I Married Ethel Merman
Volume 3 Book 2 Part 3 of
Living in the Bonus Round
The Latest poster design for The Big Voice!

[ Book 3-1 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] -- [ Book 3-3 ]
December 15-20, 2003.
Occidental College.
Jimmy, Director Anthony, Stage Manager Jeramy and I had the best time this past week. We visited Occidental College where a class on Multiculturalism In Theatre was performing term exams. These were reports delivered by small groups of students on a play they've recently seen that addressed some form of multi-culturalism. This one group chose The Big Voice as its project.

Several weeks ago, four girls from this class came to see The Big Voice, fell in love with it and asked our permission to use us for their report. (The team ahead of them did RENT).

To make their report, they brought out four chairs and pretended to be doing a talk show. They discussed the play, its social implications, plot, etc. and then at one point, the emcee said, "Oh, and we have a clip from The Big Voice." Then two of the girls got up and did a scene from the play pretending to be us. They were so CUTE! Out of all my "close-up" pictures, only this one survived:

Which of these two girls played Steve? Which one played Jim?
(Girls, would you write me and tell me your names, please?)

It was a really fun experience to see someone else pretending to be you, especially when it's a college girl. My thanks to their professor M

Afterwards, we stood around and chatted with them. They were really talented and we felt honored. (I took more pictures but accidentally deleted them in a tragic accident while I was transferring them. Bev gave us a new camera for Christmas -- thank you, Bev -- and I am just now learning how it stores images.)

I've also was honored recently to find out that an excerpt from this Bonus Round diary will be included in a new textbook being written by a Stanford University professor. And I also found out that there's a University in West Texas that is using Bill's Story (written by Gabi Clayton with S. Schalchlin -- me) in its course curriculum materials.

I forgot to mention, the other night in the car Jimmy and I put on the new cast album from TLS-Dallas for the first time. We were both very, very pleased. The ensemble songs sound great -- and each soloist has at least one great moment. Scott A. Eckert (Gideon) added some nice keyboard parts too. It's nice to hear these songs really interpreted.

You can get their cast album at the Uptown Players website. (www.uptownplayers.org). Jimmy and I are very, very happy.

We've spent a great deal of time working on a new graphic design for the show. A friend of ours took some high-rez digital photos during the show the other night and they look really good! You can see the first results at The Big Voice site, the new opening logo.

Jim and co-producer Gary from the Zephyr.

I also took some pictures of Jeramy with my new camera. He's an aspiring actor and his girlfriend likes to look at him:

Speaking of cute (were we?), I have to show these pics. Yes, I've fallen into the "pet owner who can't resist showing off cute photos of his pets" sickness. But, honestly, what else are they good for except looking cute? :-)

First I see him snuggled into Jimmy's fleece on top of the chair. Now I have to get close.

Is he watching or is he snoozing with one eye open?
Then I go back to my couch and he leaps over into my lap.

Now, THAT'S a face.

December 21 - 24, 2002.
I Saw A Neon Sign...

I feel just awful. No, not because I'm sick. I'm not sick. Jimmy's sick. Jimmy has a terrible upper respiratory infection that landed him in the ER this past Saturday morning. We were only there for a few hours, but still Emergency Rooms. Hate them.

Anyway, the reason I'm awful is because he has this inhaler that they gave him. Attached to the inhaler is an extension (a bong?). You fill the extension with mist and then breathe it in. At the other end of the extension is a pitch pipe. So, everytime Jimmy takes a breath using the inhaler he sounds an "A." And I take it as a cue and start singing a Christmas song.

AAAA. "We wish a Merry Christmas..."

AAAA. "Joy to the world..."

This, of course, gets him laughing, which means he isn't holding he spray long enough, but I can't help it. I hear a pitch pipe. I sing a song!

All this started, we think,  because he finally, at long last, stopped smoking. The day he quit smoking, he started coughing. Everyone kept saying it's the lungs healing over. But his asthma got worse and worse. Then, Primatene Mist went off the market and he was scouring Ebay  looking for stray unsold bottles. He found a few bottles but then he was using it constantly and getting progressively worse.

Then this past week, it got really bad. I was frantic, trying to get him to go to the doctor, but being the MULE that he is, he kept thinking, "It'll get better. It'll get better." Finally, Friday night, once he realized he was NOT getting better and was down to taking a breath between every word, he said, "Tomorrow morning we'll go to the ER."

So, as soon as the sun rose, I packed us up and we drove to the hospital. Luckily, we didn't have to stay but a few hours. Now, it's me taking care of him. That drives him crazy. He much prefers the role of nurse to patient.

AAAA. "God rest ye merry gentlemen..."

[ Book 3-1 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] -- [ Book 3-3 ]
© 1996-2002 by Steve Schalchlin.
You have permission to print from this diary and distribute for use in support groups, schools, or to just give to a friend. You do not have permission to sell it.