Steve Martin quotes

  • Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Music #Talking #Dancing

  • You have to get comfortable [with your work], you really have to know what you're doing, and it has to be almost boring to you to be able to do it well.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Able #Boring #Wells

  • Thankfully, perseverance is a good substitute for talent.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Perseverance #Talent #Substitutes

  • It [live performance] is just very difficult. Doing an hour, hour and a half of live standup is an endurance test. You almost have to do it every day to stay up on it.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Endurance #Half #Tests

  • Some people have a way with words, and other people...oh, uh, not have way.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Humor #People #Way

  • Home to me is when someone comes up to me and says, "Can I get a selfie?" No. It's where your wife and your family are. It's the emotional place where you feel like you're not away from it.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Home #Emotional #Wife

  • A day without sunshine is like, you know, night.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Funny #Witty #Laughter

  • I did a lot of things when I first started out. In order to be in show business, I juggled, I did magic tricks, cards tricks and I played the banjo.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Order #Magic #Firsts

  • I studied with the Maharishi for many years, and really didn't learn that much. But one thing that he taught me, I'll never forget: 'ALWAYS...' no, wait-- 'NEVER...' no, wait, it was 'ALWAYS carry a litter bag in your car. It doesn't take up much room, and if it gets full, you can toss it out the window.'
    -- Steve Martin

    #Years #Car #Waiting

  • I happened to take a photo, and there was my wife, my dog and my banjo, all in the same shot - and I thought, "Oh, that's like a family portrait right there."
    -- Steve Martin

    #Dog #Wife #Portraits

  • Be so good they can't ignore you.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Funny #Life #Motivational Sports

  • In a strange way, I don't have a job, so I have a lot of time on my hands. When I do work, it might be very concentrated, and it might be months where you're not really doing anything except maybe playing the banjo or writing something. You know, there's a lot of time in the day if you're not working 9 to 5.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Jobs #Writing #Hands

  • Some nights, alone, he thinks of her, and some nights, alone, she thinks of him. Some night these thoughts, separated by miles and time zones, occur at the same objective moment, and Ray and Mirabelle are connected without ever knowing it.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Night #Thinking #Knowing

  • A friend of mine once asked how to make it in show business and I said "Be so good that they can't ignore you." She thought I was being flip but it's true. The challenge is trying to live up to the opportunities given me.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Opportunity #Challenges #Trying

  • Hosting the Oscars is much like making love to a woman. It's something I only get to do when Billy Crystal is out of town.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Funny #Making Love #Oscars

  • I didn't come from a wealthy family. I had no money. Maybe it goes back to naivete which is your greatest asset when you're young. If I was starting in comedy today and if it didn't work the first time, I'd probably quit. But I kept at it, kept at it.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Today #Firsts #Comedy

  • I think I did pretty well, considering I started out with nothing but a bunch of blank paper.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Thinking #Editing

  • Your only guidepost is your own instinct and judicious editing. In my stand-up act I learned that in the first 10 minutes I could say anything and it would get a laugh. Then I'd better deliver. In the movie it's the same thing. You get a lot of laughs when people first sit down and then the story better kick in. Many years in front of an audience, I would hope, give me a sense of what works.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Editing #Years #Giving

  • I was not naturally talented. I didn't sing, dance or act, though working around that minor detail made me inventive.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Dance #Details #Made

  • When I first started doing my stand-up act, I played the banjo, did comedy, magic tricks, juggled, read poetry. I stuck it all in. I didn't know you were supposed to just stand up and tell jokes. Essentially, that's what my act became: those five elements - except I dropped the poetry.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Magic #Elements #Firsts

  • Thankfully, persistence is a great substitute for talent.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Encouraging #Uplifting #Persistence

  • At first I had no skills in writing comedy. I didn't know what a joke was, but, as someone once told me, your emotions follow your intent. If you create the intention of starting a comedy act, slowly your mind starts adjusting and you arrive at a new emotional state.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Emotional #Skills

  • Communication has changed so rapidly in the last 20 years, it's almost impossible to predict what might occur even in the next decade. E-mail, which now sends data hurtling across vast distances at the speed of light, has replaced primitive forms of communication such as smoke signals, which sent data hurtling across vast distances at the speed of light.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Distance #Communication #Impossible

  • I wish I could do a lot of things different. I'm not going to tell you what they are, but if I had a list of all my films right now, I'd go, 'Okay, I'll cross that one out and cross that one out and cross that one out and cross that one out.' Really. But I've made over 40 films. How can I not have some losers in there?
    -- Steve Martin

    #Wish #Different #Lists

  • Writer's block is a fancy term made up by whiners so they can have an excuse to drink alcohol.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Block #Drinking #Alcohol

  • You know, you're really nobody in L.A. unless you live in a house with a really big door
    -- Steve Martin

