Volume 2 Book 10 Part 3 of "Living In The Bonus Round"
The Online Diary of Steve Schalchlin


[ 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 ]

May 1-11, 2002.
Back in Rochester with Surprises!
The good news is that my cough has mostly cleared up. We chose a combination of the Prevacid (for the acid reflux) combined with a steroidal prescription nasal spray, hoping to catch the theoretical post nasal drip that was leaking down into my lungs. And sure enough, the constant congestion is finally (almost) gone.

Rochester looks a lot more friendly this time out especially cuz this time out I got surprised TWICE! (More about that later). The first day was sunny and warm. Second day was rainy. Third day sunny and COLD. So it feels like it's trying to throw off the last of the winter. But still, it's really beautiful here. Some trees are starting to bloom and spring is edging its way into the landscape.

Trees flowering in downtown Rochester.

In the last couple of weeks I received several emails from people in different churches inviting me to attend. One from from Spiritus Christi, the Catholic church that broke off from the RCC after the Bishop rejected its open and affirming pastor. Also, Lake Ave. Baptist is an open and affirming congregation. So I'm looking forward to visiting these places and getting to know some new people. (And of course I'll take pictures!)

Our first rehearsals were spirited and fun. Luckily, everyone knows the script and the music so we were able to concentrate more on just fine-tuning what was already good.

I feel, by the way, totally different on stage this time out. In analyzing it, I think it was because on the first day, I was dead tired so, once again, I was forced to "not act," which meant my acting was way better. :-) And it gave me an idea about Gideon.

Whenever you're really sick, you try your best not to show it. Whether it's because you don't want people to worry or whatever, I found myself trying, at that rehearsal, to be a good soldier and not appear as tired as I was. (I failed, by the way. They read right through me. Of course it could have been the fact that I was running around telling them how tired I was!).

But anyway, at our first dress rehearsal on Wednesday, I thought, "If Gideon is really sick, then I bet his stomach is really hurting. What would happen if, instead of concentrating on how to react to lines being thrown at me, I used a 'Method' technique and focused on my stomach?" In other words, "feel" a pain in my stomach but then, as Gideon do my best to hide it from the others.

It was amazing how it worked. Because, instead of living the play line by line, I was just there. I could "feel" this sickness and I let the words of the play just tumble out as if I COULDN'T feel this sickness in my stomach. Does that make sense at all? Well, it made sense to me because when we finally got to the end of the play, where I have my fight with Vicki, I was so "stressed out" from "hiding" my sickness that the scene just exploded -- and it felt really natural, not like I was "pretending" to be mad or upset.

My favorite new pal is Leslie our stage manager. She worked on TLS in Houston and told me on our first night here that she took this job specifically because it was TLS and that she wanted to meet me. (Plus, she's worked with Jay before).

Apparently, "Going It Alone" means a great deal to her; that it helped her get over a terrible tragedy that had happened in her life. And also that the show itself helped to heal a rift in her family.

It never fails to amaze me when I hear stories like this because it reminds me that I never really and truly know what's going on in the lives of the people who see TLS. It's a matter of faith that we just put it out there, mean it, and hope that someone who really needs it find their way here or wherever a production happens.

Gwenn Barringer & Shawn Decker

Then a couple of surprises happened. First, I was standing in the famous hugline when someone came up to me with his program in his face. He pulled it down and it was SHAWN "The Original Positoid" DECKER!!! He and Gwenn had flown up from Virginia JUST to see the show. I was so excited, running around introducing them to everyone in the cast. God, I love that kid. I think I've mentioned this a few billion times in the diary.

Shawn at left.
Steve and Shawn try to recreate their "hemo2homo" pose.
Why do I keep getting older and he stays the same??

The next surprise was the best one of all. I was downtown at the little mall with Lesli when suddenly I got a phone call telling me there was an urgent production meeting that I had to get to. "But I haven't had lunch yet!" I argued.

"Just get down here!" So Lesli and I raced over to the theatre and guess who was standing there? THE PREACHER AND THE NURSE! Mom and dad had driven -- DRIVEN!! -- up from Louisiana to see the show. This would be their first time to really see the FINAL version of the play. They had only seen one of the earliest workshops back in July 1996.

It was really a freak-out to be doing sound check singing "Preacher and the Nurse" and out in the audience facing us, silhouetted by the lights from the hallway, were THE preacher and the nurse. They loved the show. And my mom, as usual, got to talking to a student sitting next to her -- this was a special performance we did at Keuka College nearby -- and afterwards, she told me they held hands and cried through the whole play.

Mom and dad pose with cast of Rochester TLS
Danette Sheppard, Jay Falzone, Amy Coleman,
Me, Mom, Dad, Chris Burley

Dad down in Keuka.
Isn't that the George Bush smirk on his face?
He kept saying, "I can't smile for pictures."

Me in front of the Keuka College Barn where we played.

I love my mom. She can cry at the opening of a Wal-Mart. They spent several days here and since I hadn't seen them in several years it was GREAT to be able to reconnect with them and let them buy me dinners all over town - hehehehe.

I even introduced them to Indian food and Thai food. "You've never had THAI FOOD??" I asked. Out in California, Thai is the "new" Chinese food. That is, there's one on every corner. On Wednesday we went to the George Eastman House here. Very beautiful mansion of the guy who invented Kodak (Rochester's biggest industry).

Horse in front of Eastman House

The George Eastman House garden.

George and Steve sitting together reading a magazine.
Hey! He was a bachelor! And RICH!

On Thursday, Lesli went with us to Niagara falls. It was a cold day with intermittent rain but we had a blast. I took lots of pictures. Here's a little gallery:

Lesli in front of the falls.

Mom and dad. Oh, I guess he was right about posing for pics.
C'mon dad! You can smile!

Good try. It's almost a smile.

Dad trying to figure out his fancy camera.

Just us.

[ 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 ]

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© 2002 by Steve Schalchlin.
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