Arts & Entertainment

A Life In the Arts

Steve Martin

Lesson time 10:51 min

Failure, rivalry, bad reviews: being a comedian is hard. Steve teaches you how to roll with the punches and advocates for a life of being in the arts.

Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars

Topics include: Love Your Rivals • Embrace the Struggle • Negative Feedback Is a Badge of Honor • Don’t Overanalyze Comedy • Leave Artistry Behind When You're on Stage


If you're watching this, you're at least fooling around with the idea of being in the arts. And I highly recommend a life of being in the arts and being with other artists. Because they're funny, have a happy life, they're creative, they think, they learn things. And it's a very exciting life. Whether it's your primary life choice or auxiliary, just opens your horizons. It's good to be in several disciplines because you gain friends in those worlds. If you have an interest in art, you don't have to be an artist, painter, but you can have those friends and they bring new things into your life. Musicians bring new things into your life. Comedians bring new things. Actors, directors. So it's good to be a polymath because you're going to meet so many different kinds of people who are going to affect your life positively and also affect your artistic life positively. You're going to have rivals. You're going to have people you're either jealous of. You're thinking, how did that person-- why do they love that person? Love your rivals. Your rivals make you better. They are going to inspire you to go further and also it's just wasting time because there's nothing you can do about it. No matter where you are, there's going to be somebody better. It's just part of being in show business or part of being in the arts. And you know, the best thing to do is to think of it as you're their compatriots. Get to know them. Find out what's going on. Hover around. You know, you can feed off each other. You can be good, confident, spirited rivals in a sense. But don't let it eat at you. If you're going to let it eat at you, use it. Use that kind of energy to say, what can I do? Don't get yourself down because someone is killing it out there, because it's always going to happen. It's not like you can say, I finally am better than everybody. Because then you just go like this, oh, I didn't see you there. It is hard to be a comedian. First of all, there is the travel, probably traveling alone. There is mostly rejection and failure and isolation, criticism. But looking back on it myself, I thought, I didn't know how hard it was. I only know now how hard it was. There was something about me personally that liked being isolated at that time in my life and liked being alone and was uncomfortable in groups and socially. I had some really close, good friends but I was always shy at a party, introverted. So there was something that suited me about this isolated travel. And like I say, I didn't know it was a struggle at the time. I looked back later I thought, that was a struggle. At the time I was enjoying it and I loved being on the road and I loved talking to people and picking up girls and having a cocktail and then going back to your depressing hotel room alone. I do an impression of what it's like, at least ...

About the Instructor

One of Steve’s first gigs was at the drive-in movies. When the audience liked a joke, they honked. In this comedy class, Steve shares insights from performing for cars and humans over a 50-year career spanning sold-out arenas and blockbuster films. Learn how to find your voice, gather material, develop an act, and take your comedy writing to the next level.

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Steve Martin

Steve Martin teaches you everything from finding your comedic voice to nailing your act.

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