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Showing posts from March, 2007

Now THIS is a concert!

Who knew James Brown and Pavarotti ever sang together?



Hat tip: Devin Richards

MySpace

If you're on MySpace, you might have been getting invites to a lot of new sites. Thanks to Wes, one of my pals I met in New York, we have now created (or updated) MySpace sites for Steve Schalchlin Music, Zero Hour, The Big Voice and The Last Session. If your have a MySpace site, please send us a "friend" invitation. We'd love to add you to our growing group of friends.

Get The Glass!

Meanwhile, my brother found this online game from the people pushing milk. It's beautiful and fun! It's called GET THE GLASS!

But beware. It's a time waster!

Much Better Today

Today is a much better day. I woke up feeling bright-eyed and light on my feet. I really do think this was all about, as my mom said when she wrote me, change of climate, time zones, pushing myself hard to get back into shape. It just all came crashing in on me yesterday. And I suspect I'm going to have a few more of these days before it's all over.

But, if you were concerned, it's all better today. Much, much better. Thanks for the emails.

Another Crash Day

I woke up this morning feeling like my head was full of rocks. My right leg was hurting like hell from a massive muscle cramp I had in the middle of the night. My stomach was feeling icky. I thought, "Well, maybe I just need to get moving." So I went running for about an hour and when I got home, I was feeling weak. So I made some breakfast and, when it was time to wake up Jim, laid down on the bed and went back to sleep. Jim felt I was just tired and told me to just stay there. We had a quick lunch with Linda Fulton from the Avery Schreiber Theatre where Big Voice played.

I still felt lousy, so I went back to sleep, woke up just now (5pm) and I still feel awful. No fever or anything. Just tired. So, I'm gonna lie back down. Bye.

"Jerry Falwell's God" by Roy Zimmerman

"Defenders of Marriage" by Roy Zimmerman

My Studio

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This is me in my studio working. Oh, wait. No.
It's me giving a tattoo to Lesli Hudson.

It's so nice to be back in my studio. I've been spending an unhealthy number of hours up here in my little loft inputting midi and singing into my microphone. It's like being a monk, except after it's all over, I have music! And when someone else has a studio, it's even better because we can trade music back and forth.

For instance, Devin Richards and I were working our butts off together in his little studio in NY because he enjoys learning my songs (and he's a workaholic -- good god, that boy loves to rehearse). Well, we tried an experiment. One of the songs we worked on was a new one called "My Thankgiving Prayer." We finally sang it at Mark Janas' Salon and then back at Mark's apartment, and it was one of the few songs where we could get our voices to match since he's this powerful bass/baritone and I'm this squeaky little tenor. When we FINALL…

My 11th Blog-iversary.

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Today marks several special events. One is 11th anniversary of this blog. I've bragged and bragged enough about that. But I like being historical. How many chances in a lifetime does someone get the chance to be among the first to start a world-changing trend?

Second, I want to thank my friend, Devin Richards. He gave me a very thoughtful gift, something I hadn't really thought of. He wrote me an email, "How can you brag about being a total geek and a historical blogger and you don't even own your own name as a URL???" He was appalled. But it's true. I have been using bonusround.com so long, it never occurred to me. So, as a gift for my blog-iversary, Devin bought me steveschalchlin.com. Thank you, my friend! You're not only a gifted singer and friend, but you are a gentleman and a geek. When you click on http://www.steveschalchlin.com, it directs you to bonusround.com.

The last thing is something very personal. Today is also the birthday of my friend Amy L…

Ghost Rider & 300.

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"Hey, big boy. Can I give you a back rub?"

Yesterday, instead of sleeping all day, I decided to turn my exercise period into a chance to just clear my head and see a movie. I've been wanting to see Ghost Rider, even though I knew it was supposed to be a bad movie. It's just that I used to read the comic book and always liked the character. I mean how bad could it be?

Real bad. Worse than bad. Mind-numbingly, boringly bad. The kind of bad where you know whoever made it had no idea of how to create characters, build tension, shoot a scene or make anything remotely dramatic or believable. God. Deadly, deadly dull.

Disappointed, I left the theater and noticed that "300" was playing. I knew it was supposed to be bad, too. And I thought, well, as long as I've already paid to be in here, I might as well see if it's as bad as Ghost Rider. So, I called Jim to make sure nothing was happening at home, and it wasn't. We got our boxes in from New York with the …

Mike's Table is Back!

