Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Grayson Alex Stoltz

Grayson was previously blogged about, in honor of NY Marriage Equality, but as he's a primary character I felt he deserved an entry on his own. Also...because His Fabulousness happens to be many people's favorite character of the series.

As a theatre gal I've had many LGBT friends through the years and my life wouldn't be as rich or complete without them. Because of this, I wasn't suprised when I started writing Gray and the first thing he did was queen-out at Atlanta's late arrival home. I hadn't said to myself, "her best friend is a gay man" and then set out to wite Gray. I started writing the character and he just was gay...cause he other reason.

Gray's original name was "Alex" and I'd named him after a loverly gay man I knew at the time who worked with me at Olive Garden in MI. Well, actually, I used his middle name...but it was still in his honor. Now with the name change, "Alex" is back to the middle name. Looks wise the character changed a slight bit on my second full revision of the book to who he is today, which is a based on a straight friend of mine actually. LOL! Here's who he's based on:

His name is David Holt and he's an amazing actor and martial artist who has since moved from NYC to LA (hence why he didn't play the role himself in the photo-shoot).

Gray is probably my most sarcastic and open person of the story. He never hides; be it his feelings, opinions or his sexuality. At the top of the book we learn this right off the bat by the reason Gray gives to why he can't date this guy he picked up at a bar: "He's still in the closet," he says. That would never work for Gray. He's loud and proud to be who he is and could never date someone who would want to hide their relashionship inside/away from the world. This partially stems from his family's adverse reaction to his sexual orientation and his rebelious nature to that.

Coming from a strict Christian household myself (like Gray does) I feel I pull Gray from a part of myself that reached its limit. Once at the age of 14 and then again at the age of 19. At 14 I finally decided to stand up for myself (Jr. High sucks for everyone, yes?) and stop taking verbal abuse and physical threats from those in my school. Basically I discovered my spine and was begining to feel I had the right to one. At 19 I finally got tired of trying to be different people with different groups (ie: one person w/family, one person w/friends, one person at church, etc.) and finally said, "Screw it! I am who I am!" And from that moment on I didn't apologize for anything and I didn't try to be who people wanted me to be. You either accepted me for who I was or you didn't. THAT is who Gray is. He would die before he changed who he was to "fit it" with others.

Gray's arc in the story revolves around how Atlanta comes out to him first that she's a witch...much like she was the first person he came out to that he was gay. And unlike Jensine, Gray gets pulled into the new world Atlanta's a part of sooner because he A) Lives with her...B) He's more open to her situation of being "different"...and C)He ends up dating Stephan (who is part of the new world Atlanta finds she belongs to).

His relationship to Stephan is a side plot, a prominent one, but a side plot none-the-less. But much like Jensine's side story, Gray's will come more into focus as we reach Book Three (Metamorphosis). His story expands because by the end of Book Two as Gray is pulled deeper into the Clandestine World and those events unfortunately have repercussions.

What's great about Gray in my mind is that he's Atlanta's Samwise Gamgee (oh yes, I'm pulling out a Lord of the Rings reference there for all you fantasy geeks like me). He's the best friend who's there for you without question. He loves you no matter what and even though he sees your faults, he knows you'd not be who you are without them...and since he loves who you are, he loves your flaws just like he loves your positive attributes. The only thing he never will stand for is wishy-washy behavior. At the end of Book Two (Living Dead Girl) it's this type of behavior that pushes him over the edge. Make a stand...choose your're either with him or you're not and if you're not...well, god help you. But if you're on his side...or he's on yours...your chances of winning are much much higher.

I like to think of Alex as the courageous side of me. The side of me that doesn't stand for bullshit but who will stand with you or for you if you deserve it.

David Mavricos, the model for Gray, has a martial arts background like Gray does and funny enough, is the exact same body type and height as David Holt...the young man Gray is physically based on (yeah, and they have the same name...*snicker*). David Holt holds black belts himself so I hope both he and you all will be happy when you see the final video we did of a bo-staff fight between Gray and Jensine.

I sincerely hope that if this book ever becomes wickedly well known that there are T-shirts that simply say, "I <3 atlanta.="atlanta." cause="cause" character.="character." don="don" fave="fave" grayson.="grayson." he="he" my="my" probably="probably" s="s" t="t" tell="tell">

Tamsin :)

For are a few pics of David and Kara practicing on Saturday for Sunday's fight scene that we video'd in the park:

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