Incubation Period
Volume 3 Book 9 Part 2 of
Living in the Bonus Round

Gracefully sitting in Bill's chair.
[ 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 ]
April 4-5, 2004.
I dug myself into a corner with this "thinking out loud" entries into the diary. The emails have been hilarious and wonderful.

"Are you planning on giving up theatre and going into ministry?" asked one person (almost in a state of panic but trying to be nice about it just in case I was).

If the question she is asking me if I am going to be in the clergy anytime soon, the answer is no. It hadn't even occurred to me that anyone was thinking in that direction. However, the question did intrigue me. I decided I wanted to find a place of perfect peace.

A place of perfect peace that had a piano.

Sunday morning.

I'm up early.

Jimmy is still asleep.

I drive down to the Metropolitan Community Church on Santa Monica Blvd. to see if I can sneak onto the piano and just play before anyone gets there. I love the piano in that building because it just feels warm. It's usually mostly in tune but it also has a touch of "out of tuneness" that a church piano should have.

It means they're singing. It's being used.

I get there before anyone else arrives so I hang around out front and snap photos of Santa Monica Blvd.

The pink building is a Trader Joe's.
This is looking north on Santa Monica Blvd.

A building across the street.

Metropolitan Community Church Los Angeles.

It's Easter!
Maundy Thursday Footwashing.
My Baptists didn't do footwashing.

The MCC is multi-lingual.
ICM is MCC in Spanish, so they join both initials together
on the front entrance.

They take a strong position on gay marriage.
That's a bookstore looking out onto the entrance.

When I think of Rev. Neil and "gay marriage," I think back to Dallas last year (documented in this diary). He and Marc in a gazebo in a huge hotel in Dallas surrounded by the guests at a convention of American Muslims. The image of these two hunky guys tying the knot surrounded by a sea of women in scarves and men/boys staring and sneering from the sidelines is one I won't forget.
I was hanging around outside the glass doors when suddenly I saw Rev. Neil inside waving to me. He ran to the door, opened it and gave me a great big hug. I told how well Chicago had gone and how much I missed being "home," despite the wonderful welcome there.

Then I saw it.

I looked up on the dais and there was a huge paper mache construction of a tomb with a big stone.

"You didn't."

He giggled.

Rev. Neil is very popular in L.A. He's the genuine article. I've never met anyone so full of love. Everyone adores this man. And, believe me, it's not easy to balance the needs of dozens of cultures and inner cultures in a liberal environment. Los Angeles is a polyglot in the truest, most William Gibson sort of way except all the pressure comes from who you might accidentally leave out. Inclusivity is everything at MCC. Rev. Neil makes it look simple.

Rev. Neil and the tomb with the "roll-away" stone.
(Sorry about the bad lighting,)
That was nothing, though, compared to Rev. Neil later on wielding a huge palm branch as if it were a Chinese fan from The Mikado. I'm just sorry I didn't have my camera out for that.

I asked him if I could just sit at the piano and play music while everyone was bustling around getting ready for the service and he said yes. So I sat there for about an hour just playing music by myself. When the sound guys came in, they turned on the mic so it sounded even better! Hunky music director Bob Gunn came in wearing a brilliant gold shirt which I kept telling him looked really good on him (cuz it did).

Bob Gunn, minister of music.
Rev. Neil presented a stirring sermon and I left, as I usually do, just after the sermon. I don't mean it as a slight to the church or anything, but there's a lot of liturgy and stuff that follows the sermon and liturgy just isn't my bag.

The day before, Saturday, Jimmy and I went to visit our friends Larry and Bill. (I took pictures but my camera just won't cooperate indoors. They both turned out blue). I did get a picture of Oso the dog. Oso is meek and mild but in this picture he looks like he's prowling the outback.

At this place I fell out of Bill's chair. Jimmy was there to take the shots. (See top of page).

On the drive home, I took these shots from the car.

Big new Catholic Cathedral downtown.

Top of the Capitol Records building from the freeway.

Going over into North Hollywood. Universal Studios up ahead on the hill.

Closer pic.

Okay, about the decision. I've decided, assuming I even have any power over these things, that my main focus in life is going to be my songs. Songwriting. Making demos. Whatever it takes. That's what I love. That's what I do best, in my opinion. And PROMOTING them. (I learned long ago that you cannot have a songwriting career without promoting yourself.)

And since couples don't make these decisions apart, we've decided that Jimmy's the one that's going to pursue the life of an actor and become famous. Now. See how easy that was?

That doesn't mean I'm not going to continue performing in The Big Voice (and TLS) whenever I'm invited to do so. But it does mean that we will be actively looking for actors to replace me so I can be at home as much as possible to work on music.

I will also continue doing my community/educational work. Now you might think this is all no big deal and it probably is. But that's what's on my mind today and now I've said it out loud.

In fact, to that end I've recently renewed some old acquaintances...

[ 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.