Steve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit ...
Steve Martin has been an international star for over thirty years. Here, for the first time, he looks back to the beginning of his career and charmingly evokes the young man he once was. Born in Texas but raised in California, Steve was seduced early by the comedy shows that played on the radio when the family travelled back and forth to visit relatives. When Disneyland opened just a couple of miles away from home, an enchanted Steve was given his first chance to learn magic and entertain an audience. He describes how he noted the reaction to each joke in a ledger - 'big laugh' or 'quiet' - and assiduously studied the acts of colleagues, stealing jokes when needed. With superb detail, Steve recreates the world of small, dark clubs and the fear and exhilaration of standing in the spotlight. While a philosophy student at UCLA, he worked hard at local clubs honing his comedy and slowly attracting a following until he was picked up to write for TV. From here on, Steve Martin became an acclaimed comedian, packing out venues nationwide. One night, however, he noticed empty seats and realised he had 'reached the top of the rollercoaster'. BORN STANDING UP is a funny and riveting chronicle of how Steve Martin became the comedy genius we now know and is also a fascinating portrait of an era.
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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.
Publishers Weekly, 2007-12-24 Martin recounts his tense childhood, his desire to become a magician and his segue into standup comedy in his surprisingly serious and eloquently written memoir. Martin's memories are perceptive and emotionally honest even though he confesses early on that while writing this book, he felt some events in his life "seemed to happen to someone else and I often felt like a curious onlooker." Martin's writing is spare, concise and evocative, and he's a smooth and limber reader, an assured and relaxed, seasoned raconteur. Martin runs through some of his classic comedy routines to give listeners an idea of how they developed into his "anti-comedy" sets (humor without punch lines). "Enjoyment while performing was rare," he reveals. "Enjoyment would have been an indulgent loss of focus that comedy cannot afford." After 18 years of studying, refining and finally succeeding, Martin ends the book when he gives up the solitary standup life in favor of a collaborative life making films. Martin also provides the banjo music that plays between chapters. Simultaneous release with the Scribner hardcover (reviewed online). (Nov.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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