Monday, December 28, 2009

- NOTE - this is the second timer Mr. Helm has presented this without the permission of the Estate or even informing the Estate. I believe the Estate is very understanding.There is a link on the Sidebar called Performance Rights and if that is unclear, you can use the Contact link. Performance without permission is bad form at best...

Friday, December 11, 2009

Soderbergh Documentary: And Everything is Going Fine

and the Soderbergh Documentary, initially just called Spalding Gray, now has a title:
'And Everything is Going Fine'
major kodos to anyone who can tell me why such a title...completely new to me!!!
World Premiere - Saturday, January 23rd at Slamdance which is part of 2010 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL January 21, 2010 - January 31, 2010 in Park City, Utah.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Swimming to Spalding gets great review in NYT

Swimming to Spalding gets great review in NYTimes :

Make sure you also read excellent first comment.
A must see!!!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Forrest Gray's new band...

Forrest Gray's new band is on myspace -
Download some songs...

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Lián Amaris - Swimming to Spalding, directed by Richard Schechner - How exciting is that!!! I need someone to review this for the site please. Use the Contact link.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell
featuring Kathleen Chalfant, Hazelle Goodman, Ain Gordon, Lucy Sexton and more!!!
Time: Saturday, Nov 28, 2009
Location: Sag Harbor, NY, Bay Stret Theatre
One Bay St., Sag Harbor, NY, 11963

Friday, October 30, 2009

Stories Left to Tell in Albany, NY

The Egg (Albany, NY) has announced the cast and special guest readers for the upcoming production of “Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell” on Saturday and Sunday, November 13-14, 2009: NYC cast members: Bob Holman, author-poet-poetry slam champion Carmelita Tropicana, Obie Award-winning writer-performance artist Josh Lefkowitz, playwright-poet-performer Ain Gordon, three-time Obie Award-winning actor-director-writer Special guest readers: James Howard Kunstler, Saratoga Springs author of “The Geography of Nowhere” and other books about the urban condition Rex Smith, editor of the Albany Times Union and co-host of “The Media Project” radio show.

Friday, September 4, 2009

URGENT help needed - Save NPR WLIU

As the site ( is being totally redone in CSS code (early version maybe up as soon as tonight!), and I have changed hosts, the mailing list needed to be rebuilt. I have done this in Outlook as I couldn't wait for host since there is an urgent message here. Once the site is rebuilt and up, I will send out another note with other goodies. I hope the email addresses are hidden as that is the intention. If they do show, they are all private, xept me...Also, Outlook is warning me about Unicode and possible problems reading this, so let me know if it is not formatted properly. However, for now:

As most of you likely know, Kathleen Russo is the widow of Spalding. As many may not know, she is a producer for the NPR (National Public Radio) station WLIU 88.3 FM in Sag Harbor, NY - you can listen on the net... - it's a very good station in terms of helping all types of artists (authors, actors etc.) and the music is good...

Please read the following from Ms. Russo and help save the Station: (some email links did not come thru on copy and paste - if you want them, email me please) - however, the important web site link is there:
Artists and Writers of East HamptonUrgent News and Call to Save Arts Radio WLIU 88.3 FMDire Prospect of Shutdown of WLIU 88.3 FM, Urgent Action Needed Just got the dire news from Bonnie Grice, which will affect every working artist and writer on the east end. Long Island University has decided to shut down WLIU 88.3 FM as of October 3rd. What this means is artists, arts organizations and writers will lose one of our most important advocates and voices.

For the hundreds of individual artists and arts organizations who have been on Bonnie Grice’s show “In The Morning” the silencing of both a friend and an integral part of the art indigenous Hamptons Art scene will directly impair our ability to communicate with each other and the outside world. We need to make our voices heard to keep the important arts voice in the Hampton Art community on the radio. Go to new website:www.peconicpublicbroadcasting.orgSign up today! Also any letters to editors/Fred Thiele/Tim Bishop etc..would be mostwelcome and crucial to20the efforts to Save Public Radio on the East End(SPREE)

Letters to the Editor:East Hampton StarEmail Congressman Tim BishopOr regular mailSouthampton Office
137 Hampton Road 
Southampton, NY 11968 
(631) 259-8450
(631) 259-8451 (fax)

Washington Office:
306 Cannon H.O.B.
Washington, DC 20515
(202) 225-3826
(202) 225-3143 (fax)
Email Assemblyman Fred ThieleOr regular mail2302 Main StreetBox 3062Bridgehampton, NY 11932631-537-2583 ALBANY OFFICELOB 443Albany, NY 12248518-455-5997
David Steinberg, president Long Island

