Steven Fales

Steven Fales
Steven Fales -- Actor/Writer/Producer

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Born to Win!

So the 1970's brought us some ground-breaking self-help books. "Born to Win" and "The Road Less Travelled" were super-best-sellers in their day. I've been reading "The Road Less Travelled" and though I believe there to be some re-freshingly universal, timely truths, there are some gaping holes. We will probably look back on "The Power of Now" the same way. Just because Oprah endorses it, doesn't mean it is timeless or will endure forever . . . Obama? (I voted for Obama in 2008.)

What I am getting at is that the 12-step recovery movement is what seems to fill in the holes of our best self-help books and even our best religions. To not be informed by or conversant in the language of recovery is to be missing out on so much today. Overeaters Anonymous, Sex and Love Addicts Anonymous, Alcoholics Anonymous (the mother ship), Narcotics Anonymous, Debtors Anonymous, Al-Anon and Co-Dependents Anonymous. All of these programs offer a practical spirituality and solution to very practical problems. Why do you think that after all these years of "perfection" the Mormon Church has adopted the 12-steps to try to meet the needs of members that were certainly not being met in the 1970's when my parents were in crisis! And why do you think Episcopal Churches (I'm Episcopalian today), lend their churches to AA meetings all over the world? It's not just Episcopalians in all their equality that have a problem with alcohol.

So here we are in 2012. If you haven't gotten up to speed and experienced the peace, the growth, the success, the honesty, or the fun . . . I suggest you take a look at what the 12-step world has to offer. I'm not trying to force this on anyone . . . but I am suggesting that maybe the 12-step world can work for you . . . when all else Fales. I think the world could use a little emotional, sexual, chemical, financial sobriety, don't you?

Oh, and if you haven't read a self-help book since "Born to Win", maybe you should update and shake things up a bit. Because the next generation has built upon those concepts and will leave you in the dust. And if you only think AA has the answers . . . well there have been hundreds of 12 Step Programs since 1935. It might be time to check one out, no matter how wise the supreme leader Bill W. and Dr. Bob are! Cheers! Oh! And if your psychiatrist hasn't suggested a 12-step program to you, ask yourself what he or she might be selling. 12-step work is basically free. Right, M. Scott Peck, MD and Deepak? (I don't think these empire-builder wants you to know that.)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Food Pantry

I'm off to volunteer at Hildegard's Food Pantry in downtown Salt Lake City (sponsored by my church, St. Mark's Episcopal).

A year ago I was living in NYC basically starving. It was so cold. I was so broke. I was so desperate.

Today I have so many blessings. I kept inching toward my art and my kids.

I've been knocking out so much administrative stuff for Mormon Boy Productions. This "ta-dah" list game I play with myself works better that the "to-do" game.

So many blessings that sometimes I want to cry. I'm starting to remember how good sobriety can be. And that I cannot do this alone. When I do it alone, I starve spiritually AND physically.

"In the midst of winter, I finally learned that there was in me an invicible summer." That was said by Albert Camus. I am learning that I am worth spring and summer. Thank to everyone who picked me up when I was fall.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Winter Weekend

I had a very good weekend. Simple and calm and productive in Salt Lake City. Highlights of Saturday were working on my "Live from London" album. I think it could fit in the "Spoken Word" Grammy category as it is a bit serious for the comedy category. I had three performances of CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY recorded live in London at the Charing Cross Theatre.

Later I arranged to have a photo shoot with my friend Bryan Maynes. We are doing a "Mormon for All Seasons" kinda thing. We shot in the fall. And Yesterday we did a shoot with alll this snow that just fell. It's really just for fun but I think we might have a few real gems pop up. Maybe I should do a Mormon Boy Calendar for 2013! (I joked recently that we should have two MORMON BOY cologne scents: "Mormon Boy Urban and Mormon Boy Country". Eau de Mormon Boy. Check it out when it hits Macy's. Or is that just Cahootz in Salt Lake City. That tacky gay gift bookstore and lube dispensery!)

