Steven Gray, Gonzaga’s 6-foot-5-inch junior guard from Bainbridge Island, Wash., considered one of the best shooters in college basketball, took a shot at acting this semester.
Gray, who hadn’t acted since a 10th-grade drama class, said auditioning for the Gonzaga play presented a personal challenge and made him more aware of the many possibilities in life.
|Gonzaga's sharp-shootig junior guard Steven Gray says acting opened his eyes to the fact that there are so many possibilities in life. Gonzaga University Photo .
The play, titled “Take Me Out,” was written by Richard Greenberg and set in the culture of professional baseball. The play underscores the importance of people communicating well. Gray played the central role of Darren Lemming, a star centerfielder who decides to come out of the closet on national TV.
A staged reading played to full houses in the Magnuson Theatre from Nov. 11-13. After the performance, few believed Gray was a novice actor.
Rev. Kevin Connell, principal of Gonzaga Prep and director of the Gonzaga Readers' Theater presentation, called Gray’s performance “remarkable.” For the modest Gray, however, the play was not as much a career choice as an opportunity to take a risk and “get out of my shell,” he said, adding he is glad he did it.
“If I so choose, I have options,” said Gray, whose sister Brittany is a freshman on the Gonzaga women’s hoops team. “I could stop doing whatever it is and start to play a musical instrument. I could do acting. I could do an endless amount of things. I think it’s something that has opened my eyes. If you really set out to do something, you can go do it. I think it’s given me more of a sense of freedom about what it is I want to do with my future.”
For now, basketball season beckons so it's stage left for Gray, who will play to much larger crowds at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Following are videos of Steven Gray responding to various topics:
On Why He Chose to Act
Similarities between Acting and Basketball
On Getting into Character
November @Gonzaga eNewsletter