Volume 3 Book 5 Part 13 of
Living in the Bonus Round
(The Big Voice Chronicles)

Steve Schalchlin singing in Dallas with a big tip bowl in front of him.
Those weren't my tips in the bowl.
But the tip jar made me feel right at home.
[ Book 3-4 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ]
[ Pt 5 ] [ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ]
[ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ] [ Pt 12 ] [ Pt 13 ]
July 6-9, 2003.
Closing in Dallas.
We hated to leave Dallas. Not just because the audiences were responsive and exciting, but because we totally fell in love with Jeff, Craig and Phil at the theatre and I hooked up with so many family members. Especially my niece Elizabeth who, at 19, is an aspiring stand-up comedian. After she did some of her "act" in the hotel room, which left us weak with laughter, Jimmy just looked at me and said, "She's got it."

My old college friend John came back again to the last performance. I had a chance to tell him how much I admired him when we were in school. I have been avoiding any real contact with my college ever since I came out. For one thing, it's a conservative Baptist college. I had this fear of showing up and being asked to leave.  But seeing my old buddies again, I'm beginning to think it's time to heal that wound.

Steve Schalchlin in a dressing room in Dallas.
This is me in the dressing room. I like to dress early and then sit and read.

On Saturday night, friends from Stages Repertory Theatre in Houston drove up and surprised us! We were hugging and crying and mugging for the camera.

Brad, Kenn & Steve.

In fact, on Saturday night there were so many friends that we all went back to the Breakaway.

Singing "A Simple Faith" with William Blake.

William Blake
I look like his grandfather.

Outside on the patio after we sang together, we all gathered in a big group and just talked all evening long. Didn't stay out that late, though, because we wanted to go to the Cathedral of Hope Church in the morning. I've heard a lot about this church but never had attended. In the beginning of TLS, their HIV poz choir sang and recorded "When You Care."

Cathedral of Hope has attracted a great deal of attention because it's the largest MCC Church in the world. There's something very fitting that the largest gay church in the world would be in the buckle of the Bible belt. And what a church! What a production!

Cathedral of Hope. That tall green thing is a wall with three bells in it.

The interior is sweeping a majestic. If you can, widen your browzer to get the panoramic effect:

Rev. Piazza preached a brilliant July 4th sermon that both affirmed love for America, but saying that with privilege come responsibility to care for others. He's a brilliant speaker.

Steve Schalchlin
Grandpa reading in the dressing room before the last show.

Jim Brochu in a dressing room in Dallas.
Jimmy likes to pose. Between crossword puzzles, of course.

The last performance was thrilling. There's nothing more energizing than playing for an audience that is totally with you. Then there's the saddest thing of all, leaving behind the wonderful friends you've made. But that's what being on the road is. It's so bittersweet! I'm so happy we have the Internet with which to stay connected.

Our flight was blessedly uneventful. Our first stop was to pick up the cats at Mo's. She (along with Ernie) loves them so much that we never have to worry about them when we're traveling. And they looked so good! (So did Ernie!)

I was amazed at how they immediately fell right back into their old habits and routines. Yesterday I was sitting in my loft in the early morning hours thinking that I was up there alone. I got up to get some water, looked down at the floor on the other side of my desk, and there they were looking up at me lying parallel to each other. The two of them had triangulated us into a little group and I wasn't even aware of it.


I forgot to tell you a story. Iit happened on Thursday night. Jimmy and I were at the end of act one of The Big Voice. The scene is set in the middle of the ocean on the cruise liner where we met. Jimmy turns to me and says, "Before we start on this journey in life, there's a question I have to ask you..."

At that moment, from behind the theatre came the sound of a train whistle.

Everything just stopped.

Finally, without missing a beat, he said, "What's a train doing in the middle of the ocean?"

I can answer that question, my love. That freight train is us.

[ Book 3-4 ] -- [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ]
[ Pt 5 ] [ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ]
[ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ] [ Pt 12 ] [ Pt 13 ]

© 1996-2003 by Steve Schalchlin.
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