After the shoot we went for a late lunch at BUCA. My first time at this really delicious family Italian restaurant. The food and service were top notch. But I found the circular dining room with pictures of the Pope everywhere a little bit on the tacky side. Leave the Pope out of pasta. Stick to Sophia Loren and the Mafia when it comes to a restaurant. In a way, I'm sticking up for Catholicism.

I'm not voting for Gingrich, but I applauded when he said in the debates last night that there is an alarming amount of discrimination against Christianity going on and it is NOT reported by the media.

Saturday night I helped take down the Christmas decorations at my dear friend Nancy's place. It was a gig job. So with pizza and hot chocolate, we tackled the decorations as we watched the debates. Mitt Romney is once again bullet proof. Hunstman shined, too. So it all boils down to two accomplished, committed Mormons in my book. Gingrich has had more wives than the two Mormons on stage combined!

Sunday was also nice. I got up kinda late for me -- around 8:00am. I ordered a refill of my med. Then off to St. Mark's Epsiscopal. I love that cathedral. It was packed. This is a truly smart and sweet congregation. I converted in 2008. And this year, I'm experiencing how sweet and NICE people are. And as I continue to go to services, the mass brings more and more symbolism and story and grace and truth. My conversion has made a big difference in my life. My heart has softened in many ways. But also my ability to be me. Coffee hour became a lavish reception as a baby had been baptized during the service. Tons of food and conversation. Everyone wants to come see my show on the 20th. I try not to promote at church, but it happens FOR me by others.

I then worked out at Planet Fitness downtown. I weighed in at 183 lbs. I thought I was a bit less. But I retained my weight over the holidays. I'm pretty much back to my off-Broadway weight. I was down to 165 lbs. When that happens I start to look thin and old. I feel my confidence in body, mind, and spirit for the new year. I can DO this!

On top of it all, I booked DENVER yesterday for the end of March. Miracles all around! All I have to do is show up sober. And by the way, caught up with Julia Cameron and my sponsor Michelle yesterday. Phone was off for a few days . . . but we are all systems go for a new week and a new year!

Saturday, January 7, 2012


I'm up at 4:00am with so many things I want to say and write. But if I say some things honestly they will be seen as attacks. I know what it's like to be attacked from the super Left and the super Right. My last blog "Mormon Boy" was attacked so much on either side. It's a form of cyber bullying. Everyone today cries, "Bully!" The word is becoming as over-used as "Fabulous." Well, not that over used. So just a short blog post today because I don't want to expend energy on two different people that totally have rubbed me wrong in the media. And I don't want to reveal just how far left or right I'm feeling this early in the morning. I'll go make some coffee and then get to work. Lots of contracts to finish and lots of emails to send. The New Year brings incredible energy and freedom. Best to make the most of it, huh?

Friday, January 6, 2012

CONFESSIONS January 20, 2012 in Salt Lake City!

PRESS RELEASE                                                                                  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(646) 498-2894

Written and performed by Steven Fales
Friday, January 20 at 8pm

The Vibe Room at The Complex  at 8pm (doors open at 7pm)
536 West 100 South
Salt Lake City, Utah (near The Gateway with lots of parking)
Tickets $15 in advance ($20 at the door)
21+ Only (fully stocked bar)

Confessions of a Mormon Boy returns to Salt Lake City on Friday, January 20th. From its sold-out world premiere in Salt Lake City, the play has gone on to critically acclaimed runs off Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse (directed by Tony Award Winner Jack Hofsiss, The Elephant Man), London’s West End at the Charing Cross Theatre, and in every major market in America and beyond, including the Edinburgh Festival and upcoming runs in Houston and Sao Paulo, Brazil (in Portuguese). It will be performed at the prestigious Phillips Academy Andover in February. The play is the subject of the upcoming documentary film Mormon Boy.

This 90-minute award-winning solo play recounts how Steven went from being the perfect Mormon boy in Utah to a high-priced call boy in New York City and how things got better once he found  a middle ground. This provocative true story takes the audience from his Mormon mission to Portugal and temple marriage, through reparative therapy, excommunication, divorce, prostitution and crystal meth addiction as he struggles to reclaim his himself, his two children and his ‘Donny Osmond smile.’  Told with humor, song, and The Book of Mormon.

