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Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Steve Martin
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Kurzbeschreibung

20. November 2007
In the mid-seventies, Steve Martin exploded on to the comedy scene. By 1978, he was the biggest concert draw in the history of stand-up. In 1981 he quit forever. This book is, in his own words, the story of "why I did stand-up and why I walked away." Emmy and Grammy Award winner, author of the acclaimed New York Times bestsellers Shopgirl and The Pleasure of My Company, and a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Martin has always been a writer. His memoir of his years in stand-up is candid, spectacularly amusing, and beautifully written. 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 practised and honed his craft, is moving and revelatory. The dedication to excellence and innovation is formed at an astonishingly early age and never wavers or wanes. 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. Throughout the text, Martin has placed photographs, many never seen before. Born Standing Up is a superb testament to the sheer tenacity, focus, and daring of one of the greatest and most iconoclastic comedians of all time.

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Produktinformation

  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 224 Seiten
  • Verlag: Scribner; Auflage: 1st Scribner Hardcover Ed (20. November 2007)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 1416553649
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416553649
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 22,1 x 15,4 x 2,2 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.4 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (5 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 338.395 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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Produktbeschreibungen

Amazon.de

At age 10, Steve Martin got a job selling guidebooks at the newly opened Disneyland. In the decade that followed, he worked in Disney's magic shop, print shop, and theater, and developed his own magic/comedy act. By age 20, studying poetry and philosophy on the side, he was performing a dozen times a week, most often at the Disney rival, Knott's Berry Farm. Obsession is a substitute for talent, he has said, and Steve Martin's focus and daring--his sheer tenacity--are truly stunning. He writes about making the very tough decision to sacrifice everything not original in his act, and about lucking into a job writing for The Smothers Brothers Show. He writes about mentors, girlfriends, his complex relationship with his parents and sister, and about some of his great peers in comedy--Dan Ackroyd, Lorne Michaels, Carl Reiner, Johnny Carson. He writes about fear, anxiety and loneliness. And he writes about how he figured out what worked on stage.

This book is a memoir, but it is also an illuminating guidebook to stand-up from one of our two or three greatest comedians. Though Martin is reticent about his personal life, he is also stunningly deft, and manages to give readers a feeling of intimacy and candor. Illustrated throughout with black and white photographs collected by Martin, this book is instantly compelling visually and a spectacularly good read.


Amazon.com Exclusive
Three Bonus Deleted Passages from Steve Martin's Born Standing Up

On Returning to Disneyland
Ten years later, after the Beatles, drugs, and Vietnam had changed the entire tenor of American life, I returned to the magic shop at Disneyland and stood as a stranger. As I looked around the eerily familiar room another first came over me, a previously unknown emotion, one that was to have a curious force over me for the rest my life: the longing tug of nostalgia. Looking at the counter where I pitched Svengali Decks and the Incredible Shrinking Die, I was awash with the recollection of indelible nights where the sky was blown open by fireworks and big band sounds drifted through trees strung with fairy lights. I remembered my youth, when every moment was crisply present, when heartbreak and joy replaced each other quickly, fully and without trauma. Even now when I visit Disneyland, I am steeped in melancholy, because a corporation has preserved my nostalgia impeccably. Every nail and screw is the same, and Disneyland looks as new now as it did then. The paint is fresh, and the only wear allowed is faux. In fact, only I have changed. In the dream-like world of childhood memories, so often vague and imprecise, Disneyland remains for me not only vivid in memory, but vivid in fact.

On Meeting Diane Hall
During the day, I attended Santa Ana Junior College, taking drama classes and pursuing an unexpected interest in English poetry from Donne to Eliot. I would occasionally assist on a college stage production--never appearing in one--as a member of the crew. Years later I was looking through a box of memorabilia and noticed a silk-screened playbill of the musical Carousel, May, 1964, which listed me as a stagehand. The lead actress was Diane Hall. Something connected and I remembered that Diane Keaton's name was once Hall, (hence, Annie Hall). I confirmed with her that she was in that production. Neither of us remembers meeting the other, yet we must have worked in proximity. More evidence that I was a wallflower. Decades later, we ended up "making love" on the floor of a movie set on Father of the Bride.

On the Kennedy Assassination
One Friday in 1963, I had finished a class and was about to drive to Knott's Berry Farm for the afternoon shows when I saw a clump of agitated students across the campus. I asked someone what was going on. "They're saying that the president's been shot."

