100 Creatives: Chance McClain

What he does: Chance McClain is probably best known for having co-written the "Yao Ming Song," a rousing rally cry for the Houston Rockets fans in the earlier part of this millennium. The song was made famous outside Our Fair City via Sports Illustrated and was even featured on the Chinese program "Breakfast With Yao," in which the previous night's Rockets game was broadcast.

Sports are definitely in his blood, and McClain was a producer for years on AM 1560 The Game. But recently, he's started turning heads in an unexpected way: As the writer of Kissless, a new musical that will premiere at the end of the month at the New York Musical Theatre Festival. It's a big step for McClain, who was into musical theater when he was younger but traded it in for sports and music.

It was only recently, when he took his young son to a community theater audition, that he got back into musicals.

"As soon as I was back in the theater, I fell in love with it all over again," he says.

Why he likes it: McClain says he likes theater because of the live experience. "There's real people working right in front of you," he says. "It's just so much more legit when it's real people acting things out live."

McClain agrees that people sometimes have the concept of a "sports guy" and a "musicals guy" and never the twain shall meet, but he doesn't think the two are mutually exclusive.

"It's all entertainment to me," he says. "You know, part of writing the book is crafting jokes, and that's not so different from crafting jokes for the morning show. They're only different in context."

If not here, then where? McClain was born here, and, except for a brief stint in the army, has lived in Texas all his life, so it's hard for him to imagine living anywhere else, he says. Still, the best resources for what he wants to do are in New York. "The way this community has embraced me and the play has been remarkable, but sometimes I can't find anyone to answer some of the questions I have here," he says. "Ideally, I guess I'd split my time between here and New York. But Houston's always home."

What's next? Houston previews for Kissless, The Musical are set for September 11, September 17 and September 18 at The Berry Center, 8877 Barker Cypress Road in Cypress. The NYMF starts September 26.

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