Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Steve Gets Quoted!

Both Andrew Sullivan and Joe.My.God. have posted a quote by me from the recent interview in the San Francisco Sentinel regarding the relationship between gay people, church and theatre. Here's the quote:
"Gay people who are raised in a religious environment, a conservative religious environment are basically told, 'You're not good enough / you don't belong here / you need to change / you need to be something else.' And so, in a lot of our lives, we end up leaving the church and hating God or hating Religion or hating the whole nine yards. But an inherently spiritual person doesn’t really lose the core of their being. So it’s going to come out somewhere."

"I think that what we discovered is that it comes out of theater, because theater and church are essentially the same thing. They are story-telling, they are inspirational, and they are true. Theatre brings an even higher truth sometimes. Church basically repeats the same old story over and over again. I often wonder if that’s not one of the reasons so many gay people wind up getting into theater. We’re always told that the reasons are because we're used to hiding and wearing masks and being somebody else. But I think there's something more profound." - Steve Schalchlin, in an extensive interview with the San Francisco Sentinel.
My point was that church people can call us names all they want. They can insist that we are Sons of Satan or profoundly reprobate, but they are wrong. And if they want to throw us out of their "holy" houses, we'll simply go elsewhere, but our essential spiritual cores do not fade and will not be held down.

Theatre is one of the places where we find our power. And, for Jim and me, the most profound spiritual experiences came from a stage, not a pulpit.


omniadeo said...

Steve, I had the pleasure of seeing your show in San Francisco as well as the honor of having dinner with you and Jim recently. You are an amazing person,and how right you are: No church or organization can rob you of your spiritual core. You are a living testament to that truth beyond life and death. At one time in history, there was no separation between Religion, Government and the Theater! Of course we can't and shouldn't go back to those times, but each of those now separate domains, if they do not reflect the best of the others, are trash fit for the incinerator. Your work, like all sincere art, will disappear in the twinkling of an eye and yet somehow live forever too. Thanks for your wonderful story and life's work.

Anonymous said...

Hi Steve... I saw your show last night in SF and really loved it...but wanted to comment that the spiritual element was the MOST meaningful part of it, to me. A real surprise, too, because the initial story in the Chronicle made the show sound like a (really good) relationship story, love story of two older guys, etc...and the spiritual wasn't highlighted.
I was blown away by the way you brought such depth and authenticity of spirituality along WITH the humor... the "personal" and the "spiritual" merged...
I know a number of long-time AIDS survivors - it's a very special way to live. Thanks, thanks for how you are doing it!

Steve Schalchlin said...

Sara, thank you so much for you comments. You, too, omniadeo. It's hard for reviewers to really talk about the spiritual aspects of our show because we don't really lay it on that thickly. We don't have a religious agenda and the story is intensely personal. I think people get out of it what they wish to get out of it. I just know what it feels like to me, and I let audience members find their own meaning.

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