[Pause] The one that comes to mind is Stanley Kubrick’s Clockwork Orange. I read it in a day or two. To describe Spalding Gray’s artistry is to describe the work of a master. He was no longer on the schoolyard scene when Spalding found his way into the local paper, The Sag Harbor Express, for having the police stop him from jumping off the bridge to North Haven. Eventually, he left Renee and he and Kathie had another boy. But by 1979, Mr. Gray had decided to pursue the monologue as a type of performance art, and soon hit on his basic set (desk, water, notes) and approach (simple, measured, candid). By Oliver Sack s. April 20, 2015. Kathie Russo: That’s a much bigger question, one I haven’t really thought about. Spalding Gray, with Forrest Gray and Marissa Maier, circa 1993. Back home, he sometimes left answering machine messages and notes saying he intended to kill himself. He talked about death all the time - but that seemed to be his way of standing up to it, rather than falling. When I was editing it, I realized there was water throughout the whole piece. Kathie Russo: And Everything Is Going Fine, the documentary on Spalding that Stephen Soderbergh did. Gray became obsessed with certain things - moving house, for example. When, more. I took him out of the game. Forrest Gray: Far less playful. Died. Gray first achieved prominence in the United States with the film version of his monologue Swimming to Cambodia. A family friend, Sara Vass, said that Mr. Gray's body would be cremated. All limited-use licences come in the largest size available. Hey new boy, wipe me clean.” It’s a longer poem. Did he say, “You got to listen to this” and put on The Rolling Stones. She's the executive producer of a documentary about Gray, to be directed by Steven Soderbergh, and she's thinking about publishing his journals. Spalding the hilarious. A more contemporary one is Magnolia, and he loved The Hours. We sit in a corner between a rack of coats and a miscellaneous collection of props; an ancient heating system turns itself on and off, at times almost drowning out her careful voice. It was a testament, perhaps, to his status as an American institution - or an 'Un-American original' as he himself had put it - that so many people thought they recognised him. Please carefully review any restrictions accompanying the Licensed Material on the Getty Images website and contact your Getty Images representative if you have a question about them. PKM: Do you see that part of Spalding playing out for our society at all? I remember that being one of his particular favorites. John Boland, MSW - Webmanager for the Estate of Spalding Gray - Author. I’ve learned who my dad was through his writings and his work. His friends suggest there was not much of a gap between his person and his persona. A Spalding Gray Retrospective, which ran from October 28 to December 19, 1982, at The Performing Garage, re-presented all six monologs, plus two new pieces: Nobody Wanted to Sit Behind A Desk, and Interviewing the Audience. Then he tried to make a piece using Kerouac. He gets speaking really fast in an intense moment that’s happening, then, he takes a breath, and, then, everything’s really smooth. ‘LIKE PUNK NEVER HAPPENED’: THE LEGACY OF THE NEW ROMANTICS AND ‘80S U.K. , On March 7, 2004, the Office of Chief Medical Examiner of the City of New York reported that Gray's body was discovered by two men and pulled from the East River. Learn how your comment data is processed. I think it’s maybe because I had these early formative memories during a period, for all I know it was probably a year but it seems like five, when he was around more, right before Theo’s birth. You'd end up seeing the wisdom in paranoia, the logic in superstition, the existential threat in the everyday. I call it phobic. PKM: That’s when we saw him take what was going on inside of him and connect it to what was going on around all of us. The thing I think of as inspiration for him was psychology. Wipe me clean of the ugly. This might explain something about his brother's patterns of thought (Gray's Anatomy, one of the funniest monologues, is about the fear of going blind). But even in his more troubled times - and he was plagued by anxiety - I didn't consider him a person who was of a suicidal nature. He wrote and starred in several, working with different directors. But by the time they made Rumstick Road together in 1977, Gray, she says, was 'very focused - he never had any question about what he wanted to do. There seemed to be little hope: the police had traced one of Mr. Gray's final calls to a pay phone at the ferry terminal, and he had previously threatened to jump off a ferry. And that’s a hard thought for a lot of people especially when something happens so fast, like COVID or a car accident. The monologue, which Gray had performed in one of his last public appearances, is augmented by two additional pieces he performed at the time, a short remembrance called "The Anniversary" and an open letter to New York City written in the wake of the September 11 attacks. Forrest