Volume 2 Book 10 Part 2 of "Living In The Bonus Round"
The Online Diary of Steve Schalchlin

A former Hollywood Starlet at the autograph show

[ Diary Index ]
[ Book 9 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Vol 3 Book 1 ]

April 8-14, 2002.
Scary Celebrites!
Here in North Hollywood every year, they have a little gathering of "celebrities" who sit at tables and sign autographs. You never know who's going to show up. Some of them are ultra-cool and some of them are downright scary. Most of them had marginal careers or are past their prime. I brought my camera, of course to catch my faves!

The most frightening was Richard Kiel. Remember he was one of the James Bond villains. But he wasn't exactly frightening in the "I'm a big bruiser who can kill you way." Not anymore.


Buddy Hackett was wearing latex gloves
while signing autographs.

Al Lewis, Grandpa from The Munsters,
is still full of life.

Butch Patrick "Eddie Munster"

Shirley Mills was a kid in the movie
"The Grapes of Wrath" with Henry Fonda

Johnny Brown from TV's "What's Happenin'"

Micheal Ansara was on Star Trek a lot.

William Schallert was Patty Duke's father on TV

Movie actress Karen Black

I managed to finish arranging and recording three songs this week. I guess that means I'm getting the hang of the software.

I have a couple other songs that are still only half-written. Well, that's kinda what helped. I was stressing out over the half-written songs so out of frustration I put them aside and went back to a couple that had been driving me crazy, James Robison and William's Song. JR was making me nuts because it goes back and forth between 7/4 and 4/4. William's Song was difficult because it's in a swing tempo and I couldn't figure out how to make the software coordinate that triplet feel.

Then as I was working on one of the new songs, it suddenly hit me how I could do both JR and William's Song -- I had to "trick" the software.

This next week, I have an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat specialist, Dr. Andrew and then I see Dr. Peter on Thursday where, hopefully, we'll see some results from the exercise/diet regimen. I've been very faithful, walking two to three miles every single day.

April 15-17, 2002.
A Songwriter Moment.
(First of all, I saw Dr. Andrew and he thinks my cough might be acid reflux. That is, acid crawling up from my stomach burning my vocal cords. So he's put me on some antacids and I'm scheduled to go back next week. I hope this is what has been plaguing me. Keep yer fingers crossed.)

But something really cool happened to me this week. Jimmy is directing a revival of a Kander & Ebb musical called 70 GIRLS 70. It's a dream project for him because he saw it in its out of town tryouts in the early 70s. His uncle David Burns, an original cast member, actually died onstage in Philadelphia during this tryout. The show was not a hit in NY but the score is very popular among Those Who Love Musical Theatre -- and it's a show Jimmy has wanted to "tinker with" his whole life.

For 30 years he has dreamed of doing this show and it's finally coming to reality with a great cast of Charlotte Rae, Marni Nixon and Jane Kean. Anyway, Kander & Ebb, one of the greatest songwriting teams of all time -- they wrote the musicals CABARET and CHICAGO, and the song "New York New York," among many, many other things -- have decided to really support this production by writing a new song for it called "I Move On," based on a conversation Fred Ebb had with Charlotte Rae.

So Monday morning, Jimmy said to me, "Look. Here's the new Kander & Ebb song. They wrote it over the weekend and sent it FedEx."

Naturally, I took it to the piano and began trying to play it. Like many of their songs, it's not easy. It has a tricky little rhythm to it so I didn't exactly get it right the first time, but I kept at it.

And then it occurred to me. I'm one of (if not THE) first persons in the entire world to play a brand new song by John Kander & Fred Ebb! What songwriter in the world would not find this an absolute thrill? And because 70 GIRLS 70 is one of those legendary musicals that theatre buffs talk about as a "shoulda been a hit," it's going to get noticed for at least this reason -- that it has a new song by Kander & Ebb.

If you come and see the show, just remember, I played it first.

April 18-30, 2002.
Gay Priests? Horrors!
I've been lying in bed all day. this stupid cough is lingering and lingering. I went to the ENT and he said that the MRI scan showed a swelling in my throat. He picked up this little model of the human neck (properly sliced open just below the jaw) and, showing me where the tongue would be in relation to it all, he there are some lymph nodes in there. (I fuzzed out during the explanation so that's why this is so non-specific -- I'm just tired of dealing with it and I couldn't concentrate).

What's funny, to me, about the RCC kicking out gay priests or priests-to-be is that it was an unspoken tradition, in times past when homosexuality was "not spoken of," that the gay member of the family would become the priest.

A mother would look at her obviously, SENSITIVE child and say, "He's gonna be the priest. They say if there's a holy one in the family, the whole family will be able to go to heaven." (That's from Jimmy's play THE LUCKY O'LEARYS, by the way).

When Jimmy was in Catholic seminary, he said MOST of the students were gay. So were most of the priests he met. When they say how few the number of priests are, right now, in seminary I have my own theory.

There was a time when being gay meant you either pretended to be a jolly bachelor, moving to some very large city and getting an anonymous job (or going into show biz) hoping the cops don't throw you into jail if you, some night, enter what would "known" as a gay establishment where eye contact alone was enough to land you in jail; or stay in your small town and get your head beat in; or become a priest.

But now that gay people are refusing to live in the closet, we have another option: Date when you're young, find a partner, settle down, live a life. Just like other folks. Or not like other folks, whatever you choose.

I predict the celibacy rule will soon be on its way out. At the Baptist college I went to, the POINT of the college was for young men to surrender to the ministry (music or preacher or both, like I did), find a wife who can teach Sunday School (and if you're lucky, play the piano), and then move into East Texas and lead one of the billions of little 200-member churches.

It's not a bad life, actually. But it certainly wasn't one that I could have followed. I always kinda sorta knew I was gay, but when I was growing up, no one ever talked about it (except visiting fire and brimstone evangelists who would invade our peaceful valley and remind us of how evil "the world" out there is).

I tried to have that life. I really did. Even dated the very best women you could possibly imagine. I mean witty, intelligent, beautiful, talented women. Thank God I didn't ruin their lives by marrying them, which I almost did.

Anyway, I'm off to Rochester and hopefully, the cough will be cleared up and all will be well.

[ Diary Index ]
[ Book 9 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] -- [ Vol 3 Book 1 ]

[ Hannah, Hospice Social Worker ] [ Shawn Decker's ]
[ Jimmy's Sunday Sermons ] [ My Lynchburg Diary: Meeting Jerry Falwell ]
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© 2002 by Steve Schalchlin.
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