A Comic's Life
On Sale: November 20, 2007
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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.
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