Gray: Yes. There are phases, all through it. Their mother, Margaret Elizabeth Horton Gray, was a Christian Scientist, though their father, Rockwell Gray, was not. You never knew what he was going to say, and it might really be dangerous. I never found an opportunity. PKM: When I met Spalding, he was in that phase where he was always talking about the old house on Madison Street. He said, "I'd go parachute jumping and eat as much candy as I could." And we would just be totally broken up by this. If there were ways, like an alternative form of therapy that could have helped him cope with all that childhood trauma, that would have been something different I wish he had done, in a counterfactual, alternate universe. He goes back and forth through memories of his own life and each time comes back to Sag Harbor on a summer-like, early October day. He had a disrupted gait, his right leg coming up stiffly and setting down the right foot as if the leg didn’t know where the foot was going. But as a writer and a stage performer, he changed the idea of what a supporting actor is. In so doing, he invented a form, a very rare thing among artists. When it’s happening, his body movement changes, and so does his voice and his tempo. He switched back to Renee and told her it had been a wrong number. NEW YORK, NY - DECEMBER 05: (L-R) Theo Spalding Gray, Kathie Russo and Forrest Dylan Gray attend "And Everything Is Going Fine" Premiere at MOMA on December 5, 2010 in New York City. Mick Green said that he heard a Dr. Feelgood song on the radio and mistook it for a Johnny Kidd and The Pirates track. It was his way. The Official website for Spalding Gray and now his Estate, John Boland, MSW - Webmanager for the Estate of Spalding Gray - Author, Estate of Spalding Gray - Kathleen Russo It’s interesting because it’s so multidisciplinary and multifaceted. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. The specialty of his storytelling was the search for a sorrow that could be alchemized into a myth. And what sort of traditions did Spalding see himself being a part of? Forrest set off to meet his girlfriend and I called Kathie: PKM: Let’s fill in a couple things Forrest and Theo left open. Collect, curate and comment on your files. The cause of death had not yet been determined, but the police were investigating reports that Mr. Gray, who had a history of depression, had committed suicide by jumping off the Staten Island ferry, said Paul J. Browne, the chief spokesman for the Police Department. Gray said he was 'just checking in', and that he'd be back soon. He would be cast in a movie, and the movie would generate a monologue about filming, sex, neighbours, drowning and the United States' involvement in Southeast Asia. I was seven and Forrest was eleven when [Spalding] passed away. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images). Forrest Gray: I probably don’t enough. 'Spalding's preoccupation with my mother's suicide did not make him a suicidal person,' he says succinctly. You are welcome to use content from the Getty Images site on a complimentary basis for test or sample (composite or comp) use only, for up to 30 days following download. It’s cool for me because I’m featured in it, so obviously I’m partial, but there’s an interesting exploration of the elemental in it and I enjoy those dialogues a lot. His eyebrows were in the shape of circumflexes, as if scepticism had been somehow built in ('The only thing I don't doubt is my doubt,' he once said), and his hair had turned grey prematurely, you supposed, from too much thought. It’s probably coming from my self but it was fostered by him. I think that’s where he found his voice. Porn Star", "Peering Beyond a Monologist's Stage Presence Into His Uncensored Mind", "What It Feels Like to Find Spalding Gray's Body", "Spalding Gray's Body Is Found 2 Months After Disappearance", "A Master of Monologues, Living on in His Words", "Remembering Spalding Gray" – Fresh Air Audio Archives, Official Website from the Estate of Spalding Gray, Audio Interview with Mr. Gray, recorded 1996, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Spalding_Gray&oldid=976643945, 20th-century American dramatists and playwrights, 20th-century American non-fiction writers, 21st-century American non-fiction writers, 21st-century American dramatists and playwrights, American male actors who committed suicide, Dramatists and playwrights who committed suicide, Pornographic film actors from New York (state), Pornographic film actors from Rhode Island, Suicides by drowning in the United States, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles with unsourced statements from March 2017, Internet Off-Broadway Database person ID same as Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with MusicBrainz identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, In addition to the five theatrically released film versions of Gray's monologues, video recordings from 1982 of, This page was last edited on 4 September 2020, at 04:27.
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