Conversations with Steve Martin
Collected interviews that provide insight into Martin's numerous accomplishments as a writer, artist, and original thinker over the last forty years
Conversations with Steve Martin presents a collection of interviews and profiles that focus on Martin as a writer, artist, and original thinker over the course of more than four decades in show business. While those less familiar with his full body of work may think of Martin as primarily the "wild and crazy guy" with an arrow through his head, this book makes the case that he is in fact one of our nation's most accomplished and varied artists. It shows the full range of Martin's creative work, tracing the source of his comic imagination from his early standup days, starting in the mid to late 1960s through the films he has written and starred in, and emphasizing his more recent creative outpourings as playwright, essayist, novelist, memoirist, songwriter, composer, musician, and art critic.
“Standup is the hardest material in the world to write for someone else; it's like trying to condense 10 years of experience into 20 minutes of new material,” Martin says. But commenting on his fiction writing, he says. “I think you have to be able to find as a writer that state where you don't know what you're going to say or what the character is going to say or who the characters are. That's the biggest thrill of all. When you start to trust that subconscious thing and you don't censor yourself—just remember you can always throw it away that's when the good stuff comes out. ”
The selected materials consist not only of pieces focused primarily on Martin's writings, but also broader profiles and conversations that help explain Martin's development as a writer within the larger context of his many other accomplishments, talents, and performance skills.