From the deep archives: SPALDING GRAY

April 12, 2012

I first saw Spalding Gray performing with the Performance Group and doing his solo work in 1979. I wrote about him a lot in the early days, interviewed him several times, and got to know him a little bit. I just unearthed for my archive the feature story I wrote about him for the New York Times in 1986, as well as the chapter on him that appeared in Caught in the Act: New York Actors Face to Face, published the same year. My collaborator for the book was photographer Susan Shacter, who took this beautiful picture of Spalding.
Of course, reading these interviews — especially the one for the book — is incredibly poignant now after he’s gone.

Also, I remember editing the Times article over the phone from a post office in Paris and fighting with my editor who told me that the word “horny” could not appear in the august pages of The Newspaper of Record, even in a direct quote. The compromise we arrived at was “randy.” I’ve changed it back to “horny” on my archive, but you can still read the original published version on the Times website here.


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