Volume 4 Book 2 of
Living in the Bonus Round
The Palm Springs logo/poster design
October 17 - 21, 2004.
[ Book 4-1 ] -- [ 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 ] -- [ Book 4-3 ]
Just Working In Background.
I feel like I'm going blind. Not literally. It's just that I've spent the last week doing nothing but computer work. I have been creating a stand-alone "History of The Big Voice" to help us with our promotional and marketing efforts. then I started going back into the diary correcting a lot of links, sprucing up the place and sweeping out the detritus.October 22 - 23, 2004.
We also took a short daytrip over to Palm Springs to guest on a TV show there to promote this coming weekend's performance. Palm Springs is a hoot and I love the girl who did the interview. She was hysterical. I need to get this thing on videotape. The producers, Si and Larry, were thrilled.
We love Si and Larry -- two older straight Jewish men who produce gay events in Palm Springs. I'll tell you more about them after the weekend but what tickled me was when they arranged for us to have a place to stay they asked, "Now, this is a gay resort. Is that okay?"
Apparently, they booked The Big Voice without ever having seen it nor do they really know what's about. We let them know that we could be comfortable in front of other gay people.
So, like at home is just life at home. We went went grocery shopping a few times, got an eye examination (all is well except they still don't want to do any kind of operation on my bad eye until they know the Grave's Disease is not going to pop up again). It's driving me crazy alway seeing double, wearing out these damned prisms that really don't do that much good except keep me from falling all over myself when I walk. But at least my googly eye is still in good condition -- that is, it might be "off," but the optic nerve is fine.
It's been nice to be with the cats. They don't change at all. Thurber always wants to eat. Steinbeck always wants to eat Thurber's food.
Jim has been working on a press packet. We realized in New York that we looked like idiots when critics showed up asking for a press kit and we didn't have one. That's the price of doing everything yourself. If we had had an actual producer and publicist, that's the first thing they would have done, thrown together a press kit.
I've also been reading the news and keeping up with the "Christian" right's attempts to destroy whatever legal rights gay people have. In Ohio, there is an amendment that would nullify ALL legal agreements between same sex partners. Forget marriage. They want to declassify us as American citizens and strip us of all our rights. And who is in the forefront of this kind of Weapon of Mass Destruction? The "Christian" Right, of course. But they LOVE us! They really, really do.
I usually try to stay out of politics on this diary because you get so much of it elsewhere, but really, it's one thing to say they want to "protect marriage" -- a phony slogan -- but it's quite another to want to attack my family personally.
And I'm not a blazing liberal, folks. Pretty soon they're going to be dragging the cats out of the house and holding them for ransom.
I do have to get some new underwear, though. I seem to have lost most of mine in NY during our many hotel room switches. My mom once sent me some Lee underwear which I totally love but can't seem to find anywhere.
Meanwhile, we are definitely in negotiations to bring The Big Voice to an off-Broadway house. That much I can tell you. When and where? Well, it's too soon and I don't want to jinx it. Just keep yer fingers crossed for us.
I've also been re-evaluating some of the lyrics in The Big Voice. Now that we've dipped our toe in the metropolitan waters of New York, I feel like I have a chance here to work on some lyrics that have kinda been bugging me. A few of the reviewers had some lyric critiques that I thought were well considered, so I figured if we have a chance to improve the show, then we should go for it. The first song I'm tackling is "The Closet."
And that brings you up to date. Today, Thursday, we travel to Palm Springs -- two hours away -- AND we get to bring the cats with us. The owners said they loved pets. Our kitties, however, HATE it in the car. We might have to endure a steady, "Meow. Meow. Meow. Meow" all the way to Palm Springs.
This is going to be fun! (And for those of you who get this diary via email, click on the link at the top of the entry to see the new poster designed by the producers there in Palm Springs. It's very nice.)
Palm Springs.Our opening night in Palm Springs was a white knuckle flight in that we didn't have a chance to have a full runthrough before the show. We basically told the tech staff where to turn the lights on, when and also when to punch the sound cues. Then we started and show and crossed our fingers. We've never done anything like that before. And they did a great job! There were a couple of times when something almost didn't make it, but overall, it was great.October 24, 2004.
And the audience! Once again, they were with us from the first word. Laughing, crying, applauding. It felt really great.
An example: One man approached Jim after the show, tears streaming down his face, saying that he had been a Methodist minster at one point and left the ministry. He said he had been struggling with that decision and our show made him want to get back into some kind of ministry. Then he came up to me and said, "This isn't theatre. This is ministry. You two are ministers."
To me, this is the perfect example of the Taoist idea of "doing by not-doing." Our show is not a church service nor is it intended to be "ministry." It's just the two of us telling our story and singing our songs. People take away from it what they will. I think if we had tried to turn it into something more than that, it would fail.
Something else that happened opening night was I added the lyrics for The Closet. Well, I added the new FIRST VERSE lyrics (which I will share with you soon). The crowd laughed so hard at one point, that I had to just stop singing and wait for them to finish, vamping on the chord so that I could head into the chorus.
So, mission accomplished!
Heaven.The best thing about this trip is that we brought the cats with us. They both hate the car. Hate the cat carriers (and go running for the hills when they see us fiddling with them).October 25, 2004.
This trip would be their longest. Two hours.
Now, usually, when we're traveling, they meow the entire way. These little pitiful high-pitched meows, but we're usually only 20 minutes max in the car as we take them over to Mo's, their adopted mom. (As opposed to the growly "If you come near me, I'll rip you to shreds" meow.)
This time, Steinbeck settled down into his carrier and slept the whole way. Thurber, however, never really settled down. So, on the trip I put his carrier in my lap and petted him. It didn't help much, but he got quiet a few times. I hate traumatizing them.
On the other hand, they're with us and we're on the road! I love it. It's like being home. The guys who run this hotel have three dogs. So, it's really a great pet-friendly place. There's also a nice swimming pool.
Jimmy made an interesting observation. The opening night audience was mostly gay. Since this is the first time we've actually played a "gay venue," this is the first time we've played in front of a totally -- or almost totally -- gay audience. It was fun! And the reaction, as I said before, was amazing.
The second night, the audience was filled with straight couples (and a bunch of gay folks too).
The club itself has gone out of its way to make sure the show really is a classy affair. The dancefloor is filled with tables, white tablecloths and candles. The waiters all dress up in white shirts and black pants. They're adorable.
Then, after the show, they sweep all of that away, turn up the volume, power up the video monitors, the dance music starts, the waiters all transform into what they call their "slutty" outfits (which means torn jeans and t-shirts or whatever else they want to wear), and the place turns into an afterhours dance club that stays open until 5 am.
But not for us. By that time, we are back in our room with the cats -- soon to fall fast asleep.
Well, except for watching Ashley Simpson on Saturday Night Live last night. Apparently, they synched up the wrong vocal tape and I watched her run from the stage in horror as she realized that she couldn't lip synch to the wrong song?
I wonder what would happen if the record labels decided to sign actual musicians and singers to their labels? Imagine if.
La Posada Picturebook.
This is one of the owners welcoming us to La Posada.
Jimmy likes the sun.
Poolside chair for two.
Beautiful desert plant.
The mountains dramatically rise behind the hotel.
Dick Bell said it was like waking up with a dinosaur in your backyard.
A stack of Big Voice flyers in the office.
Steinbeck likes the comfy bed.
Thurber likes meowing at the dogs out in the yard.
I'll post more pics tomorrow.
© 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.