A Man For All Seasons
Aristotle was searching for a man who could study for the sake of studying, who saw learning as an end in itself and who could inspire others with his thoughts. In my friend, Gabe, Aristotle would have found his guy.
A true Renaissance man who began his University curriculum as a Roman Catholic Divinity student, he enjoys an amazingly varied schedule of diverse careers, life-long passions and seems to know just about every other person on the planet.
As the hearing son of deaf parents, he learned how to sign before he could speak and once he learned how to speak, he has never stopped talking or creating a buzz in dozens of different areas of his many-faceted life.
Thousands of his students in his New School classes can attest to his formidable, yet playful intellect, charismatic teaching abilities and very, very funny sense of humor.
Gabe's intuitive insights and interviewing skills have elicited and illuminated the thoughts and feelings of hundreds of his New School Roundtable and special courses guests, ranging from Muhammad Ali to Julia Roberts to Marcel Marceau. (Yes, the legendary French mime does use his voice on occasion.)
As the principal court-appointed dactylogist of the New York City judicial system judges, attorneys, physicians, psychologists and social workers appreciate his clear and nuanced- filled interpreting skills under the most stressful circumstances in both civil and criminal legal proceedings.
One of his favorite alter egos is as an extra sensory perception illusionist who has performed at the White House, on Broadway, the United Nations, the Rainbow Room of Rockefeller Center, the MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas, dozens of colleges and corporations, on board the Queen Elizabeth Two, the Mississippi Queen and fourteen countries around the world. The New York Times called his amazing motivational E.S.P. show "mind over magic…tapping your creative powers within" simply "stunning…dynamic…breath-taking."
And Gabe's Cosbyesque rapport with both deaf and hearing youngsters is his wonderful magic show as the internationally unknown Doctor Quacksalver T. Can-Do encouraging the kids to follow their dreams is a delight to watch for children of all ages.
"The Men on the Tor", a scion society of the "Baker Street Irregulars" have honored him at the Gillette Castle on the Connecticut River for his scholarship and love of one of his heroes, Sherlock Holmes, with the coveted investiture moniker, "The Giant Rat of Sumatra."
Gabe has been a host and guest of hundreds of national and local radio and television shows and the executive consultant of the Emmy-nominated ABC After School Special "Mom and Dad Can't Hear Me".
His ministry to the deaf and hard-of-hearing people, who he serves at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, reflects his generosity of spirit and his deep, abiding Christian faith.
As the chief sign language tour docent, education department specialist and coordinator of the American Museum of Natural History deafness programs his command of information of all fifty of the museum's halls and special exhibitions has been recognized by the City of New York with a special achievement award from Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.
And that's not all…besides being a communicator par excellence, a teacher, interpreter, actor, preacher, poet, speaker and writer he is an athlete, hot-air balloonist, motor cyclist, futurist and a real mensch as well.
Many years ago, as a student of his studying sign language at The New School, I found his uncanny resemblance to a bearded Mr. Clean to be somewhat unnerving but I also found Gabe to be an incredibly quick-witted, charming, engaging teacher and am proud to have such a dear and valued friend.
Brevity is the soul of life and human life in any philosophy is, or should be, an adventure in self-discovery, learning our god-given talents and using them in positive ways. Gabe was luckier than most of us to figure this out early in his life and he continues to be an example to me to enjoy my personal evolution to, as he often says, "have fun, do good, be happy!"
Just thinking about the pleasure of his company in our next meeting puts a large, goofy grin on my face. Hey, if Gabe were a bagel he would be an "everything."
As founder and director of The New School Faculty Roundtable, Gabriel Grayson has interviewed hundreds of fellow faculty members, public figures and show business celebrities, as well as presenting dozens of diverse courses and special lectures at The University including:
"The Greatest" was honored at The New School with the first university seminar featuring the three time world heavyweight boxing legend "Muhammad Ali: Tribute To A Champion" conceived, produced and presented by Gabriel Grayson.
At The American Museum of Natural History, Gabriel Grayson serves as Director and Sign Language interpreter for hundreds of tours designed for the Deaf Community of all fifty-exhibition halls, including:
Follow this link to a New York Times article that mentions Gabriel Grayson.