Says Fales, “This is my contribution to help end spiritual abuse and religious violence in our churches, mosques, and synagogues. It is also about how I first learned to stop being a victim, which transformed my life. It was originally written for my children.”

Steven Fales is the former son-in-law of celebrated Mormon poet Carol Lynn Pearson.

Steven Fales (playwright/performer) recently made his West End debut with Confessions of a Mormon Boy (Charing Cross Theatre) which he has performed at the Edinburgh Festival, off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse and Lincoln Center (Outer Critics Circle Award Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance), International Dublin Gay Theatre Festival (Oscar Wilder Award Nomination for Outstanding New Writing for the Theatre), New York International Fringe Festival (Overall Excellence Award for Solo Show), and across the US in acclaimed, sell-out runs including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, Dallas, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami and Salt Lake City (just to name a few). Other runs are currently being scheduled for Australia, South Africa, Canada, and Brazil (in Portuguese). The book of the play was a Lambda Literary Award Finalist. A memoir, documentary, and album titled “Mormon Boy” are currently in development.

Confessions of a Mormon Boy is Part One in The Mormon Boy Trilogy which also includes Missionary Position (New York International Fringe Festival) and Who’s Your Daddy? (United Solo Festival in New York City).  Other solo work includes CULT!, a cabaret act Mormon American Princess  (Joe’s Pub NY) and Songs of My People, a stand up show When All Else Fales, an historical solo play Joseph III, and a solo drag comedy Conversations with Heavenly Mother: An Uncommon Diva. Other plays include Cleft, Sacred Strain, and two musicals Saltair and Meet the Mormons. His adaptation of Everyman called Kate and Co. was commissioned by the Waterford School.

A national leader in solo performance, he is the founder of The Solo Performance Alliance and teaches his workshop Flying Solo: How to Create and Produce Your Own Solo Work (or Any Work) all over the country. He has coached solo performers all over the world from L.A. to Norway.

Before turning to writing and solo performance, Steven worked in regional theatres and Shakespeare festivals across America (including Pioneer Theatre and Utah Shakespeare Festival) and has played leading roles such as Edmund in King Lear, Ferdinand in The Tempest, Dr. Caius in The Merry Wives of Windsor, Buckingham in The Three Musketeers, Tom Joad in The Grapes of Wrath, Gerry in Dancing at Lughnasa, Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, Tony in The Boy Friend, Kodaly in She Loves Me, Tony in West Side Story. He has worked with such luminaries as Elaine Stritch, Len Cariou, Douglas Sills, Judy Kaye, Emily Loesser among others. He has also acted in television, film, and commercials. He is the founder of the Solo Performance Alliance and teaches workshops all over the country.

A member of Actors Equity Association , Steven first trained on scholarship at the Boston Conservatory. After serving as a Mormon missionary in Portugal for two years, he later transferred to Brigham Young University where he received a BFA in musical theatre and later his MFA in acting from the University of Connecticut. He has studied at the American Comedy Institute in New York and privately with acting coach Larry Moss.

Steven was born in Utah and raised in California and Las Vegas (where he was singing at Caesar’s Palace by the age of sixteen). He currently lives in Salt Lake City where he takes an active role in raising his two children and exports his oxy-Mormon work from his home in the Rocky Mountains., twitter @mormonboy,

Reviews of Confessions of a Mormon Boy

“The stuff of great theatre.”
--Associated Press

“An exceptional achievement to rank beside the best of the solo genre.
Wrenchingly honest, hilariously jubilant, and utterly clear-eyed. ”
-- Los Angeles Times (Critic’s Choice)

“An astonishing generosity of spirit . . . with fierce comedy and sharp intelligence.
He bares his soul . . . feels like a sacred gift.”
-- Boston Globe (Critic’s Choice)

“An uncommonly powerful, gripping, and very moving piece of theatre.”
-- Chicago Tribune

