I know I’ve written on this blog about my interest in and admiration for great storytelling. Truth be told, I’m not sure if my interest in the fine art of storytelling would be possible had I not seen Spalding Gray perform two of his monologues at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre several years ago. One word can best describe these performances: masterful.
The performances consisted of Spalding Gray sitting at a small wooden table with a glass of water and a notebook. His stories were about simple things like fatherhood, marriage and his family ski trips. While it may seem odd to go to the theater to listen to a man sit behind a table and tell stories, I assure you Spalding Gray was at the top of his game. Much like Itzhak Perlman performing Paganini on violin, the Bolshoi Ballet performing Swan Lake or Michael Jordan competing in the slam dunk competition, Spalding Gray had the power to mesmerize his audience…through words.
So it was tragic to learn about Spalding Gray’s death in 2004 from an apparent suicide.
Finally a documentary of his life has been made, And Everything is Going Fine, and is now playing in New York City (and hopefully your town soon). I hope to write more about Spalding Gray in future posts, but I wanted to invite everyone reading this to watch this movie or check out Swimming to Cambodia (directed by Jonathan Demme) or Gray’s Anatomy which are both on DVD. Check out the Spalding Gray website and the trailer for the documentary…