In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded on to the comedy scene. By 1978, he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away." Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The ...
In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded on to the comedy scene. By 1978, he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away." Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written. At age ten, Martin started his career at Disneyland, selling guidebooks in the newly opened theme park. In the decade that followed, he worked in the Disney magic shop and the Bird Cage Theatre at Knott's Berry Farm, performing his first magic/comedy act a dozen times a week. The story of these years, during which he practised and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes. Martin illuminates the sacrifice, discipline, and originality that made him an icon and informs his work to this day. To be this good, to perform so frequently, was isolating and lonely. It took Martin decades to reconnect with his parents and sister, and he tells that story with great tenderness. Martin also paints a portrait of his times -- the era of free love and protests against the war in Vietnam, the heady irreverence of The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour in the late sixties, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the seventies. Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.
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The cost of polishing your Comedy Act on your Soul
How Steve Martin polished his legendary comedy act - and made it seem the funniest thing in the world -cost him dearly - and if this tale be true, one amazing story of a boy raised inside Anaheim, Disneyland, has so polished his ACT and made his ACT SO BAD, that it makes the Offense a skill. His story of spending his youth training in the magic store of Disneyland; adding precious seconds over time to his comedy act, is at once an anxiety attack and a tribute to how luck can be leveraged into a legendary (seemingly effortless at the time) comedy career. Now that Steve is no longer funny, his anxiety attacks can recede and this story can be told.
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