Joe.My.God. reports that Mike Jones' massage table is BACK up on eBay, and, of course, some busybody ministry wants it taken down because "it's offensive to Christians." I notice that this time there's no mention of the Project Angel Heart charity, but Mike assures us that the money raised will go to them. (I'm guessing eBay had some technical rule about how charity auctions work which Mike didn't or couldn't fulfill).

No, Rev. Booth, whoever you are, YOU are offensive to Christians. You are offensive to everyone who thinks that by hiding behind your collar, you can suddenly become some paragon of spirituality. But, as Joe put it, you're just another typical "fundie-obsessed with homosexuals" phony baloney "minister."

Go away. The adults are trying to live their lives with integrity.

What I Did Yesterday.

Worked on some music.
Went running.
Ate.
Woke up Jim. Gave him coffee.
Took a nap.
Ate.
Decided to go see "Ghost Rider," even though I know it's going to suck.
Took a nap. Missed "Ghost Rider."
Ate.
Took a nap.
Went to bed.
Got up at 2am.
Worked for a half hour.
Went back to bed.

The Wrong Massage.

Hypocrites in Action:

A so-called "ministry" devoted to destroying the lives of gay people has convinced eBay to take down the massage table that Mike Jones was auctioning to raise money for Project Angel Heart. Ex-Gay Watch has an excellent post on the subject, noting that "Transforming Ministries," which began the protest has not offered to raise money for people with AIDS in lieu of the money that won't be raised for them.

Instead, they simply have preferred to try to continue the cover-up of shame and hypocrisy of the Ted Haggard situation. The "Rev." Haggard, of course, who enjoyed paying for gay sex with Mike, has stopped being gay after three weeks of therapy, according to his statement.

It's okay, though. Mike's book will be out soon. We'll learn all about the "real" Rev. Haggard.

Wayne Besen on The Daily Show.

It has to be seen to be believed:

Hittin' The Streets.

I have already broken my promise. Today, I went running and I wasn't wearing shorts and sandals. It's COLD here in the mornings! And there was a cold mist in the air. But I was still wearing shorts and a t-shirt. It felt so good to be hitting the streets again.

Saw my doc yesterday. High levels of blood sugar in my urine. Not good. So, I go back to my routine, listening to Leo Laporte on my iPod and Dan Savage (who took a misogynistic gay guy to the chopping block). Man, he can be fierce.

He also probed my prostate (excellent condition!) and checked me all over, then took a gallon of blood. So, we'll see what my blood looks like after four months of no doctor visits. Can musical theater make me healthy? We'll see!

Jim did not win the award last night, but then, it's kind of an honor to lose to Lynn Redgrave. Just to be nominated with her!

Okay, lots of work to do. Thanks for all the great emails and comments.

Home and Dry.

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This is the last picture taken of me in New York. Amy and I were rushing into a bodega to get some roses for Carl and Dale for their first performance in The Big Voice.

We made it home intact, although we waited on the ground for TWO SOLID HOURS before our Jetblue plane took off. They were having problems getting the luggage balanced. Fine with me. It'd rather make it here in one piece after some waiting than crash and burn due to unbalanced luggage. (What a inscription for the tombstone: Died of Unbalanced Baggage.)

It felt so good to be in our real bed. The bed in New York was a tiny twin bed. Jim actually fell out of it the other night. The end of the bed hit us at about our knees and it sagged in the middle. Our bed here in LA is HUGE. It was like sleeping on a football field.

The cats look good. Thurber's having some digestion problems. He's not eliminating very well. He is 18 years old, that feisty little thing. So, we'll see what we can do to help him.

It feels to …

The Crying Lady.

Today, we attended Carl and Dale's first performance as "Jim" and "Steve." They were, in a word, hilarious and wonderful. But the one thing people wondered was whether the emotional impact of the show would be retained. We needn't have worried.

After the show, there was a woman who stayed around afterwards at the door, tears streaming down her face. She was an actress who said it was one of the most moving pieces of theater she had ever seen in her life. It was really touching.

