Born Standing Up

December 12, 2008
Comedy. Not many people think so, but it is an art; one that you have to develop and work at over time if it is to be effective. Steve Martin is a brilliant example of one such person who did this. In his autobiography, "Born Standing Up", we follow Martin through an amazing journey of his life; from working at Disney World to working the audiences.
You would never know from looking at his successful career in comedy, and think Steve Martin wanted to do anything else with his life. Turns out, as a young boy, he always wanted to be a magician. It was working at a magic shop that he first got a taste of comedy. It was near this point in his life where a career goal hit him: comedian! We then begin to follow Martin as he describes, in an amazing way, his beginnings. From skits at a small performance venue, to traveling around with friends, to his experiences in the hippie era, Martin tells of us his successes and failures. He tells us of writing for a comedy show, of how he bombed and his early unforgiving audiences, and when he finally perfected his odd routines and the audiences he killed.
This book hit me in a way I never thought it would. I saw this book and expected to be filled with non-stop laughter. It had its funny parts for sure, but it was more the journey of his life that was captivating. We think of Steve Martin as that funny, banjo playing comedian without a thought of the struggles it took to even have people remember him. It made me appreciate not only Steve Martin more, but all aspiring comedians. It really shows the struggles they have to go through to get where they need to be; the small shops they must start in, the jokes that sounded funny in your head, and the let-downs of life.
In short, "Born Standing Up" was an amazing book. This autobiography of Steve Martin's life was emotional, captivating, funny, and inspiring. A real page turner until the last and a recommendation for every comedian.

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