OK, so it's no
Hollywood endingA Woody Allen fanatic
who made a film of his bid to hand his idol a script has now turned
it into a blues song
BY JESSE GREENSPANJesse
Greenspan is a freelance writer.April
Keith Black can't sing. Yet nearly two years after the
Sheepshead Bay High School math teacher from Brooklyn debuted his
short film, "Get the Script to Woody Allen," he has come out with a
promotional blues song that delves into his favorite topic - his
real-life effort to hand Allen a script at a jazz club four years
Allen took the script but never called back, prompting
Black to make first his 17-minute film, and now a song, "The Get the
Script to Woody Allen Blues," which premiered March 26 on "The Joey
Reynolds Show" on WOR/710.
"Just like I always dreamed of
acting, I always dreamed of singing," said Black, 36, who lives with
his mother in Old Mill Basin. "But, of course, I sound like a
It's true. B.B. King
he is not, but, then again, he doesn't try to be. In a whiny,
neurotic tone ("That's the joke"), Black croaks five out-of-rhythm
verses to a standard blues beat in a voice that is deeper but still
similar to that of his idol. "Woody Allen is my hero," the song
goes. "He's the greatest director, actor, writer of all time. I love
Woody Allen. In fact, I was so depressed growing up cause I had
20-20 vision. My dream came true in high school when I finally
needed my first pair of glasses. Woody Allen, you're the
The idea for the song came in early February, when
Black spontaneously free-styled a few verses to one of his math
classes. His students, who refer to him as "Dollar Fifty," liked the
song, so Black decided to write down the lyrics.
He then went
to Sheepshead Bay music teacher Adam Vicelich, the lead singer of
the New York band Closenuf, who helped him with the music. "We were
thinking an Adam Sandler Hanukkah song, that style," Black
After working together for a few weeks, the two
teachers recorded the song in a three-hour session at Vicelich's
house. "The Joey Reynolds Show," with about 8 million listeners
nationally, was the first to respond to Black's pitches, bringing
him on for its Friday night Jewish hour.
"Keith is adorable,"
said Myra Chanin, a booking producer and on-air personality for Joey
Reynolds. "He has a kind of hopeful innocence. He thinks publicity
is going to make him a star.
"To want to be Woody Allen at
the point where Woody Allen is kind of a has-been is funny," Chanin
added. "He'd be better off being himself."
Since "Get the
Script to Woody Allen" - which Black starred in and co-wrote with
the film's director, Steve Marshall - won an award at the Long
Island International Film Expo in July 2003, the film has played at
various festivals and independent movie theaters across the
Inspired by neurosis
It has also
appeared on TV in Poland, Canada and Australia, as well as Northwest
and Continental airlines. Black is afraid to fly, however, and even
turned down a chance to introduce his film - and to meet Allen - at
the 2003 Venice International Film Festival in Italy.
flew back and forth to Baltimore six times just to get passenger
reactions," Black said "The last time I went to pick her up at JFK
she was signing autographs."
Like Allen, Black has
innumerable neuroses about dating. He has a dating coach,
91-year-old psychotherapist Albert Ellis, whom Black described as
better than Freud. "The guy's 91, and he gets more dates than me,
and he didn't even make a movie," Black said.
On dates, Black
gives out "audience feedback cards," asking the women to rate him on
kissing, choice of restaurant and cologne. The options are
excellent, fair and pathetic.
"Quite frankly, I'm way more
neurotic than Woody Allen ever was," Black said. "I'm way more
meshugana ("crazy" in Yiddish) than him. Come on, a math teacher who
wants to be Woody Allen. The only thing more meshugana is if Woody
Allen wanted to be a math teacher."
Eventually, Black hopes
to sell a screenplay to a Hollywood studio, then play the lead role
in the movie. "The only way I would step down is if two actors would
take my place: Denzel Washington and Vin Diesel, because Vin Diesel
would have to wear glasses," Black said.
But even if he does
somehow become a star, he has no urge to quit his day job. "To make
movies from 3 to 8 would be a great message to send to young
people," he said.
Copyright © 2005, Newsday,
to Newsday home delivery