Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Remembering Spalding Gray

THERE'S a new collection of journals by the great actor and storyteller Spalding Gray, with a tribute event tonight at the Laemmle Sunset 5. (More detail here.)

Soon after Gray's 2004 disappearance -- it was eventually deemed a suicide -- I spoke to several theater and performance figures who walk in Gray's footsteps. I wrote:

With his mix of despair, humor, preppy shirts and New England dryness, he was sometimes called "the WASP Woody Allen." But many of those inspired by his techniques went in very different directions. Some created aural collages; some explored their ethnicity; others became ranters. John Leguizamo, Danny Hoch and Eric Bogosian, at various times, did all three.

HERE is that story, which includes discussions with Anna Deveare Smith ("He introduced me to the idea that normal human behavior is performative") Julia Sweeney, Tim Miller and Eric Bogosian.

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