Meet Steve Martin — Actor, Writer, Banjo Virtuoso

by Lisa Rothstein on 03/27/2010

Steve Martin, Actor, Novelist, Banjo PlayerSteve Martin is so talented it’s not even funny. The comedian acted in Roxanne, The Jerk, Planes, Trains & Automobiles and –my favorite– All of Me, to name only a few of his movies. He was also that “Wild and Crazy Guy” on the flagship and best season of “Saturday Night Live”.

He wrote the novella Shopgirl, which he later adapted into a screenplay,  Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays, and occasionally pens an essay for The New Yorker.  In a 2005 interview with online mag The Believer, when asked how he manages his time, Martin replies:  “I don’t really manage my time. I really just wait until I’m inspired to do something. And when I’m inspired to do something, it just happens. I know it seems like a lot, but, you know, a movie takes three months, right? And during that time you’re sitting in your trailer a lot. So I’ll learn a song on the banjo or maybe I’ll write an essay if it comes up. But only if it comes up.”

And now he’s a Grammy winner, for his virtuoso 5-string banjo playing (no, that’s not an oxymoron).  His first bluegrass album, The Crow: New Songs for the Five-String Banjo was released by Rounder Records on May 19, 2009 and reached #1 on the Billboard Bluegrass Album chart where it stayed for 12 weeks.We’d have to hate him, if he weren’t such a nice guy.

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