If I were even more sarcastic than I am, I would say something about this being suicide awareness month, between the Kurt Cobain ruminations and now this tribute to Spalding Gray, another damaged soul who couldn’t wait for the end to come of its own accord:
- KCRW TO BROADCAST A TRIBUTE TO SPALDING GRAY
Spalding Gray, the writer, actor and performer whose body was found in the East River near Brooklyn on March 7, after being reported missing in January, will be remembered on KCRW (89.9 FM and KCRW.com) on TUESDAY, April 13, 2004 from 2:30 to 3 pm.
Timed to coincide with a memorial at Lincoln Center planned for the same week [4/13], this half-hour Tribute to Spalding Gray was created for KCRW by independent producer JON KALISH.
The program will feature extended excerpts from performances by Spalding Gray, recorded by Kalish, who interviewed Gray several times for National Public Radio in the months and years after his tragic auto accident in Ireland. Kalish spent time with Gray at his home in Long Island and in upstate New York, and attended a weekend seminar on autobiographical performance that Gray led at the Omega Institute in New York.
Around Manhattan, Kalish saw and taped several performances of Gray’s monologues, including perhaps his best-known work, “Swimming to Cambodia,” and his last monologue, “Life Interrupted,” about the effects of the auto accident that sent him into his final depressive descent.
In addition, Kalish speaks to Eric Bogosian, an actor, playwright and friend of Gray’s; Mike Feder, a legendary Pacifica Radio host at New York’s WBAI, whose on-air story-telling Gray cited as a major influence on his own work; and others who were influenced by Gray.
Gray was a unique talent whose sadness and uncertainty gave shadow to the light of his performances. I am very sad about his being gone, but even more so about the frame of mind that drove him away.