Ray Caspio

"a shapeshifter of an actor" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Valerie Harper as Rhoda (In Progress)

Valerie Harper has been in the news lately. Her willingness to share her story is another reason why she, and her work, effects me so much. After being with my grandma through her final month through her moment of death, a time like this serves to reminds me, once again, how important life – and living in the present moment – is. It's something I remind myself of frequently.

I started working on this tribute to Valerie as Rhoda. It'll be done in a couple days. I'm not really satisfied by my previous effort – which Valerie Tweeted me that she loved, and it also ended up on Playbill in a video interview with her – so I figured there's no better time than right now to work on Valerie/Rhoda, and what that means to me, again. Or, maybe, that dissatisfaction is just a sign of growth.

Valerie, if you see this, please know you've had a great impact on my life and artistic career. Secretly – or, not so secretly, depending on who you talk to! – I've always thought you'd be the perfect person to play my grandma, Josephine, who introduced me to Rhoda in syndication on late night TV in the early 1980s. (It was a Friday night and I was up much later than I should have been, but Grandma didn't mind.) I wish you much love, peace, and strength...and more love. Listening to I, Rhoda and watching your interviews, as I have been these past few days, you do have it all around you.

Back in a couple days with the finished work!

UPDATE, March 18th: The completed work

background photos by Frank J. Lanza Photography, courtesy of Theater Ninjas
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Ray Caspio received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowships is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Funding for the Fellowship program is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.