Born Standing up

Born Standing up

Audiobook CD - 2007
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The Emmy and Grammy Award-winner's candid, spectacularly amusing memoir of his years in stand-up

In the mid-seventies, 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. Born Standing Up is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away."

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.

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.

Publisher: New York : Simon & Schuster Audio, p2007
ISBN: 9780743569729
0743569725
Branch Call Number: NFBCD 792.7028092 Marti 3558ad 1
Characteristics: 4 sound discs (ca. 4.5 hr.) :,digital ;,12 cm., in container

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danielestes
Jul 05, 2017

A friend once said to me, "You know who's a brilliant writer but you'd never guess? Steve Martin." Turns out she was right. Maybe this isn't a surprise for those in the know. However, it was a pleasant one for me. This book is both highly entertaining and elegantly nuanced.

Born Standing Up is Steve Martin's account of his journey from his youth in nostalgic southern California to world famous performer. Specifically, it's all the dreams, goals and unplanned circumstances that guided him towards becoming a stand-out stand-up comedian. As with most other autobiographies, the early chapters are superior, because I'm of the mind that origin stories always are, but Born Standing Up still manages to sustain itself all the way to the present day. The lessons Steve Martin gleans as a nearly burnt out performer later in his career are no less potent that when he's working on his own showman style as a part-time magic shop clerk in Disneyland as a teen. You'll laugh throughout, I guarantee it, but you'll also be moved. A successful comic's life is often tragic, but not always in overt ways.

Although there were many to choose from, this is my favorite quote from the whole book: "Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naïveté, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do."

westcoastreader Feb 02, 2011

This is a great introduction to Steve's Martin work - who would have guessed that Walt Disney would play such a bit role! A magician no less!

c
cashdeb
Apr 21, 2010

As expected very funny.

b
brewsterjuice
Dec 11, 2009

Very good autobiography and likely a better listen than a read.

c
Calgovin
Jul 13, 2008

Very interesting life, and the fact that it's told by Steve Martin adds a chuckle now and then - even during the more serious parts of his life. Well told.

a
annekim9
Mar 12, 2008

If you are a Steve Martin fan, you're in for a real treat. Read by Steve himself, this short (4 discs) memoir is about his childhood and early career years. He describes his first guest appearance on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, writing for the Sonny & Cher Show and Laugh-In, and getting stand-up gigs around the country. Sometimes candid and moving, sometimes laugh out loud funny, this is a very well-written memoir by one of America's favorite comics.

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Calgovin
Jul 13, 2008

Calgovin thinks this title is suitable for 20 years and over

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Calgovin
Jul 13, 2008

Coarse Language: This title contains Coarse Language.

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