Saturday, July 25, 2009



Thanks to Kathie Russo, Lucy Sexton and, the play Stories Left to Tell (SLTT) will beging a national tour. The following are the cities and dates that have been arranged so far. Keep watch on the site, or join the mailing list or ever better - find a theatre near you that wants to present this amazing work. Note that I do not have the exact theatres yet, just the cities and dates:

Albany- Nov. 13 and 14, 2009
Minneapolois- March 18-20, 2010
Philadelphia- March 25-27, 2010

Tuesday, July 14, 2009



SPALDING GRAY: Stories Left to Tell

To benefit the Spalding Gray Award

ONE NIGHT ONLY presented as part of Barrow Street Theater's
Summer SOLO Series

Thu, July 16 8pm
Tickets $35 Online
By Phone: (212) 691-1555
In Person: Soho Playhouse Box Office
(Open Tue - Sun 1-8pm)
15 Vandam Street (1 block north of Spring Street, just west of Sixth Avenue)

"Vividly funny. joyous, devastating, affecting, gorgeous...a breathing portrait." - Ben Brantley, New York Times

"Fresh, engaging, moving, powerful. Gray's words not only relate the story of his own life, they allow a new group of artists to reflect on what being alive can mean." - Mark Blankenship, Variety

Stories Left to Tell catapults us into the hilarious and heartbreaking life and words of one of the most revered storytellers of our time. A five-person ensemble performs Spalding Gray's legendary stories and monologues---interwoven with previously unpublished material from his letters and journals. As Backstage put it: "Gray was a funny funny man; this show20is a gift."

Featuring Ain Gordon, Bob Holman, Aasif Mandvi, Carmelita Tropicana and Frank Wood

Conceived and Directed by Kathleen Russo and Lucy Sexton

100% of the proceeds from Stories Left to Tell presented by the Barrow Street Theater directly supports The Spalding Gray Award

The Spalding Gray Award is an annual commissioning award created by Performance Space 122, UCLA Live, and Kathleen Russo.

The Spalding Gray Award supports gifted writer/performers who fully realize both aspects of Spalding's legacy, who are fearless innovators of theatrical form, who reach into daily experience and create resonant, transcendent work that makes us all bigger, wider, wiser and, somehow, more than we were when we entered the theater. The Award Committee is Vallejo Gantner (P.S. 122), David Sefton (UCLA Live), Philip Bither (Walker Arts Center), Ben Harrison (The Andy Warhol Museum), and Kathleen Russo.

Gray developed may of his famed monologues at Performance Space 122 and it is still home to his signature desk. Gray developed and created Morning, Noon and Night, Gray on Gray and Interviewing the Audience at P.S. 122, where he was working on Life Interrupted at the time of his death.

Winners of the Spalding Gray Award:

2008 - Radiohole

2007 - the National Theater of the United States of America

2006 - Heather Woodbury

Be sure to check out all of the one-night-only performances of acclaimed solo shows and take joy in the fact that $1 of all ticket sales to the festival will also be donated to The Spalding Gray Award!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

CANADA ONLY on CBC TV - exerpts from Monster in A Box to be used on TV show Triple Sensations: TIME: June 29th, 2009, 8 PM (this appears to be consis

CANADA ONLY on CBC TV - excerpts from Monster in A Box to be used on TV show Triple Sensations:

TIME: June 29th, 2009, 8 PM (this appears to be consistent across Canada but check your local listings). I have no further details about the show.

Thank you to Instinct Entertainment and for their cooperation.