“The story couldn’t be more timely.”
-- San Francisco Chronicle

“A masterful story teller and one hell of a writer. Sexy and harrowing. A play that transcends religion, gender, and sexuality.”
-- San Francisco Examiner

“Fales is such a perceptive writer. As moving as it is funny.”
-- New York Daily News

“Compelling confessional theatre. Fales knows how to sell it.”
-- New York Times

“Brokeback Mormon . . . a rare blast of lyricism.”
-- Variety

“A quintessentially American once-upon-a-time of sexual identity crisis and selfhood.”
-- Village Voice

“A tale about finding redemption in honesty.”
-- Atlanta Journal-Constitution

“A very funny, poignant, and surprising story of self-acceptance
and the happiness in finding spiritual connections.”
-- Las Vegas Review-Journal

“Steven Fales is a hero.”
--Austin Chronicle

“Breathtaking. Makes you want to say Amen.”
--San Diego Union-Tribune

“An absorbing tale about the universal human search for belonging.
Gay or not, Mormon or not, it is something we can all relate to.”
--Salt Lake Tribune

“Rare and skillful. A fine writer and actor.”
--Chicago Sun-Times

“Honest,  moving, whimsical, sobering, tender and cathartic.”
--Miami Herald

“It’s impossible not to marvel.”
--The Scotsman

“All told with great verve and energy and with very engaging humour.
It is impossible not to warm to this man.”
ScotsGay Four Stars

“Brilliantly acted and beautifully written.”
--Irish Daily Mail

“Fales captivates his audience with a sometimes moving, often funny, and occasionally shocking odyssey from sexual denial to emotional salvation.”
--WhatsOnStage London (Four Stars)

“There’s something here that every gay man can relate to.
And, my, how the boy entertains.”
--London Gay Times (Five Stars)

“Breathtaking. A gripping story. That it’s touching and wise too only adds to the appeal.”
--Entertainment-Focus London

“As American as apple pie. It takes a healthy, open-minded approach to barrier busting. Its truth is its strong suit.”
--ExtraExtra (London)

“It is fantastic. One of the best one-man shows we’ve seen.”


I'm reading a book my dad's generation saw as one of the most important "self-help" books of the day, THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED. Published in 1978 I must say the book has some very good, mature, difficult things to say. In fact, the first sentence of the book starts out, "Life is difficult." Once you accept that, things get easier and the possibility exists for one to become truly mature and eventually truly loving. It requires discipline to become mature. It's hard work. It's difficult. (Once in a while he'll use an example that verges on sexism, racism, or homophobic and nearly offends my 2012 sensibilities. I'm looking for the wisdom in-between the lines. It's definitely out-dated socially, but some truths remain timeless. And I'm finding some real gems.)

At this point on my artistic and personal journey we've explored the good stuff, it's the hard stuff -- all the administrative stuff -- that will take things to the next level. I understand I'm creative. But without the disciplined hard work (and long-term continuous sobriety), things will not improve. So showing up and following through are the things I will continue to work on.

I see Julia Cameron has a new book out called THE PROSPEROUS HEART. I'm sure it has a lot to say about artists being fiscally mature and disciplined. But what does is say about ARTIST AS PRODUCER? I see artists all around me that retain the "poor me" attitude that keeps them from truly getting their creativity out there -- and thus, keeps them from earning at what they love to do.

Today I'm focussed on the Salt Lake City run of CONFESSIONS OF A MORMON BOY on Jan 20th, Phillips Academy Andover on Feb 5th, and Theatre Lab Houston on Feb 8-12th. We've got MISSIONARY POSITION brewing for late February in Salt Lake City. Still working on Sao Paulo, Brazil run in March. April/May brings THE MORMON BOY TRILOGY to Los Angeles at the Hudson Theatre. Just began negotiations for a Denver run later this year. There's the off-Broadway run of THE MORMON BOY TRILOGY in the fall. Hoping to do it in London later this summer . . .

I've got a Kickstarter campaign about to start for MORMON BOY documentary. I'm working with my co-producer/director/editor for MORMON BOY COOKING SHOW pilot. And the book proposal for MORMON BOY A Memoir is slowly materializing. Need to edit the audio CD "book" of CONFESSIONS LIVE FROM LONDON (Charing Cross Theatre).

