Bobby DeNiro, Phil Hoffman, Tim Bauer

I have a request for the readers of this blog. Please post a quick comment and give me your thoughts on this close-to-trivial question:

Resolved: Tim Bauer should change his professional playwriting name to Timothy Bauer.

Here are my thoughts:


1 – When I introduce myself in person as “Tim Bauer,” people often think I said either “Jim Bauer” or “Ken Bauer.”

2 – “Tim Bauer” sounds like a guy you’d have a beer with. “Timothy Bauer” may sound more like a playwright.

3 – I’ve always thought “Timothy Bauer” has a nice rhythm to it.

4 – Male playwrights are usually “Edward” or “David” or “Richard” or “Peter” or “Kenneth” or “Matthew” or “Christopher.” (Except for Sam Shepard and Tom Stoppard. I guess if your last name starts with “S” and ends with “D,” you’re exempt.)


1 – I have the tiniest bit of name recognition in S.F. as “Tim Bauer.”

2 – Places where I’ve submitted before may open new files for “Timothy Bauer” and not cross-reference the glowing coverage in their “Tim Bauer” file.

3 – I’d have to learn a new habit and start to introduce myself to people at festivals and readings as “Timothy.”


1 – People who know me would still call me Tim, which means they’d get to have the same thrill that friends of Robert DeNiro get from calling him Bobby and friends of Philip Seymour Hoffman get from calling him Phil. (Side note: Ask Mariella about her Phil Hoffman story.)


What say you, Peter or Prince or Marisela or Cheshire or one of the other 32 people who apparently read this blog, according to yesterday’s stat count (which surprises the hell out of me. Who are you people?)

Please chime in if you have an opinion. Or if you don’t. Thanks!


5 Replies to “Bobby DeNiro, Phil Hoffman, Tim Bauer”

  1. Hmmm.

    There is a nice youthful perkiness to “Tim” that aligns with your writing very well in my opinion. But Timothy isn’t bad either. It feels little more old money though for some reason. Go with your heart Tim(othy)

  2. Tim Bauer sounds more masculine.

    Timothy Bauer more lyrical.

    How do you want to sound?

    Personally I go with Alan over Al because “Al” is an overweight plumber’s name.

  3. Wow.

    Names are important and powerful to our sense of self. Some people even think it can predetermine aspects of our personality.

    Sorry to wax philosophical. But I have a thing about names. I was in high school when I officially started using my middle name (Trevino), which is my mother’s maiden name. I liked the sound and cadence of three names.

    I guess this should be a personal choice for you Tim. And perhaps you can fall into the same category as playwrights whose last names end in D and begins with S, make up a new rule for those whose last names start with B and end in R.

    And yes if you decide to go with Timothy, we’ll get a thrill when we say “Timothy Bauer…oh you mean Tim! Sure I know him. We go for beers every three months.”

  4. By now you’ve weighed the responses and made your decision, but I thought I’d post my responses anyway, especially because you called me out (thanks for that, by the way).

    As someone whose (completely reworked*) name routinely gets misheard upon meeting people, I can certainly empathize. And lengthening apparently helped Larry Fishburne to change to Laurence.

    But as other respondents here have said, it really comes down to what you’re comfortable with. Like Marisela, I’m a huge believer in choosing a name that fits who you think you are. (Though I heartily recommend that if you change your name away from what it is now, make sure it’s something people can easily spell.)

    Side note: if someone thinks your name is Jim, say, “No, no, ‘Tim’ like the British version of ‘The Office,’ not ‘Jim’ like the American version.”

    *People who knew me before 1994 still call me David (they’re grandfathered in). People who knew me before 2004 have had to get used to Isaacs as my last name rather than Beckerman. And it’s all legal now.

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