I drove across town to Knott's and punched radio buttons. I could hear the scheduled programs clicking off and being replaced by live broadcasts. Assassination seemed so ancient and inconceivable, I was sure that someone would soon correct the erroneous report. President Kennedy died that day and I didn't know that news could be taken so personally by a nation. Sitting backstage, watching the Birdcage's black-and-white TV drone out the increasingly grave report, we were all mute. We assumed the performance that night would be canceled, but as show time neared, word came down that we were going on. We couldn't fathom why; we believed no one would show up, much less enjoy us. I still can't explain the psychology, why the very full house that night was able to roar with laughter. The obvious must be correct: our silly show was providing some kind of balm that soothed the ache.

In 2003 I hosted the Oscars on the particular weekend that the United States invaded Iraq. The news was grim and just hours before the show I flipped on the TV and saw a report, subsequently proven false, that our captive soldiers were being beheaded. I quickly turned the TV off, sick. I knew, from my experience forty years earlier with the Kennedy assassination, what my job was, and I harbored a secret knowledge that the audience would laugh. I also felt that soldiers who might be watching would be tuning in to see the Oscars and all its hoopla, not a cheerless comedian doing what he doesn’t do best. I decided to acknowledge the circumstances early in the show and then get on with the jokes. The academy had announced that the show would "cut back on the glitz." I walked out for the opening monologue, took a look around the stage at the dazzling, swirling staircases, mirrored curtains and polished floor, and simply said, "I'm glad they cut back on the glitz." It got a laugh of relief and the show could go on.

More from Steve Martin

The Alphabet from A to Y with Bonus Letter Z!

Shopgirl

The Pleasure of My Company


Picasso at the Lapin Agile and Other Plays


Pure Drivel



Praise for Born Standing Up
"[A] lean, incisive new book about the trajectory of [Martin's] life in comedy...Born Standing Up does a sharp-witted job of breaking down the step-by-step process that brought Steve Martin from Disneyland, where he spent his version of a Dickensian childhood as a schoolboy employee, to both the pinnacle of stardom and the brink of disaster...tightly focused...Born Standing Up is a surprising book: smart, serious, heartfelt and confessional without being maudlin." --Janet Maslin, The New York Times

"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written." --Jerry Seinfeld, GQ

"The writing is evocative, unflinching and cool. When Martin takes a scalpel to his life, what you feel is the precision of the surgeon more than the primal scream of the unanaesthetized patient...Born Standing Up is neither fanfare nor confession. It gives off a vibe of rigorous honesty. With lots of laughs." --Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

"A spare, unexpectedly resonant remembrance of things past…Martin's one true subject is the evolution of his comedy--the transcendent moments...A smart, gentlemanly, modest book…winning." --Jeff Giles, Entertainment Weekly, EW Pick: A

"A charming memoir tracking what the great comic characterizes as his 'war years.' Martin offers an eloquent and exacting account... [and] approaches his subjects with generosity, warmth and integrity." --Kirkus Reviews

"Sure to delight fans and create new ones." --Laura Mathews, Good Housekeeping

"What fun to discover the humble beginnings of some of his iconic personas...inspiring." --Rachel Rosenblit, Elle

"The archetypical story of the underdog's rise and a particularly American story...beautifully written, honest, engaging, and quietly brave." --Frederic Tuten, Bomb Magazine

"Son, you have an ob-leek sense of humor." --Elvis Presley


Pressestimmen

"Absolutely magnificent. One of the best books about comedy and being a comedian ever written."- Jerry Seinfeld, "GQ"

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Origins of Creativity and Notes from the Star Track 18. Dezember 2007
Von Donald Mitchell TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Born Standing Up will be of most interest to young people who want to create a career performing in stand-up comedy. I was fascinated by Steve Martin's recollections of the lessons he learned at the magic shop in Disneyland and in performing at the Bird Cage Theater at Knott's Berry Farm. Both places were favorite haunts of mine while he was doing his apprenticeship, and I'm sure I saw him perform but don't remember him. Knowing a lot about both places, it made it easier for me to appreciate the other steps he took to develop an act and to become recognized. His description of being on the Tonight Show was a good lesson in patience . . . the first dozen or so appearances don't do a thing for your career.

Having seen him perform, I could never figure out why he chose to do the self-deprecating bit and wear a white suit. Now I know how all that came about. It was definitely interesting.

But if you want to know a lot more about Steve Martin, the man, and his daily thoughts and challenges . . . this book will leave you disappointed.

At times I felt like I was reading a book about how to plan a career rather than an autobiography -- especially towards the end when he explained how heavy touring while you are hot makes it inevitable that you won't develop the new material you need to stay hot. I guess there's a reason why Bob Hope always had so many writers working for him.

