Actor/Director Joel Grey is scheduled to get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination Thursday. Frank DiLella checked in with the Oscar and Tony Award winner about his experience, how he's doing, and why he says it's crucial to get vaccinated for the future of the theater industry. Here is an edited portion of their conversation, as NY1's coverage of Vaccine Education Week continues.
FRANK DILELLA: You got the vaccine. How are you feeling?
JOEL GREY: Cranky. I mean, everything is upside down.
FD: This is a moment that people are going through, and, you know, it's important, right? To get this vaccine.
JG: Oh yeah. There's no, there's really not a choice.
FD: Why is it important to get vaccinated Joel Grey?
JG: I want to live, I want to be of help, wanting to be a part of this world. I love it.
FD: What's been the hardest thing during this time for you?
JG: I think not being with my friends. I mean, I love the people in my life and my children. I haven't seen them in a year.
FD: Joel, you will forever be connected with Larry Kramer's masterwork "The Normal Heart," as a performer, as a director. You've written pieces about that experience over the years. And you know, I have to draw parallels. We're living through a pandemic right now, but there are parallels to what people experienced during the AIDS Epidemic as well. Can you just talk about some of those parallels?
JG: The most powerful thing to liken it to is to be out of control. To have no answers. How do we, how did this? Who is where? How? What? We are at loss stopped in our tracks. And that's what happens. You are stopped in your tracks.
FD: Joel, why is getting vaccinated so crucial with having theater come back into our lives?
JG: Well, I think if people are healthy and they're not afraid of going into a theater and getting something, knowing that they're vaccinated and free of that, we must do it. You know, you just can't have a bunch of scaredy cats. It can't be a good audience.
FD: You're right, you're right, you're right.
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