Just emailed with my designer for CONVERSATIONS WITH HEAVENLY MOTHER: An Uncommon Diva about the the dress. And there's stand up to continue to write for WHEN ALL ELSE FALES . . .

So if all of this seems impossible . . . it is. Unless I chip away at it with discipline each morning.

I'm on THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED. And even though my dad might not like what I'm writing and producing, I watched and listened as I saw him work hard in my youth. My dad had discipline if nothing else. Thanks for the passion and talent, mom, that I can back up with dad's discipline. I am grateful to be me. I'm looking forward to having a partner someday who can appreciate me. And I'm learning to be the kind of person that will appreciate HIM.

Note to kids: Sorry I get on your case sometimes. Inspite of my faults, I want you to have discipline, too. Once you graduate from high school, I will stand back. But until then, it's my job to be your dad, not just your friend. I won't be just a Disneyland Dad. I love you.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Business Wish List for Mormon Boy Productions, LLC

As I continue to establish my office in the midst of the Rocky Mountains there are many things I still need. If you have any of these items you would like to buy or donate, please let me know. These things add up quickly.

1. Printer (with ink and paper)

2. Scanner

3. Photoshop, Adobe, and other programs for in-house graphic design.

4. A second laptop for sound cues on the road.

5. Programs for editing sound and video clips.

6. A new computer and monitor for the office.

7. A good video camera for filming on the road.

8. Frequent flyer miles.

9. New luggage for national and international travel for touring.

10. A keyboard or acoustic piano.

11. CD for burning files.

12. An acoustic guitar for the studio.

13. Microphone for MP3 player and other recordings.

14. Office supplies from post its to file folders.

Thank you for your consideration. Please email me at

Back in Utah!

I am so glad to be home in Cottonwood Heights where I can sleep in my own bed, cook in my own kitchen, work from my own desk in my own office. "The best thing you've done in the last ten years, dad, is get this apartment!" That's what my son told me last fall. And it's true. An artist cannot exist long without a proper place to call home. I've sacrificed a lot to pay traveling dues. I sacrificed my sanity! And so things are calming down. The cities are magical. I need them. But they are relentlessly manic. One must be able to get away.

That was my graduate school formula. I was living with my little family in Storrs, Connecticut while going to graduate schoool. I could drive into Hartford or New Haven. And then an hour north to Boston or two hours South to New York. I could get away to the city and work hard and play hard, but then return home. I love the country quiet. Now to find civilazation I just hop on a flight an hour or two east or west. I need the rural and urban balance. Too much urban and I begin to lose myself trying to keep up . . . and then I'm susceptible to my demons. (Although I could call the "Utah" voices demons, not just the "Chelsea" voices.)

My dear friend Julia Cameron ("The Artist's Way") and I talk frequently on the phone. She recently moved back to Santa Fe while I moved here to Salt Lake City. We both love getting away from it all. New Mexico and Utah both have it's mountain and desert charm.) But we both lament the challenges. Sometimes people in the smaller towns don't "get" her. Same with me. And so it can feel lonely here in a more provincial environment. But that is when you book a flight for an outside gig and get away to feel the thrill of connecting with other artists! Then I return to my hovel to report and write.

It's going to be a great day. My canteen is filled! So many projects to have fun with and accomplish. Psst! Looks like that pilot for THE MORMON BOY COOKING SHOW is still in the works. It's going to be so much fun!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Miracle of Recovery

I am amazed at the beauty of recovery. I'm grateful I was able to meet with so many new and old faces in recovery here in Los Angeles. It helped me renew my committment.

Addiction is an illness, a disease if you will. But there is solution. It's physical and spiritual. Don't use or drink or sex or drug or eat . . . whatever the compulsion is. And increase your spiritual life.

Off to LAX for a New Year in Salt Lake City and beyond.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Great Meeting and Great Date

Yesterday started off with a great meeting with a theatre company about co-producing THE MORMON BOY TRILOGY in Los Angeles in April/May. Very exciting to potentially work with real theatre professionals here in Los Angeles.

