Showing posts from 2016

RIP George Michael, Godfather of New World Waking.

If not for George Michael, I wouldn't have played John Lennon's IMAGINE piano. We would not have had our mini-concert under the tree planted in Bill Clayton's memory which gave me the concept of New World Waking.

I'm sorry I never got to meet or speak to him and tell him how much he affected my life. I hope, in the new year, you will reach out to someone who affected your life in some small or large miraculous way, unknowingly perhaps, and let them know.

For instance, the creator of the drug that saved my life, Dr. Bruce Dorsey, reached out to me after reading about my new life in my Bonus Round journal, long before it was a Bonus Round. He got to see me come back to life, whereas his life was really constrained to a lab. He job was molecules, not lives saved.

He said, "It's so great to actually see someone living their life because of something I did. I usually only see the lab."

So, thank you, Caroline True, for coordinating the John Lennon IMAGINE piano p…

Bass Playing.

Bass playing is all about the groove. I almost felt the groove this morning. 20 takes in. For just one moment, I felt "it," the groove they talk about. It's sensual and controls everything in the song.

And as quick as I got it, it got away because, probably, I enjoyed the moment of getting it and became self-conscious. I can get the notes, but the groove? Stupid bass players never warned me. They just stand there, looking all cool and barely moving.

So, here I sit for the past two hours and all I want is to get this one song. Over and over, I play it. But I just don't lock in. It's elusive, this groove. I took it for granted as a pianist because I could coast over the top of it. Took bass players for granted because I essentially played their part on piano.

But it's different. It's almost as if you have to change your own brain-mind, force it into a different type of thinking and feeling.

So, I haven't been getting it. And then there was that moment. That…

After reading “Once, We Were Heroes”

After reading “Once, We Were Heroes”
By Steve Schalchlin

I found an essay about AIDS called

"Once, We Were Heroes by Mark S. King

I read it out loud yesterday in my Sunday afternoon acting class
At first I could tell I was rushing
I always rush through things

The first story in the essay is about a man
Trying to keep his dying lover from drinking the poison
The two of them had lovingly concocted together

He failed

As the gravity of that sheet-soaked passage hit me
Two tormented souls struggling for one more moment,
I became aware of the young people in our class.
I realized how shocking it must have sounded to them.

"Here, honey. Here’s that poison we mixed together!"

Because to me, having lived through that era,
It felt like a normal and completely understandable

To die of this disease is to suffer.
There were so many people dying so quickly
in such horrible painful excreta-filled
‘holocaust bodies and faces’ ways

So familiar, that I didn't even flinch when I read it myself


The Only Kind of Music (with Jake)

Jake Wesley Stewart came over for lunch, so I did what I always do. Dragged him behind a mic and made him sing a vocal. This was yesterday. Here he is.

High Water Road

My first demo recording with me playing the bass guitar!

Christmas Cherry Red.

Each year, I have slowly added to my ability to create music from home. Last year, I picked up the guitar (acoustic) and have been learning it, while writing guitar songs. I've been making demos using it. This Christmas, I thought, now I want to play electric guitar.

But, as I listened back on my demo, though some aren't bad, there was always something missing.

A real, live bass.

I was playing a bass on the keyboard, a nice sample, as a matter of fact. But the rush of energy that you feel when you hear fingers gliding over the strings of a nice bass, it just can't be matched. So, though my heart wanted to be Keith Richard, I knew I had to first be Peter Tork.

So, I wandered into Sam Ash and told the guy in the bass department my plight, that I wanted a bass, but nothing fancy, nothing tricked out. And, lo and behold, rather than upselling me, he said, "Look, see that Yamaha there?"

"Yeah." (Most bass guitars want you to spend upward of $600 to $1000 or…
Yes! I made today's birthday list. I wonder how many of you, if it was awhile since we communicated, checked here first to see if I'm still alive?

I post! Therefore I am!

All is well. Tests are generally good. HIV undetectable. Bit too much fat in the blood (side effects of the meds) and I'm staying rigidly faithful to my multiple pill regimen.

Mentally, I'm still keeping my "University of Steve at New York" paradigm for my daily existence, seeking out mentors, giving service in order to create and build community. Always learning more, reaching harder in this most amazing Bonus Round -- but also keeping a quiet "just do the work" zen approach.

GYM 101: I'm having a bit of a kidney issue when I run, so I've taken to stair-climbing in our building while listening to Hardcore History podcasts. Because of my frozen shoulder, which is much better, I can't lift weight. So I climb. Up to 45, down to 1 and back up again. I miss running the street…

"At One" with my instrument.

Yesterday was a personal landmark for me. It was my first time since learning guitar that I confidently played and sang a 20-minute set in front of strangers. I had previously sung one or two songs for mostly friends, but my concentration was always so focused on getting the guitar part right, remembering where my fingers were supposed to be, that my attention felt divided.

