Born Standing Up is a very good autobiography. Martin is multi-talented and an exceptionally good writer.
His background preceding his fame was significant. Working in one of those booths selling magic tricks at Disneyland taught him how important it was to get people to pay attention to you first before you could entertain them. He became a true showman at a very early age.
It should be noted why he walked away from performing live comedy when he was drawing biggest crowds in history. He realized his whole career had been built on sight gags and visual effects, the up close stuff for clubs etc. Hard to get someone in the back row of Dodger Stadium to see what you did to make people laugh down in front.
I did stand up for half a year, and it teaches you a lot. I was even offered money to be opening act a few times but turned it down.
One of my favorite stories in Martin’s book was how he had been a guess on Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show 17 times before anyone ever said, “Hey, aren’t you the guy who was on Johnny Carson?” I felt this story made the useful point that just because you get a break and get a moment of “fame” doesn’t mean you have arrived….
The other points you make were useful. And I do recommend you find a place to try your luck on an open mic comedy night. They are all over the place and when you do it you will meet others who are practicing and perfecting and who will help give advice. In seven months I only “bombed” once. My definition of bombing is when you go up and begin your ten minute act you feel like you have been there an hour and still have nine minutes to go.