Then a really good date at the Grove last night with a very cool and creative guy.

Los Angeles has been kind to me in the past even when I wasn't kind to it. I'm looking forward to a great working relationship with L.A. now that my learning curve is done and the honeymoon is over.

Off to see my sponsor in Hollywood now. 20 years sober. I'm in good hands. It's good to have someone to run things by . . . but I have certainly learned that ultimately it is up to me and my H.P.

Cheers! I keep saying Cheers! My heart must still be in the U.K.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Long Beach

I'm here in Long Beach staying with my friend Audrey. Got lots of great sleep last night. My cold is nearly gone. Just don't want to stress myself too much. I have my first "date" in a long time tonight. I'm on the broke side post-Christmas. Okay, I'm flat broke! Lots of emails to get out, lots of things to put into motion. Looking at possibly doing THE MORMON BOY TRILOGY at The Hudson Theatre on Santa Monica Blvd in April or May. They seem enthusiastic to discuss the possibility since they saw CONFESSIONS at the Coast Theatre several years ago. Cool. It's been good to see so many friendly faces and feel the sunshine of Southern California. But I am very anxious to get back to my home and office and my kids in Salt Lake City. It is a really great place to base. There is no sophistication there, but there is also no distraction. There's a lot of wholesomeness if you look beyond the opression. I have the urban t-shirts. I can get things done in Salt Lake. My prediction for Iowa tomorrow: Romney will win. Please let him win. It will help my career! :) Which will help the economy, right? Cheers!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year 2012

There comes a time in every creative's journey when they must make a major choice after their first big success. My first success was the off-Broadway run of my first one-man show "Confessions of a Mormon Boy." The choice I had to make was either to stop and wrap it all up or keep going. In the midst of some huge personal and financial set backs in the last few years, my choice was to keep going. The choice wasn't always deliberate or clear. I made it intuitively little by little, sacrifice by sacrifice, inch by inch. But I am so glad I made the choice to continue. I am now poised for bigger things to come.

I've created so much artistically: new solo plays, new songs, new poems, new books, new plays, etc. When you are down and out, create! And for me that means write. I am so glad I decided not to change careers and go into real estate or simply teach, I decided to continue a career I chose when I was in high school. And I'm so grateful for the mentors and "believing mirrors" I met along the way who kept inspiring me to continue in the midst of so many "Utah" voices that would have had me give up on my dreams long ago. Most of those "Utah" voices came from family (immediate, in-laws, and out-laws), other blocked creatives, and old "church" voices--not to mention the voices within that would say, "You're too old, sick, untalented, poor, bad, wrong, ugly, grandiose, etc."

So I'm amassing a body of work. 2012 is the year for getting it out there in a bigger, brighter way. 2012 is the year to be a businessman. I have let the poet have free reign for several years. That, too, was a choice. To put the artistic above the administrative. Now it is time to take the poet by the hand and lead him to financial freedom. I have a vision board of all kinds of projects up on my office wall and a business plan ready to put into action.

I'm grateful for the creative journey. I never knew the ups and downs could be this up and down. But now that I've experienced both, I think I can navigate what lies ahead. I have a VISION of what is possible having worked in New York, Los Angeles, and London. Time to spin it all from the Rocky Mountains where I have calm and kids. More will be revealed as I back up my faith with hard work and discipline. And then to export it on a national and global level.

I've started the New Year from Los Angeles where I've been inspired by so many friends and the openness and optimism that only comes from the West. Anchored with substance and dues paid back East, I'm gonna find much success in 2012. Off to attend Church at MCC LA. I cannot do this alone. I need affirming friends, affirming family, and an affirming God. Non-affirming is not welcome this year. I welcome only affirmation in 2012. And don't worry, 2012 will be a whole new level of personal and professional accountability as well. Like so many, I have lots of debts to pay.  And let me just add, there will be lots of love to make this year as well! This is a year to date as well as create! And the plan is to do it sober, one day at a time.