Friday, June 5, 2009

To mailing list

Spalding Gray Day
No poem today as the sites poet laureate has been ill. I hope for her quick recovery. Today is Spalding Gray day. It is also the U.N.s World Environment Day My math tells me that Spalding would have been 68... News: 1) Lately at the site, I have still been working on updating every page, before adding new pages, such as Poetry, Depression, Performance Rights and others. With the site originally done in Netscape, it is difficult to convert over to Dreamweaver as the code is often misread. However, it is doable as opposed to a complete rewrite in CSS. I have more or less completed such things as Fan Writing and Monologists ( something like 75 monologists listed! Safe to say, the update of every page is a slow process. 2) Two new dates for SLTT (Stories Left to Tell): a) Stories Left to Tell at Soho Playhouse - All tickets are $5 with a portion of the proceeds from each performance going to benefit the Spalding Gray Scholarship Fund, and may be purchased by visiting the Soho Playhouse website at, or by calling (212) 691-1555. For group sales, please email:, or call (212) 691-1555. b) March 18-20, 2010 - Minneapolis, the Walker Arts Center 3) Please remember to sign the Bring Back Trying Times petition.Spalding wrote and starred in amazing episode called Bedtime Story. The whole series was wonderful. PBS had said the masters were burned in a fire, but a fan has located 10 out of 12 episodes in master form and we are looking for the missing 2. The Spalding episode is one of the existing ones. I will soon be sending the petition to John Boland (no relation!) who is the head of programming at PBS. Please sign it if you have not already: 4) I have recently put google adsense on the blog. This is an experiment to see what ads get placed. If the ads seem poor or inappropriate, I will pull the program. I ask that people join the blog and post to the blog as this helps its exposure. 5) Affiliates - the affiliate page is up and running. All the companies are at least remotely associated with something about Spalding, though there are stretches... Using the affiliates for on line purchases is very important for the site and for raising funds for the Scholarship fund. Here are some of the companies (they are being adjusted as I go): Amazon if you are not Canadian, use the link, and change countries at bottom of Amazon page. Abebooks, eBay, abebooks UK, alibris books, bonsai boy, cheap air, Barnes and Noble, Zone Alarm, Nirvana chocolates, Rockwell Tools, tshirts, customes, Playboy Store (yes, Spalding was in Playboy ~1968), shopzilla (Rockport shoes), ike stores, spiritual cinema stores, and (so that almost everything else is covered). welcome other suggestions of companies with affiliates. I notice the page needs some coding changes. It is very strange. The site contents get mysteriously changed quite frequently, including changes to the affiliates. There is essentially no way this can happen unless I do it so it is indeed mysterious. Hence the note on the site that it appears to be haunted! So happy Spalding Gray Day, take care and I hope I can get this out without all that lousy code mixed in. If that happens, I will redo/resend.
jb (take care of what's in front of you, leave the rest to the universe)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Summer Solos Series Launches 6/16 At Soho Playhouse

Also from

Re Stories Left to Tell - All tickets are $35 with a portion of the proceeds from each performance going to benefit the Spalding Gray Scholarship Fund, and may be purchased by visiting the Soho Playhouse website at, or by calling (212) 691-1555. For group sales, please email:, or call (212) 691-1555.

The article also has very good list of schedule for other monologists.

Spalding Gray's Stories Left to Tell - NYC benefit concert July 16, 2009

June 3, 2009:

This article is so good, and so packed with information about monologists' performances, that I am going to copy and paste right here - I will remove this at any time upon request. Strict copyright remains with Theatre Mania. I am only using it because it is excellent. I apologize that if you don't go to their site to read this, as that means less hits for them and they do have ads. It appears to be a very good site so please visit. Part of article by Dan Balcalzo:

Aasif Mandvi, Dallas Roberts, Nilaja Sun, et al. Set for Summer Solos Series: (my addition to Title - one performance only of Stories Left to Tell):

Jun 3, 2009 · New York

The Soho Playhouse will present the Summer Solo Series, featuring one-night-only performances of acclaimed solo shows, June 18-August 4.

Highlights will include Martin Moran's The Tricky Part (June 22), Dallas Roberts performing writer/director Adam Rapp's Nocturne (June 25), Nilaja Sun's No Child... (July 9), Aasif Mandvi's Sakina's Restaurant (July 28), and Heather Raffo's In Concert: Sounds of Desire (July 30).

There will be a special benefit performance of Spalding Gray: Stories Left to Tell on July 16, directed by Lucy Sexton and featuring Ain Gordon and additional artists to be announced.

The series will also include Amy Wilson (June 18), Stephen Payne (June 29), Taylor Negron (July 7), James Braly (July 14), Thaddeus Phillips (July 21), Debra Ehrhardt (July 23), and performances of works by Glen Berger (June 30 and August 4).

For more information, visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009

May 09 update on Soderbergh Doc.

At (interview with Soderbergh), it says:
Q: You’re rumored to have at least five other movies coming out. What’s next?
A: I’ve got a movie about Spalding Gray that I hope we’ll finish editing by the fall. “Moneyball,” based on the book about baseball executives, we’ll be shooting this summer. The Cleopatra project (a ’20s musical featuring Catherine Zeta-Jones and a soundtrack by Guided By Voices) will shoot next year, and so will the movie about Liberace (starring Michael Douglas).

