02 November 2006

38, I miss Spalding Gray

Life Interrupted: The Unfinished Monologue by Spalding Gray (4/5)

If you don't know who Spalding Gray was, you should. Go rent and watch Swimming to Cambodia or Monster in a Box or Gray's Anatomy. I'll wait. Seriously. You're not going to believe me if I tell you a guy wearing a plaid shirt sitting behind a table on which there is only a glass of water, a notebook, and a microphone is absolutely engaging. His storytelling changed theater.

His monologues evolved during workshops and were honed during performances. They were published later like epic tales of old were written down long after they were first told. Life Interrupted is the last monologue he was working on before he committed suicide. Like his other pieces, Life Interrupted is based on events in his life, finding the humorous twists to new difficulties.

The book contains two companion monologues as well as numerous eulogies from family, friends, and colleagues (many of which did make me cry). His life had a tumultuous end, but this book is an understanding and celebratory tribute. I miss you too, Spalding Gray.

One year ago at TTaT: Eye Contact (intermezzo)
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  1. I actually saw him only once on TV, this was years ago, and I was extremely impressed, but I have yet to see Swimming to Cambodia, Monster in a Box, and Gray's Anatomy. I think I'll go and put them on my Netflix queue. I was totally shocked when I read that he had committed suicide...

  2. I've really enjoyed his work.

    I remember when I heard about his suicide in 2004, but I hadn't heard any of the details. A couple years before, he was in a severe auto accident from which he never fully recovered. He wrote about it, fairly lightly considering, but many of his friends comment in their pieces on his deep ensuing depression.

  3. I miss him, too. Every once in a while, I simply think of him, and I grow suddenly sad.

    I hope, wherever he is, he finally found a Perfect Moment.