But yesterday, after much practice, I had total focus on the song, the lyrics and the performance. I wasn't demonstrating my songs, I was performing them. I was being an entertainer, confident and having a blast. The guitar felt as natural to me as when I play and sing at the piano.

The exhilarating feeling is one that cannot be described. It's powerful to have control of one's instrument, whether it's a piano, a guitar or even just your voice.

And yes, I know I'm too old to be a rock star to anyone but myself, but here in the Bonus Round, where time speeds up and the prizes are better, this…

11 SEPT 2016. The STEVE Show! "No Safety"

On the anniversary of 9/11, a song about the same violence going on now in Syria, focusing on the small boy found in the rubble of Aleppo, Omran Daqneesh. "No Safety" written and performed by The Bonus Round Band featuring Steve Schalchlin.

31 AUG 2016. The STEVE! Show. NYC in AUGUST 2016.

With new song! "High Water Road."

16 AUG 2016. The STEVE! Show. Oh You Devil.

Live studio video.

10 AUG 2016. The STEVE! Show. Standing on the Corner in July.


July 2016 NYC - Prove You Wrong


30 JULY 2016. The STEVE! Show -- Takes With Jake


It's almost been a month.

I'm doing fine. Just lying low after my last upper respiratory infection, noodling around on the guitar and generally staying still. I finally started back singing at St. Clement's on Sunday mornings. So, that's gotten me out of the house. But otherwise, I'm just reading, studying, learning more guitar licks and trying to survive in this heat. This is what I looked like on Saturday:

1 JULY 2016. The STEVE Show! Health Update.


Xulhaz Mannan / Orlando Pride

A memorial for the victims violence against LGBT persons in Orlando and Bangla Desh. Featuring Blake Zolfo & The Hamblin Singers. St. Clement's Church NYC.

"ONLY FOR A POUND" Wesley Slade

Wesley Slade sings ONLY FOR A POUND (rehearsal recording) for The Space Pirate Puppy Musical! Book by Heather Bagnall. Music & Lyrics by Steve Schalchlin. Directed by Luke Tudball.

15 JUNE 2016. The STEVE! Show. Paddle Flap.


26 MAY 2016. The STEVE! Show. Jennifer Ashley Tepper

Interviewed by Jim Brochu, she's the author and programming director at Feinstein's 54 Below.

The STEVE! Show. 23 MAY 2016. "Xulhaz Mannan" LIVE at St. Clement's.


"Xulhaz Mannan" The Bonus Round Band

In memory of "Xulhaz Mannan" who was murdered on April 25, 2016 in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The Bonus Round Band feat. Blake Zolfo on lead vocals.

From Tamoso Deep, who first approached songwriter Steve Schalchlin with this story.

The Grand Release : A Homage To Xulhaz Mannan

It could be named the Murder. It could be named Seven Minutes After.

Steve insisted this should remain as Xulhaz Mannan, because he wanted the song to build a blockade against people who wanna wash him off from the history. The mass denial is still ongoing, people are too shy to talk about him. I told that to Steve.

So, he composed this song. To pay the homage to Xulhaz.

It was a collaborative work. I talked with Steve for hours. Our conversation, which Steve fondly refers to as 'Our story', has taken the shape of this song.

It was Blake Zolfo who gave his voice. And Elizabeth Pax.

The song did not end. This is no curtain call. And I don't wanna sound like that, …

7 MAY 2016. The STEVE! Show. A visit with radio's Uncle Johny.


14 MAY 2016. The Steve! Show. Quick catch-up with Steve & Blake.


"The Space Pirate Puppy Musical" in Orlando Fringe, May 20-28.

What is The Space Pirate Puppy musical?

Even if I knew I couldn't tell you It's a wacky idea from Heather Bagnall and Luke Tudball -- two foolish Brits in Brooklyn -- who asked me off-handedly, one day, whether I'd like to write songs for a children's show and I said yes (because I always say yes).

This is the final poster.

Original artwork bySeamus Corbett. Additional artwork by Tasty Monster Productions#OFringe25#KeepingItTasty — with Orlando Fringe, Luke Tudball, Luke Tudball,Heather Bagnall, Steve Schalchlin, Heather Bagnall,Orlando Fringe and Monster Arts at Orlando Fringe. I have never really written this kind of show tune writing before, nor have I had to deliver so much material in such a short amount of time -- a month or two -- so I have to thank Heather Bagnall who wrote the book and Luke Tudball who's, no doubt, doing something contributive in order to look busy -- and the surprise casting of old Bonus Round buddy from The Big Voice days, Wesley Slade,…

Video tribute to Dana Lorge. "Manhattan" sung by Blake Zolfo. The STEVE...

"Manhattan" written by Sara Bareilles.

