Born Standing Up: A Comic’s Life

Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life

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Steve Martin
Simon and Schuster Inc., 2007, audiobook (4u 3min)

Het is niet vaak dat de blurb van een boek genoeg zegt dat ik maar moet copypasten:

In the mid-70s, 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 10 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 60s, and the transformative new voice of Saturday Night Live in the 70s.

Van ganser harte aangeraden. Steve Martin heeft misschien geen professionele vertelstem, en in het begin klinkt het wat klinisch en afstandelijk, maar het zit in de nuances en de details.

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