Watching the show was amazing because it was our first time to actually SEE it! Dale was hilarious and droll. Carl, who plays all these little side characters was hysterical. Clearly, he had thought through each one and made them all different. (I never really was able to do that very well, I have to confess).

So, we leave New York knowing the show is in good hands. People seeing it for the first time won't even know we were ever in it. There were some people there who had seen it b…

How To Get Out Of Iraq.

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NY Big Voice Video Diary #26: Meet Carl & Dale!

Meet Carl Danielsen and Dale Radunz who will be taking over for us in The Big Voice! This was the only time I turned the camera on them and they jumped right in. For one thing, they both have worked together before, and you can tell that they really like each other. They have a natural comic rapport.

Steve & Jim on Broadway Bullet This Week.

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The wonderful Broadway podcast, Broadway Bullet, is now featuring the podcast we recorded with them. You can find it here.

Our 100th Show.

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Going into our last weekend of performing Big Voice in New York, we were curious to see if anyone would notice. What would our ticket sales look like? Would people come out just to see us and say goodbye?We got the early word that, yes, tickets were going fast. I was getting inundated with emails from people who had been holding off on seeing the show, wondering if they could get in.

The Saturday shows were very full, indeed. We needn't have worried. Carl and Dale both came to the early show to watch the blocking and make notes.

On Sunday, we got to the theater and it was a near sell-out. Not only was the orchestra seating filled, but there were people in the balcony. The buzz in the room was amazing. People came from all over. One woman and her husband flew in from Texas just to see us. "We didn't want to miss this!" she said excitedly to me after the show.
CJ, a longtime from of mine, drove up from Washington DC with his new boyfriend.

The reaction to the show was expl…

A Favorite NY Memory.

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Last Sunday night, we all went down to the Rouge Wine Bar to celebrate "Big Voice" night at Mark Janas' weekly Salon, a gathering of singers and songwriters. I decided to debut a brand new song that night called "Triple Threat," lyrics by Amy Lynn Shapiro. (I've been mentoring Amy as a lyricist). Crouched on the floor in this image is a wonderful singer and actress named Donna Coney Island. She had brought her two kids with her, both of whom also sang a hilarious song.

So, early in the evening, Mark invited me to sing a couple of songs and I pulled out "Triple Threat" which is a song about an audition. I was explaining the song and just getting into it when I looked up and there, standing in front of me, was this adorable child, totally mesmerized. I hadn't realized that Jim had snapped this photo until I was finally downloading all these images.

I'm so glad he did.

I'm Totally Exhausted.

We had the most spectacular day yesterday. So much happened, almost all of it emotional and mental, that I'm just totally exhausted. I woke up early, did a little catch-up photo stuff for our publicists, and then went right back to bed. Slept almost all afternoon.

People have been asking me how I feel about this whole thing, the 100th performance, the change of cast, what it felt like to do that last show, whether we are happy about it all. etc.

The only way to accurately describe my feelings is that feel so incredibly happy, it should be illegal. It was always our goal -- our fantasy, really -- to open our show in New York, get fantastic reviews, get a healthy run, and then hand it off to two great actors to bring it to a new level so that we can go home, replenish our energies and make new plans. Already, Jim has started writing the book for a new musical and it's nothing like anything we've done before.

For one thing, it will have a cast of 11. Our first show had 4. Big Vo…

More photos.

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Taking bows at our last NY performance.

Joyce Randolph ("The Honyemooners") poses with Jim and Steve at the 100th performance.

Jim & Steve answer questions at the talkback afterwards.


Amy Lynn Shapiro with Steve.Posing with the famous Flat Stanley!

Let us eat cake!

Joyce Randolph poses with Steve & Jim.

Stage Manager John "Abernathy" Atherlay, producer Paul Kreppel,
Steve Schalchlin, producer Murphy Cross, Jim Brochu,
Production Supervisor Jana Llynn, Amy Lynn Shapiro

Taking A Last Bow in New York

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(Photo by Matt Yohe). The curtain call of our 100th performance. (More photos on the way).

How Cute Are We?

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Jim Brochu & Dale Radunz, Carl Danielsen & Steve Schalchlin.

Jim Brochu & Dale Radunz, Carl Danielsen & Steve Schalchlin.

Our Last Weekend.

