Volume 3 Book 1 Part 1 of
Living in the Bonus Round

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

Aug. 10, 2002
The Time Before.
This is the first entry of Volume 3, Book 1 of Living in the Bonus Round. It might seem more logical to open a new volume ON the night of a big event, like the night at the Laguna Playhouse scheduled for this coming Monday. But it seems to me that that would be a slight to this delicious time, the week before. When it's all nervous, hopeful anticipation. I'm tingling all over. (God, that sounds stupid. Oh well. It's true.)

In case you just tuned in, Jim Brochu accepted a booking at the Laguna Playhouse about a month ago, gave it a name and a description but hadn't written it yet. True, I had some songs and we had discussed writing a new show, but that's far from having something actually ready.

But, there's this really great song that closes Kander & Ebb's "70 Girls 70." In Jimmy's production Charlotte Rae came rolling out on a gold painted cloud and sang (from the heavens), "Say Yes." I loved that song.

The Big Voice: God or Merman? is us saying Yes. We finished writing the finale yesterday. We have no idea how many people are going to show up. We have no idea WHAT kind of people are going to show up. We have no idea IF any people are going to show up. But we'll be there.

We had the happiest production staff meeting down at the Playhouse last week. (This is where you start on page one and proceed through the script, page by page, searching out all the light and sound cues. On the far left is Nancy Staiger, the stage manager. In sports analogies, she's the quarterback who calls the plays from the booth. "Light up on 3.. 2.. 1.. Go light. Cue sound..." I sat next to her during the meeting and just loved how she noted every last detail, asking questions, writing them down. I felt like a kid at the grown-ups' table.

Sound, Dave Edwards. Lighting, Glenn Powell.

Stage Manager, Nancy Staiger. Director Anthony Barnao.

As they worked through every moment, Dave and Glenn (on lights and sound) discussed how best to accomplish each objective written in the script. I was Buna Boy in Wonderland listening to them take words that Jimmy and I had written along with staging Anthony had devised and make it all three dimensional. This weekend while Anthony is out of town, Jimmy and I are going to drill, drill, drill.

In between rehearsals, I've been dealing with health issues, the primary one being the fact that I'm establishing new relationships with new doctors. New blood tests as of this week show mixed results. The good news is that my cholesterol is 152. (Down from 400). This is due to diet and exercise combined with medication. Triglycerides are in the 400 range, which is down but still way too high.

Tcell count dropped to below 400 and there's some viral load. Only a hundred copies but still, that's the first time I've showed viral load in several years. This could be an anomaly in the testing or it could be due to the fact that we've halved the d4t dosage. (Jimmy and I went to get the test results together. He was funny.)

My blood sugars were good except right after breakfast. Way over in the 200s. Yesterday they hit 290. So "Dr. Endocrine" suggested making some dietary changes before considering changes in meds.

She also suggested that the Graves' Disease might be in remission.  "People who go into remission might relapse in a week, a month, a year, longer. Men tend to not relapse as much as women." So, I'm cutting down on the PTU pills slowly. I'm supposed to listen to my heart. If I get irregular hearts beats or feel extra hot, then I adjust the dose back up.

There's were a few other readings that I didn't quite absorb, something about the pancreas or was it the kidneys -- some test where I should have 20 but instead have 500, "but we don't get all excited until it hits 1000." To solve that problem I'm getting a blood pressure medication and we're adding 1000 mg of Niacin per day. So many chemicals to keep track of.

On the music front, the new CD, Beyond The Light, has just arrived. As soon as I heard they were in, I raced over and met Stu (pictured) who brought them out to my car. (Jason is working on the online order form. It should be up in a day or two.)

Here I am down at the warehouse picking it up, pleased that it all came out just like it was supposed to. On the packaging, the margins aligned, the disc was printed right, the front page was cut right. Beautiful! I found only one misspelled word (my fault). I should probably have a contest to see who can find it first.

Then, after Friday's rehearsals, I went over to Barry Fasman, who engineered and mixed it, and we had a private little listening party for two. That led to him playing me one of his songs, which led to me giving my bigass opinion of it which led to us writing it together and 2 hours later we had a brand new song. God, that was fun. (Never ask me my honest opinion.)

So, theatre, health and CDs. That catches you up for now. I wish that I could bottle what I'm feeling right now. This little magic time before it all happens is when life, to me is life at its fullest. In science, it's potential energy.

Back before TLS was produced, back when I was really sick, I wrote a diary entry saying that even if it went nowhere in this physical world, I had already seen it in my head. I wrote that I had already accepted my Tony and my Grammy. I feel the same way about these new projects. And if the rest of the world catches on, well, bully for them. :-)

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

© 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.