First Time Here? Here's an overview of
Living In The Bonus Round
(my last name is pronounced SHACK-lin)

I'm a Composer/Lyricist & Singer/Pianist
(and yes, internet diarist. This is a Yahoo/Geocities LANDMARK site
historically the 28th internet diary they say.)

I call this the Bonus Round because I shouldn't even be alive. (In the Bonus Round, time goes faster and the prizes are better.) I survived a deadly bout with AIDS in 1996 and have gone on to win awards for my songs in the musical THE LAST SESSION(The 1998 LA Drama Critics Circle Winner for Best Music & Lyrics, for instance) -- co-written byJim Brochu who won Best Book).

I began this diary in March 1996 as a sort of a goodbye letter to the world. In 1997 when The Last Session opened Off-Broadway it was the diary that grabbed the attention of the NY Times. At that time very few musicals had websites and no musical had come in with the internet site as a major part of its story.

A new production opened in Laguna & Los Angeles where we were the first major musical to broadcast live from the stage over the internet on our opening night. (That's the production that won all the awards.) Here's our closing night curtain call:

Closing night in Los Angeles:
Michele Mais, Jeff Juday, Bob Stillman, Amy Coleman, Steve Braverman

The NY Times, People, LA Times, Harvard
We have been featured in the NY Times, People Magazine, the LA Times, NY Newsday, and AIDS publications such as POZ and ARTS & UNDERSTANDING. I even spoke at HARVARD UNIVERSITY in 1997 and played two sold-out concerts in Harvard Square.

Tiffany Theatre & Sean Hayes (Will & Grace) signs the Celebrity Wall backstage
It's All Here:
A sick, dead songwriter hooked up to an I.V. for 14 hours a day, rescued at the last minute by Crixivan, developing diabetes and discovering Graves' Disease. It's also "The Making of The Last Session" as Jimmy Brochu and I go from total unknowns through the workshop process to off-Broadway to Los Angeles to the big night we won the GLAAD Media Award for Best L.A. Production and getting hugged by Sharon Stone.

Steve & Jim on the cover of A&U, Steve's unused logo design for the workshop
plus Special Guest Star SHAWN DECKER
(who is also Jimmy's and my Godchild)

I talk about health stuff
because I was and still am a patient dealing with AIDS, diabetes, Graves' Disease, etc. but I do this by singing concerts all over the country and by writing about my travails here. I try to keep it short and funny and real.

Pic1: Michele Mais, Amy Coleman & Bob Stillman join Steve at Santa Monica Harbor
Pic 2: Charles Nelson Reilly, Michele and Dickie on Charles' boat.
I talk about Religion
because I was Baptist (and I was gay - (*SCREECH*). But I don't hate the Baptists like many ex-Baptists do. In fact I was one of the "Lynchburg 200" who went to Lynchburgh Virginia to meet with Rev. Jerry Falwell and his followers. I believe in bridging divides and finding a non-violent way to resolve our differences.

I'm Just A Guy
I also talk about politics a little, but that's not what the site is about. It's just about one man's life (me). I'm still alive and still pounding out tunes. Hope you stick around.

I have a email list for this diary (which is kinda quiet) and another for The Last Session (TLS),  a Discussion Board, a tour update, and much more. So, look around. Write me. I'm glad you dropped in.


"It's about the act of creation in the face of death, the spark of art that spits in the devil's eye."