (pre-quarantine days) and are reviewing the tasks for that day. As you contemplate what you need to accomplish there is a realization that one task will require interfacing with a colleague who has been quite difficult. You have tried numerous ways to navigate the interaction but have not had much success. The encounters leave you depleted energetically and emotionally. Is this the day you decide to quit (Pivot) or examine the situation to determine what you still need to learn from this person (Pothole). Hopefully, you would not quit but you have hit this Pothole repeatedly and have yet to progress towards resolution. What do you do?