Monday, December 30, 2013

Feeling a bit better.

Save me from this couch! I have been trapped here with this upper respiratory infection, but woke this morning feeling much better. So the antibiotics are kicking in. Thank goodness! 

Great News.

Jim and I both just received year-end recognition for our respective appearances at the Metropolitan Room this past year from Stephen Hanks writing in BroadwayWorld Stephen is one of the very few critics who takes the time to see just about every show in the City -- and believe me, it's a lot.
Best Use of Personal Photos/Multi-Media Presentation in a Show: In his absorbing tribute show, Character Man, Jim Brochu mixed in some wonderful snapshots of himself with many of the great actors to which he paid tribute.
And for me:
Most Surprisingly Powerful Show That I Didn't Expect To Be So Good: Steve Schalchlin's highly-personal and emotionally enriching, Tales From the Bonus Round, was a 60th Birthday/CD release show that was a revelation at the Metropolitan Room in late October.
So this is a great time to remind you that our big show night is in a little over two weeks! (And all my starving artist friends and blog readers, the half-off discount code is stevejim. Enter it after you order your tickets on the website. But don't tell anyone. It's just a secret between us.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Health Update.

First of all, the bad news. I'm down with an upper respiratory infection. Taking antibiotics. Should be good to go in a few days. But I was plagued all last weekend with some kind of stomach thing. Wasn't serious. Just very uncomfortable and it made singing a bit tough.

Still, our choir sang the Christmas Eve and Christmas morning services and I made it through just fine. Even made it to a couple of Christmas parties.

My favorite pic was this one. Jim and me posing with a legend in this town, Sondra Lee, who you may know as Tiger Lily in the original cast of Peter Pan, the original Minnie Fay in Hello Dolly and one of Jerome Robbins' prima ballerinas.

This respiratory thing hits me about once a year. So, it was expected.

The other test results, which I got a few weeks back, though, were great. Virus still undetectable. Liver and kidneys functioning normally. My exercise routine has made a big difference in my blood sugars and cholesterol, all of which I'm keeping under control. It's a daily fight, but definitely worth it.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Funny how relevant The Last Session is, suddenly.

With this new London Cast Album being released, I hope it will bring new attention to the show itself because I would love for people to see how well Jim's book dealt with the very "religious divide" issues that are now reaching a kind of climax with the Duck Dynasty thing going on.

And how did he do it? With humor. But also with respect for people on both sides.

Recently, I played an AIDS education concert for The Lab School here in New York City, singing the songs from TLS for the dramatic club. They mentioned to me that next year they'd like to do a show for next year's program, and wondered about doing TLS. I said I've done it with student groups all over the country. So, we're talking. 

It's great because it gives me the chance to play Gideon. I'm too old for the role at this point in my life, but then, high school students are too young for the other parts. So, that makes us even. Doesn't it?

Thursday, December 19, 2013

The Duck Dynasty Anti-Gay Guy.

As for Duck Dynasty, the issue is not so much him as it is the fundamentalist religious beliefs and culture that taught him this. He said these things because someone told him these things. Someone who he believes speaks for God. That's the real story, and it's one the media is not religiously sophisticated enough to address. So, instead, it's about "bigotry," a nice, generic catch-all that becomes more and more meaningless without context.

Duck Dynasty star suspended for anti-gay statements.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Steve's Spicy Black Bean / Quinoa Pasta Skillet Casserole.

I brought this to a Christmas party and everyone began demanding the recipe, which is something I made up while trying to discover vegetarian meals for myself.

Steve's Spicy Black Bean / Quinoa Pasta Skillet Casserole 

This quick and easy to cook bowl of spicy deliciousness consists mostly of protein-rich fresh vegetables, is a rich, hearty mouthful, suitable as a main course. I eat this almost every day as my “don’t have to figure out what to make” regular meal. This recipe will make two very big bowls of food, depending on how much you throw into the skillet. 

Early prep for ease of use: Early in the week, I blanch the vegetables and cook the pasta in the same water. Then store it all in the fridge. This way, when I’m ready to “cook,” all I have to do is throw everything into the pan, and can make it easily over several days. 

1 chopped big sweet Onion
1 Handful of cooked Quinoa pasta (any pasta will do)
4 Spicy Black Bean “burgers” (thawed), but any veggie burger will do.
3 or 4 handfuls of blanched broccoli, green beans, and/or asparagus (To blanch: Boil in water 3 minutes for broccoli and asparagus, 5 minutes for green beans.)
Several big splashes of.Olive oil.
Various spices thrown in to taste (salt, pepper, garlic salt, cumin, paprika, turmuric, red pepper flakes, onion flakes -- basically, anything I have in the pantry)
Sprinkle of parmesan cheese

 Pasta and green vegetables should be prepped before beginning. See above. In a large skillet, caramelize onion in a small amount of olive oil in large pan on high heat.

 Throw in the pasta and vegetables by small handfuls. Mix with the onions until coated with oil, adding olive oil, to taste. Liberally add big dashes of the spices, until everything is coated. Add the bean burgers (thawed) and stir it together until everything is hot.

Can be served while the veggies are still a bit crisp, or you can cook it down until it’s more congealed. Add sprinkling of parmesan cheese and serve in a big bowl with a fork. Can also be served as a side dish.

Created by Steve Schalchlin

Friday, December 13, 2013

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

At a Hospice, In the Atrium (Official Lyrics Video)

The true story of the day they asked me to sing at an AIDS hospice. Please share it with a caregiver. No ads. No pop-ups. Totally free.

Wednesday, December 04, 2013

You Can Vote!

It's free.

It's the 2013 BroadwayWorld Cabaret Awards and I am gratefully nominated in the categories of Best CD Release (Solo, Duo or Group) -- Tales from the Bonus Round -- and Best Original Song for a Cabaret Show -- "So Many Days in an Hour." And you can vote! For me or for whomever you like best.

Here is the newly created lyrics video:


Sunday, December 01, 2013

My Obligation as a Positoid on World AIDS Day.

When I first tested positive in 1993, the literature that came from the AIDS Service Organizations had this listed as your number one thing to do:

1. Survive.

That whatever you had to do, whomever you had to beg, whatever humiliation you may endure in public and in private, whatever you do, first you survive. You know, put your mask on before your kid's.

So, when I try to express the gratitude that I feel to you, reader, for whatever part you played in my life or in the life of any other positoid, I fall short. Words are not enough. My obligation, my gratitude is to do exactly what you were working so hard for me to achieve:


For Christmas, all I wanted was a stretch or yoga mat which now resides just behind Jim's chair in the living room.

Physicality is not something I've ever been that aware of. My hamstrings are so tight, I can barely bend over from the waist. So, my next goal is to touch the ground. And yes, I'm still running every day.

I don't have a plan for survival except do what makes me healthy. Music is a vital part of it.

But, also, excavating my self-destructive habits. I have a few. 

It's a daily struggle because I want to more than survive. I want my life to have real meaning. 

In fact, my personal obligation is not just gratitude but a return on investment. I want to be worthy of the effort. I want you to be able to look at my life and say proudly, "Look what we did."

My November beard got officially too long.