Born Standing Up is Steve Martin's memoir of his stand-up career. That career was, more or less, "I worked really hard for years and had a couple of lucky breaks along the way and then I got famous." The details are, of course, what makes the story and Martin provides engrossing ones. Also fascinating, especially in my usual "casting about for my artistic purpose" state, is that Martin was pursuing an "avante-garde" comedy by age 20. The passage where he decides this also provides my favorite piece of advice from the book:
[As a postscript to a letter to a friend, Martin writes:]
I have decided my act is going to go avant-garde. It is the only way to do what I want.
I'm not sure what I meant, but I wanted to use the lingo, and it was seductive to make these pronouncements. Through the years, I have learned there is no harm in charging oneself up with delusions between moments of valid inspiration.
FuzzyCo grade: A