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Embracing the Mundane

Embracing the Mundane
aka Swimming to Mundane
aka Thinking like David Sedaris

The reason for the multiple titles is that I understand that David Sedaris edits his stories many, many times. Therefore, I would imagine that he has many possible titles. I do not like editing. And yet it does seem mundane so perhaps it is something to explore.
I only recently decided to embrace the mundane, mostly because I seem to do so many mundane things. I also started to finish reading Mr. Sedaris’s When Engulfed in Flames, which was significant in that I have not been reading since I had a stroke, as my one good eye now tires easily. However, this book I had to finish. While reading it, I realized that if I was to begin to think like him (note that all further him/hes will be in reference to David Sedaris), that would assist greatly in embracing the mundane.
To start with, I have an advantage. I tend to be obsessive/compulsive just as he appears to be. Up until now, I have channeled much of this in to specific activities, such as being the Webmaster for the Spalding Gray website (interestingly enough, Mr. Gray seemed quite obsessive compulsive himself). I remember as a child, when I was in the rec room (aka basement with rug and TV), my eyes would seek out shapes, usually squares, in the bookcase. Then my eyes would follow the shape around and around for long periods of time. I resisted doing this quite strongly at the time, but it continued. Why it ended is beyond me. Now, I wish that I could do it again as it is a common method of hypnosis. I’m not sure what self hypnosis would gain me, but am willing to find out.
Now what other characteristics would help me to think like him. He describes himself as both a snob (now due to staying in luxury hotels), but also admits to being kind hearted. I think I can eliminate the snob stuff. Remember that when he arrives at a book signing with hordes lining the block, he goes to the end of the line and begins to sign books. Does that sound like a snob to you?
And this laundry thing. He does all his own laundry while on tour in the hotel room sink. This surely is mundane. It is reported to be the most common reason for him being late. It would seem to help the line build up as well, assisting in his trick to begin at the end.
“Excuse me for being late. I was finishing my laundry. Now that it’s drying on the towel rack, I was wondering if you have a book you wish me to sign? My name is David Sedaris. Am I in the right line?” (not a real quote).
Now there are limits. I don’t intend to type everything on a manual typewriter. I don’t type that well, making word processing akin to a miracle. But typing as he does, only indicates more mundaneness.
So I’ve decided to practice this thinking like him for awhile and report back. So far, I’ve noticed a slight irritable edge which I want to monitor. So far, I think that’s because I’m reading about him quitting smoking. Mark Twain said it was easy as Mark Twain had quit a thousand times. Me I quit years ago and still had a stroke. Excuse me now while I find mundane things to do.
Report: Besides the afore mentioned edge which is perhaps not new and does not seem mundane – in fact, it interferes with mundaneness as I tend to stay that way and hence be less likely to be mundane. And a second besides was can a person with such a publicity program really be irritable? On the positive side, my oc tendency (existing yet mostly latent) of counting and doing things in 3s has come back. I am also less anxious upon waking up. I believe that saying ‘Om Mane Padma Hum’ 3 times upon arising helps.
Why ‘Om Mane Padma Hum’? (the six syllabled mantra of the bodhisattva of compassion, Avalokiteshvara. The Dalai Lama is said to be an incarnation of Chenrezig or Avalokiteshvara – see for the Dalai Lama’s translation) I have no idea why as there are certainly other mantra that come to mind.
When I was living in a houseboat in Varanasi (Benares),India, I arrived at the beginning of a 108 day nonstop chant of ‘Shri Ram,Jai Ram, Jai Jai Ram’. I think we got a better deal on the boat (~$3 a month) because it was next to one of the large speakers set up along the river ghats for blaring broadcast. So I listened to that chant for 108daysx24hoursx60 minutesx60 seconds = 9,331,200 seconds. And yet I ever repeat it as a mantra.
Then a close confidant told me that this whole mundane thing was just mindfulness…
And then I heard that David Sedaris is coming to a book signing right here in Victoria BC (rumour being the lineup will start the night before). So I’ll continue to think like him and report back after meeting him. Om Mane Padma Hum, Om Mane Padma Hum, Om Mane Padma Hum…

