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].

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Video Diary Jan. 2013: 2 Seconds at a Time



A little experiment that turned out better than I ever dreamed. I had read about a person who recorded two seconds of video every day and came out with an entertaining video. So, I thought I'd give it a shot.

There are a few celebrities sprinkled throughout this video. Can you pick them out?

EDIT: Here is the shot list.

1. Manhattan skyline, looking south. World Trade Center. Christmas Eve, Dec. 2012.

2. Hudson river. New Jersey.

3. Hudson River. Jacob Javits Center and entrance to tunnel.

4. Midnight Mass. Christmas Eve. Silent Night. Candles only.

5. My pill tray. My list of medications beneath it.

6. WTC. Between Christmas and New Year.

7. Snow. Manhattan Plaza, which has subsidized housing for actors and retirees, through door.

8. 10th Avenue and 42nd street.

9.  Hudson River.

10. 42nd Street New Year’s Eve.

11. Me mentioning the barracades.

12. McDonald’s Times Square.

13. 42nd Street cleaner.

14. New Amsterdam theater. Mary Poppins is closing soon.

15. Me and Mary Poppins.

16. Times Square subway tunnel on my way to church.

17. Subway station underground. Waiting for the 1 train.

18. Rehearsing my  “Gloria.” Mark Janas conducting.

19. Performing “Gloria.”

20. Rehearsing in church.

21. Danielle Erin Rhodes winking.

22. Jonathan Marro, attached to Danielle. The three of us pretend we a thruple.

23. Me.

24. Organist Kalle writing intensely. He’s always writing intensely.

25. Rehearsing some ancient sacred song.

26. Steinbeck manning the feeding station.

27. Manhattan Plaza. Christmas lights still up.

28. Jim at the Big Apple grocery and butcher shop. They just closed it because they building is being replaced. It was the only place to get affordable food. Everything else in midtown is “gourmet.” Same stuff. Twice the price.

29-31. More shots of the, now, late Big Apple. Jim says hello.

32. The Good and Plenty in front of Manhattan Plaza also just closed. They had really great home-cooked meals. And then, suddenly, without warning, a notice. Closing because of rents or something. It was always crowded. It’s hard to find affordable food, which is tough for both the poor actors and for people on fixed incomes.

33. Our annual ritual of changing from the old Week-At-A-Glance to the new.

24. Lucy Es Inciente.

25. The pine needles have fallen from our mini-tree.

26. Taking off the ornament at the top. I think it’s from the White House, but I forget.

27. The cards will also be coming down. WTC in the background.

28. Pretty!

29. Jim just got his copy of the magazine from the Lyric Theater in Stuart, Florida where he’s going to do Zero for one last tour. He is ready to put his Zero shoes away. Character Man is coming.

30. Four Broadway theaters. The newest name changes were the Schoenfeld and the Bernard Jacobs. We call them the Merman and the Martin, because that’s what they should be.

31. Magician and comedian Rich Bloch.

32. Steinbeck gets a zerbert.

33. Boiling broccoli. My new diet is plant-based. Doctor’s orders. Kidney stones.

34. The poster of Zero Mostel in our kitchen. It was on the wall of the LA Shubert Theater and given to us when they tore it down. Or, rather, at the closing party, we claimed it from the stack of giveaways.

35. Asparagus and peanuts. More of my new diet. No salt.

36. Foggy day.

37. Merchant of Venice, which I am reading and from which I have learned a monologue.

38. Me doing my serious actory Shakespeare face in the subway.

39. At the Starbucks in Christopher Street waiting for Mark Janas, to head to church.

40. Church.

41. Swinging toward Mark Janas.

42. Mark Janas’ fingers playing something hard.

43. Subway home from Brooklyn. Trying to get to acting class.

44. Andy Gale’s advanced acting class. He’s the best in the city.

45. Jake Wesley Stewart.

46. Walking down 46th street, restaurant row. Broadway Joe is a steak house, I think.

47. Don’t Tell Mama, a premiere cabaret spot, where I’ve sung several times.

48. Marge Champion, Grand dame of New York dancers. Was the model for Cinderella and for the hippos in Fantasia.

49. Jim Brochu on Maude, as a patron in a gay bar.

50. Hudson River at night.

51. Signature Theater. New complex on 42nd street.

52. The backside of Hell’s Kitchen.

53. WTC at night.

54. Steinbeck. Early morning.

55. Jim and Steve.

56. Lunching with some lady friends, Magda, Jane and Merrill at the Polish Tea Room.

57. Running into a fan in Times Square. Cindy.

58. Jim imitating an very annoying commercial on TV.

59. Stack of books I’ve been reading.

60. Slats in the bedroom window.

61. Jim on the phone. Very serious. He wanted me to stop taping.

62. 10th avenue looking toward the Yotel.

