Showing posts from April, 2013

My Best Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Today, I made the best veggie chili I've ever eaten. I used several recipes and then just started making it up as I went along. I should put a list of ingredients, but I made it up as I went along. So, that's how I'm spelling it out here.


I cut up ONE ONION and TWO CLOVES OF GARLIC and threw them into a frying pan/skillet with a BIG POUR of OLIVE OIL. And threw the SWEET POTATO chunks and CARROTS into the pan with them, and covered it on med-high heat, stirring it around until the onions turned clear.

Into the big pot, I tossed all these ingredients along with BIG CAN OF CRUSHED TOMATOES, THREE CANS OF VARIOUS TYPES OF BLACK AND KIDNEY BEANS, along with the water in the can.




Then, I brought it to a boil, then do…

TALES FROM THE BONUS ROUND: Portland Oregon 1996

First time a big ocean liner
Sailed up the Wilhammette and docked
In Portland Oregon They lifted the bridge Helicopters flew over Flood lights Afternoon and evening tv news

On board that ship was a dying man
Taking the last cruise of his life
A cruise to Alaska

He had already celebrated the “last birthday” of his life
The previous October This was now May
He was also desperate to not die
So he made a decision that he would fight The diarrhea that was draining the life from his stick thin body
He drank a narcotic syrup to slow down his system
Anti-diarrhea pills on top of that And he raided every food buffet possible
Even if he could just gain a pound He a Stephen King character
A ghoul face poking from inside a hoodie The image you avert your eyes away from Wasting away
A barely-walking skeleton
He had already held off his death
For the past year
By writing and singing music
Of brutal honesty Rage, courage, and hope Written with nothing left to lose
It had worked The music had had measurable effects
So, he had come ba…

A Great Honor.

Last night, Mark Janas and I had the great honor of  debuting a new school song which we composed for the 150th anniversary of the Adelphi Academy in Brooklyn, a K-12 private school with a proud tradition of progressive education, singularly tailored for each student, through its long and storied history. On the front lines of women's voting rights, for instance, and the first to institute physical education in its curriculum.

Mark and I are thankful for the honor and we hope our song lasts for another 150 years (at least).

Bonus Round Choir FAQ

A crowd-sourced chorus that sings with Steve.

How do I get in? If you want to sing, you're in.  You don't have to know how to read. You don't even have to know the music. You don't even have to know the songs. Just show up and let me know you're in. Or don't let me know. I make it up as I go along. 
Where do I get the music?  In the Crowd-Source BRC folder at Google Docs. And inside that is a link to all the music in New World Waking, which is a more formal "show," as opposed to when I'm just singing solo. Currently, it contains two of the songs I'm going to sing on Sunday. But I'm improvisational in my performances. I make decisions based on the moment. 
How will I know what to sing? Just show up. You'll know. If you need prompting, I'll do it from the stage. Sound scary, yes? 
When did you start doing this? Yesterday. But I've kind of been doing it all along. Now I've given it a title.
This sounds confusing. Yes, it does.
How …

The Health Effects of Choir Rehearsal.

Come Sing With Me.

I think enough of you have seen the song "Lazarus Come Out." And also "Rescue." Come sing them with me. There are three opportunities coming up.

On Sunday morning at 11am at Christ Church Bay Ridge, I'm going to sing "Lazarus Come Out" during the worship service. If you're not Episcopalian -- I have readers and followers from all walks of life, from the most atheistic to the most conservative fundamentalist, that may not be your bag. So, pretend it's one of those European Gospel Bus Tours that bring crowds to the balconies of churches in Harlem. This is the traditional Episcopalian version of that tour. However, you'll have to get yourself there -- and make sure I know you're there. Then, when it's my time to sing, you can come up and just be part of my bonus round choir. (And no, this is not a trick to get you to come to church. It is, however, free.) Choir rehearsal starts at 9:45 and service starts at 11.

Then, Sunday evening, …

Reminder: Steve Sings in New York This Sunday.

St. Clement's Cabaret. St. Clement's Episcopal Church, 423 W. 46th Street 7:00 PM

Jim & Steve Sing for Zani's Furry Friends, May 4th.

And yes, I will be performing "Rescue."

Why Shakespeare? Why church music? Why theater? Why anything?

Because they each have a measurably therapeutic effect on my body. And they are adventures!

