Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Rest In Peace, Spalding

So by now you probably all know that Spalding Gray was confirmed dead yesterday.

I don't really have much to add to the piece in The New York Times today, which I feel strikes a pretty good balance between explaining the story of his disappearance two months ago and of his life's work.

I remember being a kid and seeing "The Paper", directed by Lawrence Kasdan and a movie theater in New York. I think to this day I'm the only person I know who likes it, but anyway, I remember the scene (my favorite scene) where Gray, playing a snooty editor, tries to tell off Michael Keaton, only to get some red-faced invective spewed back at him.

That's my first memory of Spalding Gray, and I thought he was hilarious. Since then, I've tried to watch as much of his stuff as possible. It's sad to think that this is the end of his strange and singular talent, and even weirder to consider that a man who's real art was the ability to recreate himself on stage night after night would destroy himself on a cold winter evening on the Staten Island Ferry.

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