The Quest
Volume 3 Book 7 Part 12 of
Living in the Bonus Round

Making the front page of the Indianapolis Daily Student.

[ Book 3-6 ] -- [ 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 ]
[ Pt 14 ] [ Pt 15 ] [ Pt 16 ]

February 18, 2004.
Indiana University.
As soon as I knew I'd be in Indy, I contacted my friend Kathryn Brown at Indianapolis University to see if I could do some presentations for their students, as I have on two other occasions. I was not disappointed. I became a part of their AIDS Awareness Week which they hold every Valentine's Day.

We toured around the campus just a bit. But I especially enjoyed seeing the new theatre complex they just built.

On the majestic IU campus with Kathryn Brown.

Standing in front of the new theatre dept. complex.

This is the interior of the new big theatre.

This is the second stage, an "in the round" space.

The Musical Arts Center with Calder sculpture out front.

Miss Saigon is the next big production on campus.

One of the older stately stone buildings.

Doug Bauder, coordinator for GLBT Student Support Services

Even before I got there, I was profiled on the front page of the student newspaper by reporter Kristin Huett.
Published Monday, February 16, 2004

Steve Schalchlin was diagnosed with HIV in 1993. He was part of the first group ever to take the drugs that kept the AIDS virus from replicating, and as a result, he is still alive today.


The inspiration Schalchlin has for the shows he performs comes from the years he battled with the disease. He wrote the songs and stories when he was extremely sick.

"I sing about what it feels like to live with the disease," Schalchlin said. "When they listen to the songs, everyone in the room is right there with me."

Kathryn Brown, a health educator at the IU Health Center, said this is the third time Schalchlin will perform at IU in five years. Schalchlin will also be speaking with three health and theater classes over the course of today and Tuesday.

"He is not only a performer, but he is a good educator," Brown said. "He uses his life, his music and his performances to educate others."

Brown said she is ecstatic Schalchlin will be on campus during IU's AIDS awareness week. She said it is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote safe sexual relations. The theme of this year's awareness at IU is "Safe Love 2004".

"This is powerful entertainment," Brown said. "I want everyone to think about their own relationships and get the word out of prevention, education and caring for others who are HIV positive."

Doug Bauder, coordinator for GLBT Student Support Services, said the show's overall impact is that life is a gift. He said Schalchlin's message is a universal message and not just to people who are battling the life-threatening disease.

"Slow down a bit and think about how precious life is," Bauder said. "We don't think about that in our 20s."

Bauder said the show is entertaining with a cause. This is not as current of an issue today for students as it was 10 years ago, he said. Yet through the show, Schalschlin is able to bring back that level of awareness.

"He makes the message more urgent," Bauder said. "He speaks from the heart, and he speaks of the experience in a tender way with beautiful music."

Bauder encourages all students to attend the show and to learn about AIDS, safety and the journey Schalchlin has been on.

"It's an issue for everyone who is sexually active, and I happen to think a lot of college students are," Bauder said. "To hear from someone on a personal level dealing with AIDS really brings it home."

Open, fresh faces at Indiana University.
George Pinney is the instructor.
But as much as I love buildings, there's nothing as beautiful as the faces of the bright faculty and students at Indiana University. Once again, I was impressed with the openness, the intelligence and the positive attitudes I found here. Many times, I've spoken to classes and received bored looks from students who were jaded and saw me as just another adult trying to invade their personal space.

But here, the eyes were wide open. They were leaning forward and asking interesting and probing questions, lapping up all the experiences I described in my short theatrical career. It was thrilling to be able to provide inspiration and motivation.

My first classroom.

(Click on the above picture for a large image.)
How beautiful are these kids??

Beautiful girls. Handsome boys.

Handsome boys. Beautiful girls.

The room laid out for my concert.

Manning the AIDS education table.

AIDS survivor shares one-man show with IU students

By Andrea Minarcek

Published Tuesday, February 17, 2004

For a performance by someone who has nearly died three times, the Frangipani Room in the Indiana Memorial Union was surprisingly upbeat last night. Steve Schalchlin, an award-winning musical composer who has lived with AIDS for nearly ten years, performed his one-man show, "Living in the Bonus Round."

Schalchlin shared his experiences living with the disease through entertaining songs and stories, and his hour-long, emotionally-charged performance earned a standing ovation from the enthusiastic crowd.

Schalchlin cast a humorous light on his illness and encouraged the audience to find the amusement in their lives.

"I know AIDS is nothing to laugh about," he said. "But the way we get through hard times is by laughing. So now I'm going to sing you a bunch of depressing songs about AIDS. Feel free to laugh along."


Graduate student Sean McLennan, who recently saw Schalchlin's musical in Indianapolis, said he appreciated Schalchlin's honesty and humor.

"Sharing personal experiences is the most powerful way to go about educating people," McLennan said. "His show is really powerful."


Kathryn Brown, a health educator at the IU Health Center, said Schalchlin's presentation was very optimistic.

"I think he provides a message of hope and that life is very precious," she said.

Sophomore Rachel Simons, who met Schalchlin when he visited her movement for theater class Monday, agreed. Simons said his message was accessible to everyone.

"Anyone can relate to his personal struggles to reach their goals," she said. "He has overcome so many obstacles to become a success. His story is very inspiring."

Schalchlin said the most important lesson he has learned since being diagnosed is that any obstacle can be overcome.

"I took a terrible situation and made something positive out of it," he said. "That was a choice I had to make, and it's a choice everyone will probably have to make when they encounter tragedy in their own lives. I don't want anyone to go through what I've lived through. I want to help people learn something from my experiences."

-- Andrea Minarcek

The next day, Tuesday, I visited the "Introduction to Theatre" class. It was an early morning class and as we entered the professor was showing slides of the Theatre Center in Denver. When he turned the lights on, a few of the students had fallen asleep in the dark. So when I started talking, I said (jokingly), "OK! EVERYBODY WAKE UP! I HAVE WAY TOO BIG AN EGO TO LET YOU SLEEP THROUGH MY PRESENTATION!"

They woke up.

The feedback was amazing but I especially loved a letter from a father who brought his adopted teenage son. The son had apparently suffered from "bad bio-parent" and hearing how I overcame AIDS, turning it into something healing, has inspired him as he makes his own choices.

Thursday night we record our cast CD, then we have two more performances on Friday and Saturday. It's very exciting. VERY exciting.

[ Book 3-6 ] -- [ 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 ]
[ Pt 14 ] [ Pt 15 ] [ Pt 16 ]

© 1996-2004 by Steve Schalchlin.
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