BRIEF BLOG INTRO:
I'm a man on a mission. A mission to convince everyone I meet that life is worth living, no matter how many obstacles are placed in your way.

I'm a singer/songwriter and actor from Texas "Living in the Bonus Round" in New York City. That is my way of describing how I feel having cheated death. (In a game show, the Bonus Round is where time speeds up and the prizes are better.) Accepting my death changed me. Now, I'm consuming life as quickly and as fully as I can, while still taking time to breathe and appreciate every single day as an utter miracle.

Last year, I turned 60 and I had a set of goals, all of which came true, including composing -- and performing in -- a Mass, recording a solo album (selling 10s of copies), headlining to a sold out house at a major night club in New York City and played the lead role in a staged reading of a play not written by myself. I update a few times a month these days, and I don't spam. So it's easier to keep up with me by following by Email. When this blog began, it was to track my death. I'm told it was the first AIDS blog. You can start at the gruesome beginning if you want. Or just jump in and maybe we can learn some life lessons together. Welcome to the Bonus Round. I'm Steve [SHACK-lin].

Friday, October 19, 2012

TLS-London Original Cast Album Announced.

Today, Playbill.com announced that JAY Records will record an original cast album of the terrific London production of The Last Session.
The London production of Steve Schalchlin and Jim Brochu's musical The Last Session, starring Darren Day as a songwriter battling AIDS, will be recorded by JAY Records in late October. Producer John Yap told Playbill.com that the London cast album will be recorded Oct. 29 and 30. A spring 2013 release is expected.
The cast consists of Darren Day as Gideon. Simone Craddock as Vicki, AJ Dean as Buddy, Lucy Vandi as Tryshia and Ron Emslie as Jim.

I was there for the opening and they are a powerhouse together. Every review, whether they liked the musical or not, went out of their way to rave about this spectacular cast.

A note: The reason this happened is because, long ago, I joined an email list called CAST RECORDINGS. Since I wasn't really from the world of musical theater, a lot of it went over my head. But most of the people on there are extremely knowledgeable on the subject and I've learned a lot over the years.

On that list, back 15 years ago, was John Yap, who runs a small label specializing in cast albums.

So, a few weeks ago, his name pops up on Facebook and I see he's in London. (He lives there.) So, not knowing if he'd know who I was or anything, I asked him if he knew about the production and if he'd go as my guest.

He responded immediately, mentioning that he knew about The Last Session, but never saw it in New York. That week, he went to see the show, met Rob, the producer, and had a long reunion with Darren Day, who he recorded, years ago, as Jesus in his recording of Godspell. (One of the things John does is make a "dream cast" album of a show, recording all the original orchestrations down to the last note. Many cast albums cut down the score to the songs.)

And that's how it all started. You never know when or how your connections might pay off. And now, we're going to get a cast album. This is very, very exciting. 
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