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If You Gotta Go, Go in Style (Spalding Gray and the Artful Suicide)

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GeniusJunky
May 11th, 2009
0 If You Gotta Go, Go in Style (Spalding Gray and the Artful Suicide)

Boys! Girls! Friends! Lovers!

the above is a clip from Spalding Gray’s Swimming to Cambodia, the film of a monoliogue that catapulted the man to a peculiar notoriety.  the success of that monologue gave popular rise to a form of theatre that typified the key egotism all actors have and, as such, I look at the over-all piece with a mixture of awe and anger:  on the one hand, I’m awed that the man turned  something so self-serving into a beautiful piece of work.  On the other hand, the fact that this piece got him a Guggenheim fellowship proved that monologues could be just as dramatically “worthy” as any other kind of play.  On the other hand, the fact that the piece got him a Guggenheim legitimized the glut of solo performance pieces that clotted live stages and bars from Sarasota, Florida to Aberndeen, Washington with self-serving, egocentric whinefests that out-of-work actors like to call “art”.

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