There is something funny to be said about choosing Woody Allen as my career role model. It happened when I began reading Without Feathers, Allen’s collection of journals, and plays last month. For a moment my own inner monologue began to mirror some of Allen’s flashes of brilliance. Except since the advent of Twitter, I now have a public forum to kick around my half-baked ideas, then at times find humor in the most unlikely places. There’s no such thing as too much information, a pillar to how Allen dissects his imagination. In his 74 years on Earth he’s known for communicating his sharp criticism about his likes and dislikes through screenplays (film, and theater). His side hustle: playing clarinet in the New Orleans jazz band. For these reasons, I admire Allen on his birthday today, as a successful icon for toeing the line between writing and playing music, let’s take a look at my four favorite works by Woody Allen below.
“Think Hard, It’ll Come Back To You” Taken From The New Yorker Shouts & Murmurs
Still, this notion of a neuron-recharging elixir brought to mind thoughts of my esteemed colleague Murray Cipher, as he prepared to go out for dinner.Mustn’t be late to the Wasserfiends’ party. Classy crowd. No lungfish caviar tonight. Upward mobility? Vice-presidency for old Murray? Imagine—twenty-four exterminators working under me. Mind-boggling. How do I look? Only great. New necktie should wow ’em, although the pattern of multiple G clefs may be too hip for the room. Searched for the perfect birthday present for Mr. Wasserfiend. Amazing, but Hammacher Schlemmer is the only place in town that carries a Jarvik Heart with a compartment for fish hooks. But, look at this, in my haste to be on time I almost bolted out the door without his gift. Let’s see, where did I put it? Hmm. Was it on the foyer table? Not here in the drawer. Did I leave it in the bedroom? Check my night table—so damn cluttered. Reading lamp, alarm clock, Kleenex, shoe horn, my copy of Hui-Neng’s “Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch.” Glove compartment of the Saab? Better race out and see.
Annie Hall (1977)
Woody Allen at New York’s Carlyle Café
Excerpt from “The Whore of Mensa” (taken from Without Feathers, Sphere Books Ltd. 1978)
“I’m basically an intellectual. Sure, a guy can meet all the bimbos he wants. but the reallly brainy women—they’re not so easy to find on short notice.”
“Well I heard of this young girl. Eighteen years old. A Vassar student. For a price, she’ll come over and discuss any subject—Proust, Yeats, anthropoplogy. Exchange of ideas. You see what I’m during at?”
“I mean, my wife is great, don’t get me wrong. But she won’t discuss Pound with me. Or Eliot. I didn’t know that when I married her. See, I need a woman who’s mentally stimulating, Kaiser. And I’m willing to pay for it. I don’t want an involvement—I want a quick intellectual experience, then I want the girl to leave. Christ, Kaiser, I’m a happily married man.”