At age 10 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 practiced and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory.
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 60s, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the 70s.
©2007 Steve Martin; (P)2007 Simon and Schuster Inc.
2008 Grammy Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album
"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." (Jerry Seinfeld)
Nice to know more about one of my favorite people. Steve Martin shares bits of his life and early career as graciously as if he were my host and I, the listener, was his guest. I saw Steve perform on stage in the mid 1970's. His show was outstanding. Steve is a treasure. I hope he realizes how much joy he has brought into the lives of others.
Because Steve Martin read it himself, its like going to a stand up comedy show when he reads his own stuff.
I enjoyed the whole book, the way he talks about his father is the most remember-able. Only because the way he talks about him, you can tell by the inflection in his voice that the feelings run deep there.
I really liked it. It wasnt what I expected though. With Tina and Amy's books, I was laughing at what they were saying. But with Steve, it was so calm, like sitting down with a friend, listening to him tell me his life story. It was funny to me, but i connected to him on a different level that really makes me want to relisten to his book.
I've learned to pace myself
I would like him to write more books and read more! I really like his voice!
Steve Martin is a lyrical writer whose reflections on both his Southern California childhood and magic-infused early days of standup transcend the genre of "comedy autobiography" to reach a mystical, albeit heartbreaking meditation on death and, you might say, joy. Read with a forlorn and at times hilarious tone, he digs deep into his past as a new-comedy pioneer and the wounds of his disapproving father as he goes from joke-magician to television writer to the biggest live comedy act in history. Too, he explores how the bits got stale, and, as he so aptly describes, "when comedy stopped being fun and got serious," and he left the world of live performance for the ease of film. An essential read for any fan of Martin, and, for those with a cursory interest in entertainment and the history of television. "Born Standing Up", like Steve Martin, is wise, insightful, hilarious, and often devastatingly sad.
I love Steve Martin, so it's fair to say I'd probably love this book no matter what. However, I found it very engaging and enlightening. I learned a lot about him, like the fact that he grew up a couple miles from me in a neighboring suburb of LA and got his start at two local theme parks. I knew he was an intellectual, but this first-hand telling of his personal life and work really puts it in perspective and makes me appreciate him that much more. Definitely worth the listen!
Poetic, candid, silly...absolutely brilliant. Steve Martin is a genius of all sorts. His descriptions are so vivid and effective that I really felt viscerally able to recall times before I was born. I so appreciate this window into his life.
Excellent and poignant story of Martin's journey through comedy history. Very interesting read on how and why his act developed as it did.
An enjoyable biography sounding truthful and being entertaining. If you like biographies, comedies, or shoes I suggest this listen.
It was a pleasurable listen as Steve recounts his historical career. Laughed out loud several times as backstage stories take you into the life and lessons as we move through this world trying to make the best of it. Stevie's courage to press on and pursue dreams motivates the listener to fave the reality, we only live once.
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