63. Jim walking toward 42nd street, 10th avenue.

64. In front of new gay resort is where all the cops park. The station is next door. We’ve turned on 42nd and are headed west.

65. The police station.

66. The new Pearl Theater. Opened in the space abandoned when the Signature moved into the new building two blocks over.

67. West side highway, 11th street headed toward Javits Center.

68-70, JIm crosses the road, talks..

71. Inside the Javits Center.

72. There’s a motorcycle show. We weren’t going to that.

73. More walking.

74. Empire State Building.

75. Travel Show!

76. Going in.

77. The Russia exhibit.

78. A sign.

79. New Antarctic exhibit at Sea World.

80-81. Kids.

82. Another kid.

83. Jim covets Thai hat.

84-86. Lithuania.

87. Steve philosophizes.

88-89. More dancers.

90. Cindy Marchionda. She sang in choir that day, so we’re in Brooklyn.

91. Brooklyn.

92. Andy Gale’s class.

93. Stephen Wallem at Birdland. (Nurse Jackie’s Thor).

94. Steinbeck at the trough.

95. Morning exercise.

96. The OUT NYC.

97. WTC at night.

98. WTC later in the morning.

99. Me in the mirror.

100. The last cutting from the old red flannel bathrobe referenced in The Last Session. Frame was a placeholder at an awards show I hosted for the Spirit of Broadway theater.

101. Hudson River. Blazing sunset. Camera couldn’t really get it.

102. WTC sunset.

103. Hell’s Kitchen sunset.

104. The Skivvies at 54 Below. Yes, they play in their underwear. They are also very talented and very funny.

105. Stone and Stone, hilarious twin comics. Also 54 Below.

106. Jim in his chair. Steinbeck below.

107. Me and my meds.

108. Steinbeck on the blanket we call “the cat catcher.”

109. Jim writing.

110. I dusted!

111. WTC.

112. Hudson River.

113. A strange painting left to us by jazz pianist, Stan Freeman. I think it’s actual art.

114. Kitchen towel.

115. Steinbeck on the cat catcher.

116. “Fish not with this melancholy bait.”

117. Family members at the 13th Step.

118. The 13th Step.

119. Shooting a movie “Perfect Timing” from PrashNYC.

120-122. Caricatures in the Players Club in NYC in the bathroom.

123-124. Jim Brochu reads the gift of deed from Edwin Booth, donating his mansion to the Players. Junius Brutus Booth, father of Edwin and John Wilkes is in the portrait above the fireplace.

125. An onion we didn’t use.

126. Flowers/WTC.

127. Steinbeck.

128-132. 42nd and 9th at night. On my way to see Terese Genecco and meet Kathleen McGuire.

133. Traffic cops.

134. Getting the “magic bus” which runs down 10th to 34th street and then cuts to the east side. Our stop is the first stop, so the bus starts empty.

135. It fills up quickly, especially on a rainy night.

136. Looking up Park Avenue.

137. Subway on the east side. The letters turn green.

138. The new Cutting Room. Never been there.

139. A display inside.

140. Terese Genecco and her Little Big Band. She’s a great entertainer and singer. And her band is thrilling.

141. Lea Delaria presenting Terese with a signed prison uniform, a souvenir from her new series that takes place in a women’s prison. It was auctioned off for charity later that night.

142. Kathleen McGuire and me.

143. JIm.

144. Steve.

145. A caricature of me drawn on cup by Carl Maguire. Cap’n Shakl’n.

146. JIm at the new Cake Boss Cafe where the cakes cost $50. He had to try a pastry.

147. Bobble head doll of Cake Boss.

148. Aunt Bea drunk.

149. Picnic on Broadway.

150. Me.

151. Jim assaults stranger on street. (Actually, Timothy Jerome who is now in “Phantom.”
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