Innergiggler's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Woody Allen

It’s been a long time since I’ve sat through a Woody Allen movie – In wonder – joy – surprise – delight – and in laughter.  However, last night ALL of the above and more transpired.

Once again, Woody masterfully intertwines reality with fantasy.  What if we could live at another time?  When?  Who would be there?  Woody chooses Paris in the 1920s so he/we can revel in an assortment of the era’s creative movers and shakers including the likes of Picasso, Cole Porter,  Hemingway and Fitzgerald – drinking, partying, and leaning against Gertrude Stein’s armoire while discussing their favorite topics – themselves.   

At the film’s center, yet another misaligned couple – the tortured writer (him) and the thirsty for fun and shopping (her) work their individual paths through the story.  Owen Wilson as Gil – breezes through his character with much less self-conscious, self-effacing dialogue than we’re accustomed to from Allen.  Some vestigial fears like death and insecurity still plague him – but this character is more naturally alive than other Allen protagonists.  Owen’s ability to travel back and forth through time is effortless – thanks to the writer/director. 

Rachel McAdams wears her strong and self-assured character more smoothly than the usual insecure female Allen leads.  Everyone has a “place” in this film – everyone exists here organically rather than because they'[re forced to play a part.

The idea that “living in another era” would bring us more happiness, love, money, power is the ongoing theme and fantasy for our hero.  Sound familiar?  An ongoing cry for many who see their problems more troublesome in today’s world. Yesterday would have been better because we can pretend how we’d like it to have been.

Despite the odd stories we’ve heard through the years by actors about working with the Oscar winning director – he somehow managed the get the best from the best, including a most delicious scene with Adrien Brody as a wildly nuanced Salvadore Dali will draw me back for another viewing.  And maybe another.

Spend an evening inside Woody Allen’s imagination and you’ll leave creatively and mentally satisfied.  “Midnight in Paris” is magnifique!

The door slammed behind me.  I just screwed up yet another audition.  Cold readings in front of strangers is difficult enough – but shaky, nervous fingers will drop script pages  –  bending down to retrieve said pages eyeglasses will fall to the floor  – and be not so quickly recovered  – they’re back on my nose.  I shift my head briskly left for character reaction – then watch those specs fly across  the room and zap the Casting Director in her right breast – a surefire audition for the crapper.

On more than one occasion my acting teacher had suggested I get fitted for contact lenses.

“No.  Feh!  I can’t stand the thought of anything touching my eyeballs.  Only the lids, and maybe a floating lash or two are allowed to fondle my peepers.  Never will my pupils be exposed to chlorine or any other substance under water.  I promise you’ll hear me bark louder than a pit bull when forced to have that puff in the eye glaucoma test.  I feel faint already.   These are the rules.

My WoodyAllen-esque teacher – insert brown hair and a lower pitched voice – jumped on me in class one night:

“Afraid?  You wanna talk afraid?  I’m the biggest chicken in the world.  I won’t put a thermometer in my mouth for fear of mercury poisoning.  When anyone mentions Auschwitz – I can smell enough gas to overcook a Thanksgiving turkey for 200.  Don’t talk to me about fear.  Yet I wear contacts.”

Another year passed by – as did more auditions where I couldn’t read the pages without a small catastrophe.  Finally – one morning, I made an appointment with an optometrist about fifteen minutes from my house in Mar Vista, Ca. – not wanting to be too far from my toilet.

I arrived early so that I could deep breathe into a paper bag which would minimize  hyperventilation and keep my thoughts occupied so I wouldn’t be tempted to run.  Moving at a speed of .04 miles an hour, I approached the optometrist for Phase I, eye measurement.  My mouth was moving exceedingly fast – as I asked questions about possible catastrophes – like how many people went blind as a result of wearing contacts, etc.  The tall, slightly built, bald-headed, stooped over guy suggested the results would be more accurate if I’d close my mouth for five minutes.   The anxiety pushed masses of air out of my lungs – I was afraid to stop talking for fear of suffocation. 

Process completed, a lovely, dark, tall and slender woman, about 22, wearing a big smile approached me.

“I may be young but I’ve got lots of experience teaching people exactly how to do this; and I’ve been wearing lenses for years.  Now, take a deep breath and slowly let it out so we can stop your hands from tremoring.  Good.”

After just 42 attempts to adhere this clear, round, soft piece of plastic to my left eye – I was wearing a contact lens.  Within another twenty minutes – my right eye was also lensed.  Me!  The Queen of Anxiety! I grabbed my cell phone and speed dialed my mom.  Within seconds you could hear my voice screeching throughout the store:

“Ma – guess what I’ve got in my eyes?  No!  Yuch!  Stop!” I paused while she screeched that I rush to the ER.  “No, it’s good.  Ma, no hands – no glasses – I’m wearing contact lenses.”

Two days later my agent called:

“You’ve got an audition for an AT&T commercial.  Book it!” 

Beyond excited – I practically flew to West Hollywood – hurriedly parked – okay a little zig-zagged – jumped out of the car – ran up the stairs and searched the Commercial Board which directs actors to the correct auditioning rooms.  Campbell’s Soup #1, Time Warner, #2, Toyota, #3, AT&T, #4.  I signed in – submitted my picture/resume combo, then sat and waited to hear my name called.  I knew this baby was all mine.

Confidently I entered the audition room – smiled at the casting folks, watched as they smiled right back – displaying their lunch-stuffed corporate mouths. 
“Give her the glasses.”  They asked me to don a pair of non-prescriptive glasses indicating I was a middle-aged woman.  Being slightly over 50 at the time, I believe the Casting Directors needed the glasses. 

I didn’t get that job – but ultimately I didn’t care.  Now I get to choose every single day what I’ll use to see the world a little more clearly.


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