Saturday, May 2, 2009

REVIEW - from CHOICE, the review arm of the American Library Association

REVIEW - from CHOICE, the review arm of the American Library Association

Humanities \ Performing Arts \ Theater & Dance
Demastes, William W. Spalding Gray's America. Limelight Editions, 2008. 270p bibl index; ISBN 9780879103606 pbk, $19.95. Reviewed in 2009may CHOICE. This first book-length study of the life and work of celebrated monologist Spalding Gray (1941-2004) is wonderful. Covering Gray's life from his early beginnings to his untimely death, Demastes (Louisiana State Univ.) delves into the major works of this most self-reflexive of performers with a deft hand. Although this is not a biography per se, it offers significant information about Gray's life and its intersection with his art: close readings of Gray's performances allow one to see how in exposing his personal triumphs and tragedies Gray exposed and analyzed America and Americans. In sum, in dissecting Gray as observer of events, as artist, and as performer--a fascinating approach to the performer--Demastes makes sense of how Gray's monologues worked and what made him original. Including a wonderful personal reflection on Gray by Richard Schechner, this volume provides theater scholars and practitioners with an invaluable introduction to Gray and his work. Summing Up: Highly recommended. All readers. -- S. W. Cole, Bridgewater College

Note from Webmaster - please remember to order all books, DVDs, video, what have you, using the affiliate page for (all proceeds to Spalding Gray scholarship fund):

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Spalding Gray Mailing List

This mailing list is somewhat delayed due to my schedule or whatever you call life.I am actually going to school full time plus extra on line course. As that sounds scary, fortunately, it is over soon.> The site is mostly up to date, save for links and such contained in this note. Some of the pages still need updates pictures for example. And I would really like you all to check out the affiliate page. I regard it as in flux. I have some excellent on line stores that I can also justify by saying they are at least remotely, perhaps associated with something Spud like. I even explain some of them.> >> > (put it in your favs or bookmark!)> > I have noted on the site that:> > As of Feb. 2009, this website has become 'haunted' by a spirit - a site spirit - who seems to randomly change jpgs and some fonts. It remains unknown if the spirit is Spalding...tough it is clear that 'they' can't type...> Update: the affiliate page code was changed without my knowledge, which is not possible> > The page is now backed up with back up.>> > >
And if you have not listened to Ms. Russo story on NPR, it is highly recommended. >> > And somewhere on utube, there is video of Spalding doing the promo as in:> 6) Brothers Keeper 10th Anniversary DVD has the original theatrical trailer which is kinda like a mini Spud monologue > -hey, I bought it just for that (truly obsessed!) besides the fact that this is an excellent documentary truly strange but as a documentary, it keeps you right on the edge of your seat (unless you already know the verdict in this bizarre true murder trial.) > > Here are some links, about the very successful run of Stories Left To Tell in Boston:> (please see the final part of this message also) > >> >> >> > Radiohole was founded in 1998 by Erin Douglass, Eric Dyer, Maggie Hoffman, and Scott Halverson Gillette.> >> >> > > >

PART TWO IMPORTANT> > Here is an email from my adopted daughter #2 and hardcore Spuddy. It is fairly straight forward. I have the program on my facebook and its high on the list for coding on the site. I believe it to e a very interesting site and program, with a very good fund rising karma and very unique product connections please direct any questions to me and I can forward them to Emma> > mah homies--> > i need your help. it will literally take 20 seconds, and when you're done you'll be supporting a great cause, and supporting ME (which i know y'all are dying to do).> > i am part of a founding team of everywun ( we've been featured by NBC, CBS, CNET, NPR, and more. they're all calling our vision a revolution in philanthropy.> > the model is simple: you sign up, put a badge that supports a great cause on facebook, a business sponsors that badge, and the funds raised are used to make an impact on behalf of that great cause.> > we're having an internal team competition to see which of us can get the most friends signed up and having a badge on facebook. while the competition in and of itself may not inspire YOU to sign up, doing well in it will ensure that i move one step loser to this being a PAID job so i can sustain my livelihood while doing omething i love and enjoy.> > feel free anytime to ask the same of me!> > much love,> emma lou> (END)> >

