I just finished Steve Martin's latest book "Born Standing Up". It's a very interesting look at his life, focusing on his stand up comedy. The book opens with a look at Steve's childhood, but due to his mostly strained relationship with his father, the book moves quickly on to his first early performing gigs.
Martin started out working and performing small magic acts at Disneyland. The book explores his moves to Knox Berry Farm, college, and ultimately, life as a struggling comedian.
The book comes to life with Martin's original voice that makes you feel like you're with him every step of the way. I've always been a big Steve Martin fan, but I never realized that he dealt with severe anxiety attacks; or that standup comedy become almost scientific to him.
The book chronicles his journey from opening to "crowds" of less than a hundred people at the Boarding House in San Francisco, to filling arenas that seated 20,000 people in the early '80s. It also finally explains, to us and to Steve, why he walked away from standup at the height of his popularity.