Steve 's Reviews > Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
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's review
Oct 06, 11

bookshelves: awkward-humour, non-fiction
Read from September 16 to October 04, 2011

It's an interesting and varied read. Whatever you expect, it's certainly going to be a surprise ;)

Firstly, I'm not a big Steve Martin fan (actually, I'm not a 'fan' of anyone, as the word is taken from 'fanatic' LMAO). I can think of two of his films that I actually found funny. They were Roxanne, and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (a brilliant performance, along with Michael Caine). Okay, the book...

I get the impression that Martin has had a lot of therapy, and reading the book you can understand why. Firstly, his family is not what we would call functional. My own family made The Simpsons look functional LMAO, so that part was actually quite interesting ;) There were definately a lot of emotional scars that Martin carried for the better part of his life. But, these were probably what helped to drive him.

He describes his childhood and family dynamics really quite well. If Martin's family hadn't have moved home when they did, then we'd probably never have heard of Steve Martin. Working at Disney was probably what gave him the confidence to make it through the harder Stand-up years to come. Although Martin started out handing out leaflets, he was mesmerised by the whole show. It was where he found friends, learnt magic tricks really well, and learnt more about showmanship.

The chronology within certain events does jump about a bit, but it usually does this to some relevant points; i.e. back to his childhood or forward to a specific experience.
If you were ever considering a career in stand-up (I certainly wasn't), then this book should be enough to put you off ;) Martin started his early stand-up in earie little clubs and bars for very little money. Martin seemed to detest his first few years of stand-up, he certainly didn't view them fondly. At least not at the time. But he stuck at it, even through the turmoil and harder years to come.

Was this a cheery book? No. Was it an interesting book? Yes ;)

Martin worked his ass off to get where he got. He took the blows (of which there were many) and kept moving forward, or trying to. Even his final break, where he became known, seemed to spin on the luck of a dime and tipped only by his persistance to succeed.

I did find the latter chapters a bit 'Meeoooow' (bitchy LMAO) towards those he didn't like, didn't help him, or he didn't get on with. But, within this was some of Martin's dry wit. For example; there was one guy who stole his beautiful girlfriend from him, then later made a pass at his wife. Martin points out that the man is now dead, after naming him. Then adds "I didn't kill him." LMAO...

It's worth the read. I did like this book!

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Reading Progress

09/16/2011 page 18
9.0% "Just started this one. But quite interesting so far."
09/21/2011 page 106
51.0% "It's quite intellectually written. By that I don't mean it's for 'intelligent people' (remember, I'm reading it *smiling*). I mean you can feel Martin's intelligence, and how important that appears to be to him (Hey, I'm a therapist, can't help it *laughing*). But it's well written (though chronologically back and forth), and I'm finding it interesting. His childhood has something in common with my own (Bugger!);)"
09/28/2011 page 167
81.0% "It's quite intriguing, in that Martin hasn't lived a dull life. His early start working and learning magic and showmanship whilst at Disney is quite interesting. As is Martin's childhood, or maybe the word there is 'traumatic'. His first years in stand-up comedy he seemed to hate, but he kept at it. There was something driving him, no doubt from his childhood, and his father in particular."

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