Trading Dialogue For Lodging (Zen Story from> > Provided he makes and wins an argument about Buddhism with those who live there, any wandering monk can remain in a Zen temple. If he is defeated, he has to move on. > In a temple in the northern part of Japan two brother monks were dwelling together. The elder one was learned, but the younger one was stupid and had but one eye. > A wandering monk came and asked for lodging, properly challenging them to a debate about the sublime teaching. The elder brother, tired that day from much studying, told the younger one to take his place. "Go and request the dialogue in silence," he cautioned. > So the young monk and the stranger went to the shrine and sat down. > Shortly afterwards the traveler rose and went in to the elder brother and said: "Your young broter is a wonderful fellow. He defeated me." > "Rlate the dialogue to me," said the elder one. > "Well," explained the traveler, "first I held up one finger, representing Buddha, the enlightened one. So he held up two fingers, signifying Buddha and his teaching. I held up three fingers, representing Buddha, his teaching, and his followers, living the harmonious life. Then he shook his clenched fist in my face, indicating that all three come from one realization. Thus he won and so I have no right to remain here." With this, the traveler left. > "Where is that fellow?" asked the younger one, running in to his elder brother. > "I understand you won the debate." > "Won nothing. I'm going to beat him up." > "Tell me the subject of the debate," asked the elder one. > "Why, the minute he saw me he held up one finger, insulting me by insinuating that I have only one eye. Since he was a stranger I thought I would be polite to him, so I held up two fingers, congratulating him that he has two eyes. Then the impolite wrtch held up three fingers, suggestin that between us we only have three eyes. So I got mad and started to punch him, but he ran out and that ended it!" > > jb > > ps: it is reported that survived the encounter with the Cargo Cults way down there near Australia and appears to be perhaps still in NYC > (just in from> I'd like to invite you to be my guest for a workshop performance of my new monologue, The Monthly Nut, this Monday (April 6th) at 7PM at The Barrow Group Theatre, 312 W. 36th Street, 3rd Floor.> > Seating is limited, so please let me know asap:> > 1. Number of seats> 2. Name for reservation> > I'll be trying out material for my new show about how much misery a man needs to be happy. Its rough, but its fun, and its free!> > I hope you can make it. > > James>

Saturday, February 21, 2009 is haunted! is haunted!
yes, it's true. a cyber ghost...though I prefer 'site spirit.'

'they' change jpgs, pictures, mix pages, and delete main banner for site.

It remains unclear if the spirit is Spalding but A&E is being contacted...
An indication that the spirit may be Spalding is that the spirit can't type!

"troubled, inner directed and can not type" - from Spalding Gray grave stone.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spalding Gray affiliate page

the affiliate page is up now with it's first alpha page...remember that all proceeds go to the Spalding Gray memorial scholarship fund.
Comments on the page are most welcome.There is a Survey:

Affiliates page is :

Please use it. It is expanding...
Thank you

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mike Daisey and Cargo Cults

On rare occasions, I post updates from friends of the Spalding Gray site. With Mike Daisey, I usually leave it up to him as his site, does a great job. But this one is so bizarre, it's a MUST read:
From Mike:
In a few weeks I'm traveling to the remote island of Tanna, a tiny speck at the end of the Vanuatu island chain in the South Pacific. It is the location of the last cargo cult in the world: a religion created by islanders after Americans built temporary bases here during WWII.
The religion revolves around the worship of American power, and the summoning of America's power back to the island through sympathetic magic. Islanders enact rituals where they wear whiteface and create costumes that look like military uniforms, and sit at bamboo tables to "type" on bamboo recreations of typewriters...because they saw American servicemen doing the same, and it made the cargo come, and with it the power of America.
From the Wikipedia entry about the John Frum cult:
"In 1941, followers of John Frum rid themselves of their money in a frenzy of spending, left the missionary churches, schools, villages and plantations, and moved further inland to celebrate traditional custom through feasts, dances and rituals. The movement gained popularity in the 1940s when some 300,000 American troops established themselves in Vanuatu. The islanders were impressed both by the egalitarianism of the Americans and their obvious wealth and power. This led them to conflate perceived benefactors such as Uncle Sam, Santa Claus and John the Baptist into a mythic figure who would empower the island peoples by giving them cargo wealth."
Meticulous simulacra have been created—life-size models of McDonnell Douglas DC-9 aircraft, lovingly shaped from bamboo and straw, totems made to call power back to the island. Control towers of bamboo, whole runways accurate to an inch but made of palm fronds—a universe constructed from faith that they could compel America to return to the island.
Now the religion is over fifty years old, and the islanders' faith has evolved with the times. Today the village elders watch CNN on satellite uplink...and they write new hymns to draw out the power of America, based on the news events they see occurring in that far-off land.
I will be there for a massive celebration, held once a year, when the islanders recreate the stories of America from across the sea. They will re-enact the events of the past year—I hope I will see Obama be inaugurated a second time—in great detail.
Thanks Mike. Check out the links. Totally in the belive it or not category!!!

