Sunday, April 16, 2017

*Review* Born Standing Up by Steve Martin

Genre: Memoir
Published: November 20, 2007
Pages: 207


In the midseventies, Steve Martin exploded onto 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 practiced 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.

Joood's Review

I've seen a number of Steve Martin movies, so this appealed to me. Seeing as I have been on a memoir kick lately, I figured I should give into my own whims. I'm welcome.

I already knew he was funny, but I was also glad to see this applied to his audiobook. I have noticed some comedians just don't do audio well. I was a bit weary because he's definitely the visual type. He got his start doing magician type things at Disney, his comedy routines also included props up the wazoo, and even his movies have a good deal of physical comedy.

Good news though! I found myself laughing quite a number of times. But thats not all. Not only is he hilarious, but I also found this book to be motivational. Especially in regards to his work ethic. It's always impressive to hear about someone actually earning what they deserve.

I also got a kick out only knowing more about him and really related pretty strongly to his issues with anxiety. I myself been having a bad time with that drama lately, so I feel those feels. Sometimes I just can't people as much as people would like me to. As someone who struggles with anxiety issues, it was nice to hear how he handles it. And how he validated it.

May he never again achieve super stardom but always continue to be just enough of a celebrity so he doesn't get crazy stalked but he can continue to make enough money to live on.

4 platypires - Joood - Hooligan

Buy the Book

1 comment:

  1. I FLove Steve Martin. I remember as a child when he was on The Muppet Show. And A Simple Twist of Fate was a fantastic movie. While I'm not a memoir kinda gal, I think I could listen to this audio.