Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life by Steve Martin

Oddly inspiring. Martin doesn’t seem to take any joy in this retelling, which only covers his years as a stand-up comic. He seems to look back on his early performing days not with nostalgia, but with a wonder that he persisted so long in doing such poor material.

But it’s that story of persistence that makes the book inspiring, of the decades of work behind his overnight success.

Three things I learned about Martin:

  • He worked at performing for 18 years (!) before becoming a success
  • Had a long stint writing for TV. While many people would consider that a career, and good enough, for Martin it was just a way to pay the bills while he worked on his act.
  • He grew up in Orange County, California, and got his early stage experience at theme parks: Disneyland and Knott’s Berry Farm