The Quest
Volume 3 Book 7 Part 11 of
Living in the Bonus Round

Steve with theatre students at Anderson University.

[ 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 13-17, 2004.
A Late Valentine.
Dear Jimmy,

Happy Valentine's Day. I wish you were with me. You'd be so proud of the show here. Not only is it a good production but our ticket sales are suddenly exploding after two weeks of just getting by. This past Friday and Saturday, the place was 90% sold out after the previous Sunday's grand total of 22 paying customers. Word of mouth suddenly hit and now all kinds of people are finding us.

I especially love the mix of Indianapolis Gay Men's Chorus and little conservative church ladies.

On Friday night, two ladies came out and said they were from a strongly evangelical conservative church. Their eyes were full of tears and they said they couldn't wait to get back to church and tell the rest of the congregation. Then they hugged me. There were also students from Anderson University, Church of God.

So, there's something in the water here in Indianapolis. Myself, I think it's the fact that this city, here in the heartland of America is a very uncynical city. The people are very open and very accepting. They can see that TLS has no hidden agenda. The gays identify with Gideon, the straights and moms with Vicki and Tryshia. The evangelicals identify with Buddy and see the play through his eyes. What would THEY do if they were put into this position?

When you and I come back here in August with The Big Voice, by the way, Jim, you're going to meet some really great people. Chuck Yeager (not the fighter pilot but with a heart much greater than a fighter pilot) has become a friend. I called him earlier this week and found out he needed a ride to a medical appointment, so Jonathan Markanday volunteered to drive us and we had a fun jaunt to the hospital.

It was great to get to know Chuck better but also just to see the IUPUI medical facility. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that it had a huge monorail that connected the campuses, Indiana University Purdue. What a place!

Going to the cancer treatment center at IUPUI.
Jonathan Markanday & Chuck Yeager.
(Indiana University/Purdue University).
The campuses are connected by a monorail.

On the wall was a picture of a two-story outhouse.
(It was an area historical picture display.)

After Chuck's appointment we went to the Indy 500. Jonathan and I had been planning a "tour day" for the last few weeks but time has a way of getting away from you. Plus the weather has been really cold and icy. Not safe to just go driving into strange places.

Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The Hall of Fame Museum.

Steve at Indianapolis Motor Speedway sign.

Taking a race around the track!

Okay, we were in a bus. It's the same thing!

Remember I mentioned Anderson University. It's a small liberal arts university founded by and run by the Church of God, a rather prominent conservative Christian denomination. I was scheduled for a full day of seminars. First in the health sciences and then in the arts.

Approaching the school.
The chapel sits in the mist of the snowy sky.

A stately brick dormitory at Anderson University.

Talking to the class on Human Sexuality.

Talking to the Human Sexuality class was interesting because everyone in there was coming from the perspective of church kids, just like I was. I could talk about the spiritual conflict of growing up an essentially good kid who is same sex attracted.

I told them I tried for 10 years or more to make it go away but it all came to an end the day I fell in love. I could see in their eyes that they understood how I felt even though most of them, as I divined from their questions, were people who did not approve of homosexuality. We still connected as human beings and I liked that. There was one boy especially who, I thought, really wanted me to know that homosexuality was a sin. He gave a little speech about it. I acknowledged his position without comment. I didn't feel it was my place to try to have a debate on sin and homosexuality. I was there to simply tell my story.

But he came to see TLS. He shook my hand afterward and complimented me. I don't know how it affected him or what he thought about it, but he was very respectful. I was very impressed.

Human Sexuality class. Anderson University.
After speaking to that class, we all went to lunch together...

A reporter, a teacher and a play director.
...then to do two more seminars.

Announcing my classes!
(I'm not a "Broadway Songwriter". Not yet.
But it's cute anyway.)

Bill & Gloria Gaither are huge in Gospel music history.

The Songwriting Seminar room set-up.
That's a grand piano in front of the chairs.

After the songwriting seminar, I held a seminar for theatre students in a tiny little space with an upright piano. It was really fun. I was impressed with how smart the students were, and also how much love they showered on me. An appropriate emotion around the Valentine's Day holiday.

Anyway, babe, I miss you. I miss the cats. I miss our friends. We only have one more week. On Thursday, we record a cast album...

Oh, did I mention that we are recording a cast album? Yes, it's a gift from a patron to the theatre. We're donating our performance royalties and all the sales profits will go to the theatre.

We get four hours in a studio on Thursday, so we can't do the whole score. But we can record the TLS-Indy cast members solos. (After all, my solos are already on disc except "Preacher and the Nurse.")

"Preacher and the Nurse." (Tasha & Steve).
"Somebody's Friend." (Julie).
"Going It Alone." (Jon).
and probably
"Singer and the Song." (Tasha with Julie and Jon).

If we can do more, we'll decide that as we go along. We'll track on Thursday and then mix on Friday morning.

Anyway, Jimmy, I'm tired. I just got back from Bloomington, two days at Indiana University. Wanted to post this valentine's note to you even though it's already two or three days late. I'll be home in a week.

I have a feeling that this next weekend, we won't be able to seat all the people that will try to get in. I was gonna say something like "TLS FOREVER," but then I remembered CATS had already used that. Oh well. Did you read about the wonderful production of TLS in Virginia? Linda Delayen saw it and said it was quite briliant. I'm so proud of Shon, the director.

It feels like everything is leading up to our Chicago debut of The Big Voice" next month. I can't wait to get back on stage with you again.

Loving you from Indy,


[ 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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