Stories Left to Tell in Boston

Playbill - Stories Left to Tell (Spalding Gray) in Boston -
Cast announced!
Josh Lefkowitz, Ain Gordon, Hazelle Goodman and David Cale. Guest performers feature Claire Messud, Buddy Cianci and Christopher Lydon.

someone please go and send me a review. I know there was/is someone in Boston who wanted the show there...just can't remember...
for times:

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Free Reading...

Spalding Gray's America by William Demastes
Chapter 5 - (strictly copyrighted)
Courtesy Hal Leonard Performing Arts Publishing Group19 W. 21st Street, suite 201,New York, NY 10010
is now available for reading both in Updates and Books at

Also remember that :

Thanks to permisson from Kathleen Russo (Estate of Spalding Gray) and in cooperation with and John Robinson, I am extremely pleased that we will be posting the complete text of In Search of the Monkey Girl, photos by Randal Levenson, The book is quite rare ($50 minimum)and if you purchase it, please use our affiliates.
See (all copyrights are maintained by Estate of Spalding Gray and Randal Levenson)

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

From our good friend James Braly

From our good friend of the Spalding Gray website, monologist James Braly:
As an American who believes deeply in the Founding Fathers' credo of enlightened self-interest, there's only one thing more important to me than my former classmate Barack Obama's upcoming inaugural address: my new monologue.It's called The Monthly Nut, and if you've ever hated your job and loathed your life, yet loved your lifestyle though you couldn't begin to afford it, this show is for you.Directed by maestro Hal Brooks, the first workshop performance will be presented by The Deep End Productions on Saturday, February 28. More at night (Tuesday), I'll be performing a short section of The Monthly Nut as part of the QUARTERLY IDEASMYTH READING-PA-LOOZA:Tuesday, January 13th, 2009, 7pmTrattoria Dopo Teatro 125 West 44th Street (btw Bway & 6th Ave)Performers/readers include:James Braly (Off Broadway: Life in a Marital Institution, 2x Moth GrandSlam winner)Andy Christie (The Liar Show Producer, Moth GrandSlam winner)Cindy Kaplan (author of Leave the Building Quickly and Why I'm like This)Joel Solomon (head writer MTV Works)NO COVER-NO MINIMUM-DOWNSTAIRS PRIVATE DINING ROOM Please come at 7pm to place your orders; Readings start at 7:30pmwww.dopoteatro.comThe next night, I'll be appearing in the “REAL TALES OF COLLEGE” storytelling show. All I can promise you about this event is that it will feature the man who graduated from Columbia University in the mid-1980s, who has two beautiful children of the same sex, aged 10 and 7 years old, who wrote a critically-acclaimed autobiographical story, but who is not going to be the 44th president of the United States:Wednesday, January 14th - 7:30 PM SHARPOchi's Lounge/Comix353 14th St. between 8th and 9th AvenuesHosted by Adam Wade and Jake Goldman
Finally, in this season of change through elections, I'd like to draw your attention to another candidate worthy of your vote: Victoria Rowan, host of READING-PA-LOOZA, founder of IDEASMYTH, and writing workshop leader extraordinaire, who has been nominated for a Daily Candy Sweetest Thing Award.My writing workshop leader for five years, Victoria helped me (and many other writers I know) significantly improve their craft. In my case, her work helped me land a book deal-perhaps the most reliable litmus of a writing teacher, and certainly a clear measure of her ability to attract serious students. She's the real deal. And as Al Franken (and Norm Coleman) just learned in Minnesota, every vote really does count.Please visit
Stay tuned for more on The Monthly Nut. In the meantime, just keep asking yourself, How much misery does it take to be happy?Thanks for reading,James***Now Booking:Life in Marital Institution: 20 Years of Monogamy in One Terrifying Hour“Never less than excellent.” (The New York Times)“Gaspingly funny.” (Variety) “Four stars.” (TimeOut New York)“One of the best feats of one-person-show-ship I've seen."(Sarah Jones, Tony Award-winner, Bridge & Tunnel)“Excellent.” (The Times, London)"A masterpiece of storytelling." (The List, Edinburgh)Booking info:

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Perfect Moments

When any person leaves this earth
We're sad, engulfed in pain
The worst is when depression wins
Can't wrap around our brain
Our Spalding left to find his peace
To quiet his own mind
We're sad he's gone but glad he leftHis legacy behind
His wondrous words his monologuesTurn back those dreary clocks
His talent lives and he is safe
That monster's in a box
We miss you Spalding Gray
5 years gone
- Barbara Murphy, site poet laureate

