BRIEF BLOG INTRO: I'm a man on a mission to convince you that music is a Super Power, and that life is worth living, no matter how many obstacles are placed in your way. And that you can accomplish great things if you just push ahead and don't let anyone tell you no.

I'm a singer/songwriter and actor from Texas who is "Living in the Bonus Round" in New York City-- having cheated death from AIDS. (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.

In 2013, I turned 60 and I created 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 (while getting great reviews). Now I'm out to redefine theater and cabaret. 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] and we're just getting started.

Saturday, December 08, 2012

Trudging Out To The End of the Earth.

Now that I can't upload photos here at Blogger, I can't show you the really cool pictures I took of my adventure trip to the Lower East Side.

Okay, that's not the real reason. The real reason is I was going to an exclusive party. Very hush hush.

Special invitation only.

A Train to 14th. 14A bus, which runs east and then down the east side. Gets off at Jackson. Walk a block. Perfect.

I even stopped off at a place called Green -- what was it? Green Paradise? Green Pastures? I forget. And got some Indian finger food. A place Andy Gale showed me. And it's right on my own street! Didn't even know it was there. New York.

The exclusive party? It was at Andy's. All the students he coaches.

No secret. Just a Christmas party with friends.

I just thought I'd make it sound dramatic, which is very appropriate for a group of actors.

You could also say it's a big therapy session, but then you'd be giving away the secret.

I even got to stand up and give my good news about London.

Sometimes, in class, I feel I'm at an Anonymous meeting for an addiction I can't name.

I've spoken about him before. Andy is really, I think, doing me a favor by letting me be a part of his advanced acting class. I'm not an actor. Or maybe I am. It's just that...

The people in there are so experienced and so good. It's kind of scary to be around them. Just when I think I'm getting good at a scene, someone comes in and just has that natural ability to take the room and put it in their pocket -- and they do it so effortlessly. AJ Dean in London was like that. Well, all of the TLS cast did, but I think of him because, you know, it's always all about Buddy.

Now, where was I? Oh yes. It was a cold, rainy night. I had a sweater on beneath my hooded coat. The bus was filled with people also getting off at Jackson to go to a dance concert. They were also from the West Side, and also felt like they were in a foreign country.

But the bus driver was kind.

We got a little Christmas tree for our window, but I can't upload any more photos to Blogger.

You'll have to use your imagination.

EDIT: BTW, I didn't take any really cool pictures of the lower east side. I just forgot the camera. But I thought it was cooler to say it was an exclusive club.

EDIT AGAIN: I finally signed up for extra storage space. Even joined something called Google Wallet in order to do it. So, new pictures will be coming. First, though, I have to shoot some.

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