Incubation Period
Volume 3 Book 9 Part 10 of
Living in the Bonus Round
Steve Schalchlin
No, I am not a hip hop artist.

[ Book 3-8 ] --  [ Pt 1 ] [ Pt 1a ] [ Pt 2 ] [ Pt 3 ] [ Pt 4 ] [ Pt 5 ]
[ Pt 6 ] [ Pt 7 ] [ Pt 8 ] [ Pt 9 ] [ Pt 10 ] [ Pt 11 ]
May 22-23, 2004.
Rockin' in the Bay.
I did something this weekend that is a little crazy. Not BIG crazy. Just little crazy. And in the big scheme of things, it was really nothing but for me it was kinda big. It was a small act of personal rebellion. But to tell you the whole story I have to fill you in on a little background.

As I previously reported here, a couple of months ago, after returning from Chicago, I had my blood tests done and they were back in the major danger zone. The bad marker: Triglycerides at 800 with cholesterol unreadable. (Should be below 200; 800 is "heart attack any moment now" numbers). Now, since I had previously been able to get that number down below 200, I realized that I had not been exercising nor eating properly in Chicago.

So, I then and there that I would try, over the course of these two months, to bring that count down by at LEAST half.

The only way to accomplish this goal, I realized, was to put myself into the mindset and training as if for an athletic event starting with diet: No sugar. No fat. No meat. Oatmeal, fat-free cottage cheese with apple, chicken, fish, greens, small potato and rice portions, sliced turkey, nothing fried, no butter, etc.

And exercise: On alternate days I sit in my loft while working on music and repeatedly lifts my hand weights all day long. For cardio, I have been going up and down the spiral living room staircase while my fave shows are on TV.

I had to get back into the mindset that I had during the worst days of AIDS -- to realize that I'm truly fighting for my life. And if I let up even a little, the consequences are huge. Now, going into this weekend, my next blood test would be on Tuesday, so I was feeling at the top of my form, peak fighting condition.

I've also been going through -- not an identity crisis, more like a split personality. No matter how much theatre I've done over the past 7 years, there's something about it that still doesn't feel "right." Meaning, that I don't identify personally as a theatre performer, even though I love performing in theatres -- and have even begun to enjoy (shudder) acting.

At heart, I'm a rock and roller. I loved playing in bands. I am loving my newly revived songwriting collaboration with Dave Woeckener -- who really *IS* an authentic rocker/guitarist.

So, you put those two things together with the fact that I was to sing in San Francisco this weekend for a group of HIV "thrivers" and suddenly, knowing I would be back in my Sunday go to meetin' clothes when we hit the stage next week in Omaha doing The Big Voice, I threw caution to the wind and decided that I would... well...

I drove up to San Francisco with Larry. These are captures from the video we shot. Some of them are a little fuzzy.

Windmills means we're getting close. First sighting of water.

Entering the Bay Bridge.

After entering San Francisco, we were depending on my memory to get us to The Center to find Ken McPherson, the one who booked me for the event, a spaghetti dinner.

Surprising Ken!

Ken has a great smile.

The view from The Center's balcony.

Market St. They're tearing down a highway to beautify the area.

The room set up for the dinner.

Steve Schalchlin
Sound check.

It was during soundcheck that I got my brilliant idea. Instead of changing into a nice churchy pants and shirt like I always do, I opted to just keep on wearing my black leather motorcycle jacket. And when I started playing, I was suddenly enfused with the spirit of Jerry Lee Lewis.

That night at the show.

Then, at a dramatic moment, when I was sweating and overheated, I threw off the jacket revealing my newly worked out body under a tank top -- and I became totally possessed!

It felt so good. And when I saw the pictures later, I was amazed at how much my body had changed through this training period. (In fact, for the past two weeks, everytime I see someone, they all start remarking about how good I look. Did I look that bad before??).

So, there you have it. Naked on stage. So I probably made a fool of myself, but what good is being in show business if you can't fulfill all your fantasies? Oh, and the second I finished my set, there was a huge fireworks display happening on the horizon. Everyone went out onto the balcony to watch.

NEXT: The Blood Test Results.

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

© 1996-2004 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.