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I have such mixed feelings going into our last weekend. Part of me is sad that we have three shows left to perform. I have loved our time here in New York. From the first scary days where we wondered how New York critics would take to us, the first previews where audiences walked into the show not knowing what they were going to be seeing, feeling them begin each show with a "Okay, we've seen it all. Show us what you got" skepticism to the first chuckles of laughter to outright falling down laughter, to hearing the sniffles and the tears to the big roar that comes at the end. It was nerve-wracking every single time.

Our preview period was short. We didn't have a lot of money in the production budget. All we could do was toss the show up on the stage, open the doors, invite the critics and cross our fingers. After all, no matter how well we might have done with critics in Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston and elsewhere, none of that matters when you come into New York.

I st…

Southern Baptist Leader Supports Eugenics.

It sounds like something out of Nazi-era Germany, but it's actually real and the reason it's so startling is that it's done in a sober voice by one of the main spokespersons and leaders of the Southern Baptist Convention, the largest group of Protestants in the United States. Here's how it goes:

Rev. R. Albert Mohler, the president of the prominent and influential Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky -- a man you've seen on CNN many times debating against gay people -- has issued a statement that he supports medically engineering fetuses to make sure they don't turn out with "homosexual temptation." And why does he support this?

The logic is pure religiopathy. See, according to Rev. Mohler, he is beginning to believe that homosexual tendencies might have a genetic origin. But rather than accepting this as simply nature doing what it does, his position is that this is part of God's punishment upon mankind for Adam eating the …

Own Some History

Mike Jones, our favorite evangelist massage expert, has finally put "the massage table" up on eBay. It's a piece of Presidential history and, yes, the money raised will be going to Project Angel Heart, which delivers food to sick people in Denver. Bid away!

New Cast!

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I'm happy to be the first to announce the new cast of The Big Voice.

Dale Radunz (pictured) will be playing the role of "Jim."

Carl Danielson will be playing the role of "Steve." (Photo posted below).

They came to the auditions and totally blew us away. Dale is a tall, deadpan veteran actor with this stentorian voice. When he started reading the lines, we were on the floor, hurting. He has this ability to slay you with a glance. He will bring an amazing new dimension to the role because he approaches differently from Jim, but has all the same ability to keep you in stitches.

Carl is a brilliant musician and is totally adorable. Again, he's completely different from me, which I consider to be a really good thing. He'll be able to create a new approach and it won't feel like he's trying to recreate what I do.

We start rehearsals tomorrow and I am so excited, I can't stand it.

Also, after Jim's and my last performance, this Sunday at 3pm, we will…

Coulter: Missing The Point

Joe.My.God. reported this morning:
Coulter herself has tried to downplay her remarks, telling the NY Times that she was joking, saying, "I would never insults gays by comparing them to John Edwards. That would be mean." (Anybody buying that?)
The issue isn't that Coulter called Edwards "gay." The issue is her free and denigrating use of the term "faggot."

Let's take this another way. What if she had called Barack Obama a "nigger?"

That's the issue here. She had a room full of "Christian" conservatives cheering the use of the term "faggot" and cheering the fact she "dared" to use the term, as if she were some brave champion of free speech.

She didn't call John Edwards "gay." She called him a "nigger."

A One-Act?

We had two explosive shows yesterday as we count down to 100. And because it was Purim at the temple, we had to compress the show in order to give them space for their festivities. So, we got rid of the intermission -- as the big Ethel moment was happening, I turned and said, "STOP! STOP! I have a confession to make... our relationship began with a lie!" (which is one of the opening lines from act two) and we cruised right through to the end of the show.

And, whaddaya know, it was a much better show!

People had been telling us they thought it might work better as a one act, and they were right! it does. We've decided to continue doing it exactly that way. Whodathunk it?

I love when little accidents like that happen, forcing you to improvise, and you end up with a better product.

Calling Someone is a Faggot is Funny if You're a Conservative.

While THE BIG VOICE and McNally's SOME MEN are demonstrating a compassionate and carefully human view of what it means to be gay in America, in love, and wanting to marry the partner of your choice, the Conservative Political Action Committee is cheering Ann Coulter on as she declares Democratic candidate John Edwards to be a "faggot." Don't believe me? Go here.

It's all on video.

These are the people who have declared themselves to be the "Christian" wing of the Republican Party. These are the ones who are telling the rest of the country how to act morally. These are the people who put Bush in power. These are the people who, until this last election, was running this country.