I haven't always enjoyed Steve Martin's humor, and I found myself wondering over some examples of what was great about his humor. If you aren't a big fan of Steve Martin's or don't want to be a stand-up comedian, you might find it wisest to skip this book. It's probably a two or three star effort for you.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Format:Taschenbuch
Martin beschreibt in dieser Autobiografie seinen Weg vom kleinen Jungen, der als 10jähriger in Disneyland Prospekte verkaufte, über seine Liebe zur Zauberei, seine ersten Auftritte bis hin zu seinen größten Erfolgen auf der Bühne alle wichtigen Stationen seiner Bühnenkarriere, die dann Anfang der 80er in eine Filmkarriere mündete.

Dabei ist Martin zu keiner Zeit langweilig - allzu viele Autobiografien folgen keinem Konzept, sondern listen einfach nur auf, welche Stationen man auf einem Weg bereist hat. Martin sucht stets nach Gründen und Funktion einer bestimmten Station. Unwichtige Auflistungen verschiedener Menschen die er traf oder Orte, die er bereiste, wird man hier nicht finden. All das, was Martin beschreibt fügt sich am Ende zu einem sinnvollen psychologischen Puzzle, welches den Comdian Martin ausmacht.

Dabei lässt er auch schmerzliche Erfahrungen, wie die Beziehung zu seinem Vater oder Todesangst bereitende Panikattacken über zwei Jahrzehnte, nicht aus. Klischeelos und angenehm unpathetisch beschreibt er fernab jeglicher Schwarz-Weiß-Malerei die Dinge, die ihn formten.

All das verpackt er in einer Sprache, die treffend, charismatisch, gewitzt und fließend das perfekte Vehikel für seine Geschichte darstellt.
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1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Beeindruckende Biographie 26. Januar 2009
Von Hauke Stammer TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Taschenbuch
Ich habe von "Born Standing Up" bei John Stewarts Daily Talk gehört und Steve Martin hat mich wirklich neugierig darauf gemacht. Zu recht, wie es sich herausgestellt hat.

Das Buch beschreibt die Anfangszeit seiner Comedy Kariere - vom Gelegenheitszauberer in Disneyworld hin zu ausverkauften Sporthallen. Er beleuchtet die harten Zeiten in kleinen Clubs, vor fast leeren Sälen oder gelangweilten Zuschauern. Und genau so blickt er auch auf das schwierige Verhältnis zu seinem Elternhaus, vorallem zu dem eher einsilbigen Kontakt zu seinem Vater. Dabei bleibt das Buch immer amüsant, ohne auf Klamauk aus zu sein. Steve Martin versteht es wirklich, Inhalt zu vermitteln und nicht nur eine Aneinanderreihung von Daten und Zahlen seines Lebens herunter zu schreiben.

Für alle, die einen Ausflug in eine Künstlerkariere planen, ist dieses Buch wirklich ein Muss. Aber auch anderen möchte ich "Born Standing Up" wirklich empfehlen, zumal es neben einem wirklich interessanten Leben auch ein sehr versöhnliches Ende bietet, ohne dabei aufdringlich oder gestellt zu sein. Eine wirklich tolle Biograhie eines Mannes, der nicht nur etwas mitteilen möchte, sonder etwas mitzuteilen hat!
War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?
4.0 von 5 Sternen Origins of Creativity and Notes from the Star Track 18. Dezember 2007
Von Donald Mitchell TOP 500 REZENSENT
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Born Standing Up will be of most interest to young people who want to create a career performing in stand-up comedy. I was fascinated by Steve Martin's recollections of the lessons he learned at the magic shop in Disneyland and in performing at the Bird Cage Theater at Knott's Berry Farm. Both places were favorite haunts of mine while he was doing his apprenticeship, and I'm sure I saw him perform but don't remember him. Knowing a lot about both places, it made it easier for me to appreciate the other steps he took to develop an act and to become recognized. His description of being on the Tonight Show was a good lesson in patience . . . the first dozen or so appearances don't do a thing for your career.

Having seen him perform, I could never figure out why he chose to do the self-deprecating bit and wear a white suit. Now I know how all that came about. It was definitely interesting.

But if you want to know a lot more about Steve Martin, the man, and his daily thoughts and challenges . . . this book will leave you disappointed.

At times I felt like I was reading a book about how to plan a career rather than an autobiography -- especially towards the end when he explained how heavy touring while you are hot makes it inevitable that you won't develop the new material you need to stay hot. I guess there's a reason why Bob Hope always had so many writers working for him.

I haven't always enjoyed Steve Martin's humor, and I found myself wondering over some examples of what was great about his humor. If you aren't a big fan of Steve Martin's or don't want to be a stand-up comedian, you might find it wisest to skip this book. It's probably a two or three star effort for you.
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