Monday, January 5, 2009

Petition to bring back 'Trying Times'

Dear John Boland (NOT from PBS),
Thank you for using our free petition hosting service.Your "Bring Back 'Trying Times' on PBS" petition is now live online at, and it will be considered for linking from the directory pages.The main URL for your petition is:
Now that your petition is actually live here on the web, we recommendyou put some energy into spreading the word. The concept is simple: themore people you can send to read your petition, the more people willsign it and thus contribute to your cause.In addition to promoting your petition on your own web pages, ideas forencouraging visitors to your petition include e-mailing a petitionannouncement to your friends and sympathizers, submiting your petitionpage to major search engines, promoting the petition in appropriate newsgroups and online forums, and getting as many good incoming linksconnected to your petition as possible. Consider contacting thetraditional media press as well, locally or nationally, as appropriate.
Please contribute $2.00 (or more) and help maintain PetitionOnline.comas a premiere free speech forum. Contributing is quick, easy, private,and secure, directly to or if you prefer, via the Honor System, online at: -- * --Note, however, that in helping to promote this petition you areexpressly prohibited from sending unsolicited bulk mail messages ("junkmail" or "spam"). This includes, but is not limited to, bulk-mailing ofcommercial advertising, information announcements, and political tracts.Such material may only be sent to those who have specifically requestedit.To help support your primary petition promotion efforts, each person whosigns your petition will automatically receive an email message from usto confirm their signature, which also suggests that they take a momentto tell a few friends about your petition.If your petition is a good one, with support among visitors, lots oftraffic will lead to lots of signatures. And that's the whole point!Good luck and best wishes,Kevin MatthewsPetitionOnline.comby Artifice, Inc. "This is the marketplace of free ideas" (tm) > A new petition has been submitted by John Boland (NOT from PBS),
The petition title is: Bring Back 'Trying Times' on PBS.> > The petition URL is:
The petition is directed to: John Boland, Chief Programmer, PBS> > The start date is: ..> > The end date is: ..>> The petition statement says:We,the undersigned,ask that PBS bring back the show Trying Times that ran in 1986 and 1987. There were 12 episodes. The main reason to bring this series back is that it was exceptional. It was also the early work of many actors now well known. The list is at These include :
Rosanna Arquette, Candice Bergen,Teri Garr,Spalding Gray,Steven Wright,Stockard Channing,Carrie Fisher,Sally Kirkland,Robert Klein,Jean Stapleton,Jessica Harper,Tim Matheson,Ted Stidder,John Stockwell,Lyman Ward,Griffin Dunne,Corey Feldman,Sheila McCarthy,Judge Reinhold,Peter Scolari,Louie Anderson,Catherine Bach,Hagan Beggs,Hope Lange,Ketty Lester,Gail Boggs,Anne De Salvo,Katherine McGrath,Linda Purl,Danitra Vance,Dustin Berkovitz,David Byrne,Bruno Gerussi,Betty Phillips,Ruth Springford,Richard Dimitri,Alejandra Gollas,Jerry Houser,Marcell Rosenblatt,Al Ruscio,Melanie Jones,Catherine O'Hara,Keanu Reeves,Robert Ridgely,Ron Silver,Eric Ayala,Buck Henry,Kurt Knudson,Jon Polito,Tracy Brooks Swope,Anne Ramsey,Jeff Schultz,Doug Tuck,Laura White,George Belanger,Kalimba,Max Perlich,Ken Smith,Jay Brazeau,Norman Browning,Jackson Davies,John Steadman,Álvaro Carcaño,Ellen Gollas,Dondee Spencer,Alex Bruhanski,Brandon Call,David Alden,Gabriela Goldsmith,Ron Wertheim,Janne Mortil,Jaqueline Fernandez,John Sabol,Irina Areu,Jeff Daniels,Julie Hagerty,Swoosie Kurtz,Roger Cudney,Geena Davis,Nancy Lenehan,Peter Riegert
I have had a number of people ask me if I have particular episodes. It was never released on VHS or DVD. Releasing the complete set of episodes on DVD and PBS selling them is another viable alternative.
We specifically address this request to John Boland, Chief Content Officer, PBS. The fact that this request was started by another John Boland is purely coincidental. My interest in particular is the episode 'Bedtime Story' written by Spalding Gray and Renee Shafransky. As with all the episodes, the writing is hilarious and the episode outstanding.
Respectfully written by John Boland Webmaster for the Estate of Spalding Gray