BookReview: Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
by Steve Martin, Scribner, November 20, 2007, 1416553649
Steve Martin is incredibly creative, but like many comedians, his creativity were born from a painful childhood and (necessarily) difficult adult life. His strict and harsh father was never a fan of his work, and only in the 1990s, did they begin to reconcile their differences -- long after Steve left the stage for movies.
I've read a few of Martin's books, and all of them are entertaining. While his book Shop Girl is a sketch of his personality, this book tells us why he is aloof, awkward, and anxious. He had not choice in becoming a comedian, and yet, it was a very difficult path for such a personality.
It's difficult for those of us who suffer from anxiety attacks to admit it. It's a crucial part of the illness to be afraid of the anxiety, and to leave it unnamed. Though I rarely suffer from anxiety attacks today, I am still ashamed to talk about them. Perhaps this is one of the things that gives them their power over me.
I went through a similar experience about the same age Steve Martin had his first attack -- he was about 30. It's a difficult time for men: we are no longer children or young adults, and our life is finally cemented, or is it? Doubts arise about our choices. Is this what we'll be doing forever? I have known many many to have similar experiences to mine. Our childhoods were different, but the effects are the same. Fundamental doubt leads to extreme fear and anxiety attacks.
Via Rob 1/13/2008
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