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Novels also by Steven Schindler
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Born and raised in the Bronx, Steven Schindler's first two novels, Sewer Balls and From the Block, are artfully gritty portrayals of the neighborhood characters who hung out on the stoops, playgrounds, rooftops and barstools during the crazy days of the Bronx in the sixties and seventies. Both books offer a heavy dose of mad, inner-city youthful adventures laced with awkward teenage sex, rock and roll, and the search for the perfect egg cream, i.e. the essence of life itself.
After graduating with a degree in film and theatre from Hunter College, he soon found himself acting in off-off Broadway productions around the city, including a geodesic dome in the Bronx, an Italian restaurant in Brooklyn, a loft in SoHo and at the Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village. Bartering a deal at a prominent NY drama school to videotape classes in exchange for acting lessons, he discovered that he enjoyed life more from behind the camera than in front of it. (He denies that a lousy review of one of his performances in the Village Voice led to this decision.)
Enrolling in a video documentary class turned out to be the first step in a career that has spanned over twenty years in television production. From assisting "underground" video documentarians in SoHo, (Schindler's own doc really was underground- it was about an elderly blind lady who played the accordion in the subway, called Subway Mary) to catching criminals on the FBI's most wanted list for America's Most Wanted, to conducting exclusive interviews with The Who, Schindler is an award winning writer and producer who currently lives in Los Angeles. He has won four Chicago Emmy awards, and has written and produced news, sports, documentary, TV magazines, entertainment, promotion and reality television. From the Block was the winner of the Best Fiction Award at the 2003 Indie/DIY National Book Awards.
His third novel, From Here to Reality (Simon & Schuster/Pocket Books), is a hilarious send-up of a transplanted New Yorker's foray into the early days of reality television in Hollywood, and received praise from Jay Leno and Roger L. Simon (The Big Fix)
On the Bluffs, is a thrilling love story wrapped in a dysfunctional family mystery that begins on the trendy streets of Washington D.C. and winds up in a rundown mansion on the bluffs of Cape Cod. "Sometimes the biggest lies are the ones we live," Schindler says, referring to the themes explored in this novel.
The Last Sewer Ball continues the story of Whitey and Vinny where Sewer Balls left off and brings them right up to the present in a whirlwind of not so instant karma.
Steven Schindler is also a television journalist. A partial list of people he has interviewed and profiled for TV includes Pete Townshend, Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Flo and Eddie, Graham Nash, George Carlin, Tony Bennett, Arlo Guthrie, Michael Jordan, Tom Seaver, Bill Veeck, Tony LaRussa, Harry Caray, Senator Paul Simon, Terrence Cardinal Cook, and fellow Bronxite Danny Aiello.
Perhaps his most memorable interview was the first he ever conducted, which happened to be with one of his literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut. When Schindler asked Mr. Vonnegut what advice he had for young aspiring writers, Vonnegut replied, "Never take a writing class." Words of wisdom Schindler has heeded ever since.
Schindler was the only TV journalist given access to The Who when they arrived from the UK in Washington DC to kick off "first" farewell tour in 1982. After many unanswered phone calls to their tour manager's office in LA, he finally got a hold of him by guessing which DC hotel he might be holed up in, finding him on his second attempt. Shortly into the conversation legendary rock n roll tour manager, Paul Wasserman asked, "Are you from New York?" Schindler replied, "Yes. From the Bronx." Wasserman said, "So am I. Bring your crew and meet me at the airport in two hours. We're meeting The Who."
While directing a segment for "America's Most Wanted" Schindler set the record for the fastest a criminal was ever apprehended. In fact, a child murderer was caught before the story even aired because a photograph of the suspect was printed in a newspaper just before the segment was broadcasted on national television.
Schindler won a Chicago Emmy Award for a television special he created and co-produced called "Rock N Roll Legacy" which traced the roots of rock and roll from Chicago blusemen to the giants of classic rock.
Steve did a segment on "Vlasta the Polka Queen" for PM Magazine in Chicago. A producer for the Tonight Show saw the story and immediately booked Vlasta for an appearance with Johnny Carson. Johnny literally fell out of his chair when Vlasta told him how she composed her polkas on her accordion while her husband was in the bath and she sat on the toilet. Her appearance was included in many Tonight Show "best of" segments and is included in the "Best of Carson" DVDs. One of Schindler's few career regrets is turning down Vlasta's offer to become her personal manager.
Schindler has also worked on TV news crews for Israeli and French television. He thought he was sitting in a place of honor when he was seated two rows behind Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on a charter flight from New York to Los Angeles, until a security agent told him that the press is placed around dignitaries to provide a human shield of protection in case of a terrorist attack.