Welcome to JesusLand.

SOME MEN by Terrence McNally

We were invited to a dress rehearsal of "Some Men," the new play by Terrence McNally and I thought it was an absolutely brilliant. Theoretically, it's a play about gay marriage, but it's really, as all good plays are, about so much more. It's about the lives of several generations of gay men and how both they and things have changed over time.

It begins with a gay marriage ceremony where we're looking at eight men watching the ceremony. It's a brief scene that sets us up for some very non-linear storytelling where we start to meet these men in oblique ways. At first, it seems like it's just random vignettes, but then we start to recognize some from that opening scene. As it skips around in time, we start to get a really full image of the modern history of gay men as seen through the eyes of New Yorkers.

And what a FANTASTIC cast. They play central characters as well as random side characters and are able to delineate each one perfectly. I never felt con…

Let's Help Gabi

From Beth Reis:

Dear Friends,

Gabi Clayton, whom I know many of you know and love (and whom others appreciate as the Safe Schools Coalition's web spinner and longtime speakers' bureau volunteer) has been hospitalized twice in the past two weeks. She had another big seizure weekend before last and then chest pain a couple of days ago. She has missed a bunch of work -- she has a very part-time private counseling practice in addition to her contracts with SSC and others for web services. And she doesn't have health insurance, no less a full-time job. Neither does her wonderful partner, Alec. Alec's health has been up and down for a few years, as well.

Gabi and Alec lost their son Bill to suicide after a brutal gay bashing on school property in 1995 (see http://www.youth-guard.org/gabi/). Since that time, both have become very involved in PFLAG. And Gabi's also volunteered for the Safe Schools Coalition, Youth Guardian Services, Families United Against Hate, and Stonewall…

Patient Safety Blog

Wonderful blog I've discovered called the Patient Safety Blog. It relates stories about medical situations and then offers, at the end of each entry, solid advice to caregivers and patients about how to interact with medical professionals.

This entry is a particularly good example. How a 10-year old disabled girl told her mother that the doctor had misdiagnosed something in her condition. Unfortunately, the mother listened to the doctor and dismissed the little girl's concerns, resulting in the death of the girl. I liked this advice at the end of the entry:
Advice to parents: You know your child better than anyone; you are their primary care provider. Keep the courage of your convictions when you see medical professionals disregard a key sign about your child. Go to a higher authority in the hospital if you think the doctors and nurses are making a serious mistake.

I learned early on that *I* was my primary caregiver and that I had to take personal responsibility to listen to, a…

Dinner with Joe and Mike.

Last night, we had a fun dinner with Mike Jones (the man who outed Ted Haggard, and who was in town for a taping of the Montel Show) and Joe.My.God., my favorite blogger on the net (and who helped find Mike Jones, setting up a support fund link for him after the election and everyone had forgotten all about him).

AND I FORGOT MY CAMERA BECAUSE I WAS RACING TO GET OUT THE DOOR. ARRGGGHH!!!

Joe is lively and funny and full of stories in person. It's our first time to really just hang out. We promised to get together again before Jim and I take off from New York.

Mike told us about the Montel taping and I hope, when they edit the piece, it's as good as he described. For one thing, they invited several "exgay" types to join him. One couple backed out when they heard that Montel was going to talk about the husband's number of sexual couplings (over 500) before getting married to a girl.

On the air, though, Exodus shill Alan Chambers got nailed by Montel for his frequent …

Just Like You. Only Gayer.

When The Big Voice was first playing in Los Angeles, we had a lot of invited audiences that were mostly older, straight couples. Afterwards, we'd greet them at the door and they'd say, "We've learned more about gay marriage in the past two hours than we've known our whole lives. You're just like us!"

Joe.My.God. points to a new ad campaign that brilliantly illustrates this:

Three ad spots about gay marriage.

NY Video Diary #25: Charlotte Rae Sings

Last Wednesday, we caught Charlotte Rae singing at the "Any Wednesday at Barnes & Noble," hosted by Bart Greenberg. She was celebrating the reissue of a wonderful album she recorded back in the 50s called "Songs I Taught My Mother." I recorded this great song by Sheldon Harnick called "The Ballad of the Shape of Things."