(Nell Casey’s article appeared in The New York Times, 10/8; video includes Gray monologue and Talking Heads music.)
Spalding Gray moved to New York City in 1967, shortly after his mother’s suicide, when he was 26. He lived with his girlfriend, Elizabeth LeCompte, in an apartment on Sixth Street and Avenue D, on the Lower East Side. To make ends meet, Gray occasionally worked as a stock boy, while LeCompte sold postcards at the front desk of the Guggenheim. But mostly they were finding their places in New York’s avant-garde theater world.
In 1968, they saw Richard Schechner’s critically acclaimed production of “Dionysus in ’69,” which included an onstage orgy. Gray and LeCompte were electrified by it. The following year, they would become members of Schechner’s experimental-theater troupe, the Performance Group, after the director cast Gray in his rather unusual interpretation of Shakespeare’s “Macbeth.” Schechner recalls coming across Gray’s head shot and seeing a young man “staring out with eyes so far apart — he wasn’t trying to look pretty, he wasn’t trying to do anything.”
View this book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Journals-Spalding-Gray/dp/0307273458/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1318273709&sr=8-1
One of Spalding Gray’s monologues ‘The Anniversary’ is included in One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues from the 21st Century from Applause Books: http://www.amazon.com/One-Best-Mens-Monologues-Century/dp/1557837015/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1318273803&sr=1-1