22 APR 2016. The STEVE! Show. Mark Janas, Brahms & Nocchi the rescue cat.


21 APR 2016. The STEVE! Show. Walk with Billie the rescue dog in Central...


20 APR 2016. The STEVE! Show. Ken Fallin, Broadway's caricaturist, is in...


Planet #9 by The Bonus Round Band.

A new planet has been discovered by CalTech scientists. Featuring Steve Schalchlin & Blake Zolfo.


Katharine Hepburn, tapping, blood, therapy, Duane Poole.

15 APR 2016. What is the cabaret experience?

Bernie Furshpan defines the "cabaret experience" in New York.

14 APR 2016. The STEVE! Show. Interview with ABC's "Quantico" and Broadw...


13 APR 2016. The Steve! Show. Previewing Planet #9. "Innovative!"


11 APR 2016. The Steve! Show. Special announcement! Zombie Priest!

Special announcement! Zombie Priest! in a staged reading on MONDAY APRIL 25 at 7:15pm at ART/NY Bruce Mitchell Room, 520 8th Avenue (Bet. 36th/37th). Admission FREE.

7 APR 2016. The Steve! Show. Jim's surprise plus review of "American Psy...


5 APR 2016. The Steve! Show. Jim Brochu guest stars on the inaugural epi...


VIDEO DAILY SHACK. 31 MAR 2016. The wit and wisdom of Blake Zolfo.


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 30 MAR 2016. Blake Zolfo sings "Sea Glass."

#cryingwednesday #southerning

VIDEO DAILY SHACK. 27 MAR 2016. New pillows! Good Friday Choir! Guitar p...


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 26 MAR 2016. Singing for Good Friday and sleeping bet...


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 24 MAR 2016. 20th anniversary of the diary.

Steve reads from the original Bonus Round diary and tells stories from 24 MAR 1996.

DAILY VIDEO DIARY. 21 MAR 2016. My way forward with the shoulder pain.


DAILY VIDEO DIARY. 20 MAR 2016. Feelin' tired but pushing through!






Michele Mais sings "The Singer & The Song"


Blake Zolfo sings Going It Alone


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 14 MAR 2016. Report about our concert at the Metropol...


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 13 MAR 2016. Keith Emerson, tapping, the bonus round ...


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 12 MAR 2016. Gettin' ready for Sunday's Concert.


Texan All The Way


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 9 MAR 2016. A big announcement and teaching Steve to ...


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 10 MAR 2016. First rough draft of "Texan All the Way."


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 7 MAR 2016. I Told A Lie, Pt. 2

I sent them the songs. Would they like them??



DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 3 MAR 2016. How Blake Zolfo met Steve.


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 28 FEB 2016. Should I "friend" a stranger?


DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 27 FEB 2016. I broke a string!

And now I have to figure out how to restring a guitar!

DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 2016-02-25. Is that a folk singer I hear?

Converting numbers from New World Waking into guitar songs.

On My Day of Rest


2016-02-22. Memorizing Long Speeches.

In this case, Seneca's Oedipus.


How To Get Away With Murder, Egg Rolls & Sheet Music.



DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 2016-02-10.

Meeting the jazz sax player and being embarrassed.

DAILY SHACK 2016-02-09

Drumming during dinner. Becoming a guitar person.


Repetition and a sneak preview of a new song


Guest stars, guitar playin' and opera?

DAILY VIDEO SHACK. 2016-02-05. Dang! If I had a billion dollars.




Daily Shack. 21 JAN 2016. Learning Fingerpicking.

Oy. It's so hard. I'm incrementaling my way through "Rescue." It sounds great on guitar. I just wish I could do it in less than 45 minutes.

Daily Shack: Back in the Studio

Happy to be back practicing guitar after a day of rest, watching movies and catching up on TV shows.

Daily Shack. 18 JAN 2016

Rehearsing my new song for my songwriting group tonight. Demo ready soon.

the security guard’s human event

young glasses guard with big smile
a taciturn presence

“oh? you’re doing acting classes?
what do they -- what do you… do in there?”

i said,
“well, it’s a scene study class, so we bring scenes
or the teacher gives us scenes and we do them
and he says, here try it this way
or try it that way”

“what do you get outta that?”

his eyes were bright with curiosity
like, behind this big, aloof, handsome man
who i was, at first, afraid of
months ago when i first encountered him
here at the desk in the middle of the night

he speaks in almost a whisper
now i see he is very shy, extremely shy
but i know that look
i know it from my own face

the first time i thought about an acting class
it sounded exciting

a playground

where you use all your senses

and explore your inner self

by exploring the inner selves of others

to not be myself

to play

to pretend

to be free

i imagined what he would be like in the room with us
he would be silent as a stone
staring off into the corner
when speaking, he’d be softe…