EDitorial ± 15-Mar-2004

Monologued Out

End of last week I chanced across some sad news on the internet — so, which of the following do we think gives us the best definition of Spalding Gray?
  1. a dull hue from the new Linda-Barker-does-Dulux range,
  2. an ET from the infamous Lincolnshire UFO incident,
  3. or an over-analytical depressive actor prone to hypochondria?

It's number three, unfortunately — last week Spalding Gray died. Well, that's not strictly true. Apparently he'd gone missing sometime in January, and, with one last nod to black humour for someone who'd both written a book and starred in a film called Swimming To Cambodia, his body was recovered from New York's East River on 7-March. It appeared that after repeatedly joking about the act of suicide, he'd thrown himself from the Staten Island ferry.

My mini collection of Spalding Gray NTSC videos from amazon.com: Swimming To Cambodia - HILARIOUS; Monster In A Box - EXHILARATING; Gray's Anatomy - HAUNTING

His 1992 film Monster In A Box has a cover that shows him emerging from a box labelled FRAGILE, and he opens with these remarks:

You see, in 1967, while I was trying to take my first vacation, my mother killed herself. And since then, I've written a book about it.
— Spalding Gray, Monster In A Box (1992)

All very doom and gloomy, non? But seat this guy at a table with a glass of water, point a camera at him and let him talk, then try to tear yourself away. Should the BBC or Channel 4 decide to screen one of his works as a tribute, do try to catch it. The man was funny, moving, and utterly compelling.

Every so often I liked to check on amazon.com to see if he'd released any other filmed performances. I shall miss doing that, and I shall miss him too.

Be seeing you!