Writing and singing music saved my life back in 1995 when I unknowingly wrote the score to The Last Session. I know the radiant feeling that happened while singing. While playing While creating. I probably felt it more because I needed it more. But I believe it's common to all of us, this capacity to use our creativity and turn it, like alchemy, into health.

Doing that speech from Richard II. This kid from Buna, Texas never considered he'd ever do something like that. But as I stood in front of that class, that heat came back. It was there. The same thing! I can only imagine what my "readings" would have looked like "before class" and "after class."

Being the tenor in the back row of the church choir, just quietly harmonizing is another source of great therapy for me. I would sing more, like with the gay men's chorus, if I had the strength.

But over th…

"Rescue" now on iTunes and Spotify.

When I rescued you, you rescued me. Studio-produced single now available. Originally written for an animal rescue group. Sheet music also available.

Also available on Spotify, plus most streaming and mp3 stores in the world.

Here is a video of the first performance, back at Kulak's Woodshed in North Hollywood.

Theology Vs. Ministry.

I found myself saying this on FB in a discussion with a theology student.

"Theology is sitting around a table deciding why you should give a man a piece of bread. Ministry is giving the man the piece of bread."

Upcoming Personal Appearances by Jim and/or Steve.

APRIL 21, 2013
46th St. between 9th and 10th

A yearly event held in the recreation hall for the St. Clement's food program. Hosted by the wonderful Sue Matsuki, Steve Schalchlin will be singing a couple of songs along with many wonderful New York singers and performers from the world of clubs, cabaret and theater.

APRIL 29, 2013

A staged reading series of the plays of George Bernard Shaw, presented by the Gingold Group, directed by David Staller. Featuring Jim Brochu as Mellish. Also, Sean Dugan, Jeremy Bobb, Howard McGillin and many more stars of the New York stage.

MAY 4, 2013
315 W. 44th

A benefit concert for Zani's Furry Friends, a group that rescues pets bound for termination, and finds them homes. Jim Brochu and Steve Schalchlin will be appearing along with many great stars of theater…

Manhattan Video Diary, March 2013 Pt. 2

And the new Manhattan Video Diary is up! And yeah, it's 2 seconds at a time.

I Am Harvey Milk.

Everyone in the choral and theatrical communities are very excited about this new work, I Am Harvey Milk, by Broadway composer Andrew Lippa being presented in San Francisco by Dr. Timothy Seelig and the San Francisco Gay Men's Chorus on June 27-28. (And I'm excited to have two choral pieces included in the first part of the program).

Andrew Lippa is the composer and, in reading about the origin of the piece, it says:
Lippa had initially been approached to contribute a short piece of music for the anniversary. "Some click went off in my mind. I didn't want to write a five-minute piece. I wanted to write a 60-minute piece," he said. "It felt like one of those `A-ha!' moments." It's the best feeling in the world where you see the whole thing in your mind. You might not have the details, but you can see it.

What they asked us for were songs that might illustrate life After Harvey Milk. What would you tell him if you could see him face to face?


Killing Shakespeare, Pt. 2

Read this first. About how I killed someone.

Here's the real story. A couple of weeks ago, this really great actor named John, in Andy Gale's Sunday afternoon advanced acting class, did a very famous and frequently quoted scene from Richard II because he's auditioning for a Shakespeare company.

Since I'm at the beginning of my discovery of Shakespeare, I don't know the play. I maybe had heard the line, "Tell sad stories of the death of kings."

John was riveting, as he always is. And it was very dramatic, but it just hit something in me.

I needed to do this scene.

In previous weeks, I have been singing songs, getting ready for Portland, assuming I have about 15 minutes, but knowing how flexible one has to be for an event like this with a lot of presentations. Ideally, I should be doing that. Crafting those minutes.

So, to suddenly be yanked off that path and into the oncoming headlights of Shakespeare, is pretty jarring.

Remembering, also, that I write and…

I Killed Someone Doing My Shakespeare Yesterday.

I got so wrapped up in a scene from Macbeth that I picked up a chair and bashed it over one of the other student's heads and killed him.

On the spot.

Well, at first, he was breathing a little. So, I knew I had to do something. My heart was pounding.

I saw a piano and, with superhuman ability -- like a mother saving a child under a car -- I picked up the entire piano and smashed it down on his face.

Shakespeare is very dangerous.

EDIT: This story, posted in April 1st may have some verification issues. Here is the follow-up post.