    #Doors #House #Bigs

  • Writing is something I took up rather than anything I had an inclination toward. I like acting -delivering someone else's message - but writing is more of an accomplishment.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Accomplishment #Acting

  • I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Beautiful #Funny Love #Sex

  • So much emotion can be brought in an animated film that's very hard to get in a live-action film. I haven't quite put my finger on why, but it might be because the characters can make facial expression that, if you made them in a movie, they'd call them corny.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Character #Expression #Might

  • I believe entertainment can aspire to be art, and can become art, but if you set out to make art you're an idiot.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Art #Believe #Creativity

  • I find animated movies very touching. They reach an audience that's hard to get with a live-action film.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Touching #Action #Film

  • I like a woman with a head on her shoulders. I hate necks.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Love #Funny #Witty

  • I think films are about having a good time, so I don't know that there's a message. The message of a film is always what a critic writes, and the fun of a film or the emotion of a film is what the audience feels.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Fun #Writing #Thinking

  • I believe in equality. Equality for everybody. No matter how stupid they are or how superior I am to them.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Stupid #Believe #Equality

  • I would say the three stages of making a film are the initial 'are we gonna do this,' 'how much will I be paid,' is there a lot of nights, who's it going to be with? The second stage of doing a film is how much fun your going to have doing it. The third stage is was the film a hit?
    -- Steve Martin

    #Fun #Night #Three

  • Comedy is not pretty.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Comedy #Not Pretty

  • Whether I'm involved in creating something or not, it's a personal issue of do I respect it. But you can only know that five or ten years later.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Issues #Years #Creating

  • What is comedy? Comedy is the art of making people laugh without making them puke.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Art #Laughing #People

  • I'm not trying to be a big shot or anything like that, but I get my drinks half price.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Trying #Half #Drink

  • Chaos in the midst of chaos isn't funny, but chaos in the midst of order is.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Funny #Order #Chaos

  • I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Originality #Fame #Comic

  • With comedy, you have no place to go but more comedy, so you're never off the hook.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Hook #Comedy

  • I'm trying to think of other ones. Oh, yeah, I'd say - somebody would buy something and we'd say, and because you are our hundredth customer today, you get a free paperback.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Thinking #Trying #Today

  • I'm tired of wasting letters when punctuation will do, period.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Tired #Letters #Punctuation

  • I don't really manage my time. I really just wait until I'm inspired to do something. And when I'm inspired to do something, it just happens.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Waiting #Inspired #Manage

  • Don't have sex man. It leads to kissing and pretty soon you have to start talking to them.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Sex #Funny Relationship #Kissing

  • To me, torture would be, "I can't think what to write in the next sentence. I'm stuck." Torture would be if you didn't have the next idea.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Thinking #Ideas

  • I just downloaded eleven hundred books onto my Kindle, and now I can’t lift it.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Book #Eleven #Hundred

  • I just respected comedians whether they were or they weren't, from, you know, new or old.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Comedian

  • I cringe at backstory. Because it never quite explains or gets into some psychological thing that is never quite right and never quite the truth and who knows why someone is some way.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Way #Psychological

  • I like all kinds of music. I listen to Abigail Washburn, the Punch Brothers, and Marc Johnson, the great clawhammer player. I also listen a lot to Sirius Radio, there's a lot of bluegrass there.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Brother #Player #Radio

  • As much as I remember, I just thought, I want to sing a song that starts normal and ends crazy.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Song #Crazy #Want

  • You know that look that women get when they want to have sex? Me neither.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Sex #Want #Looks

  • I can understand the drug thing. So they feel that it's more important to take the drugs than to do a good show for the people.
    -- Steve Martin

    #People #Drug #Important

  • The greatest thing you can do is surprise yourself.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Surprise

  • I love doing my surreal sing-along that had words that no one could follow.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Surreal

  • How to make a million dollars: First, get a million dollars
    -- Steve Martin

    #Teenage #Firsts #Dollars

  • Working at the magic shop really gave me a sense of comedy because it was all jokes.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Magic #Comedy #Shops

  • The conscious mind is the editor, and the subconscious mind is the writer.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Editors #Mind

  • It's like painting the same blank canvas over and over and over and over and over. Once the concept is known, you don't need to see two. And that was in the back of my head, that I was really done artistically with what I had created or pastiched.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Two #Done #Needs

  • I cannot smell mothballs because it's so difficult to get their little legs apart.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Smell #Littles #Legs

  • I loved magic, and so I would practice my magic tricks in front of a mirror for hours and hours and hours because I was told that you must practice, you must practice and never present a trick before it's ready.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Practice #Mirrors #Magic

  • All of life’s riddles are answered in the movies.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Movie #Riddle

  • Any type of humor can be transferred to the screen, as long as there's clarity. The audience wants to know just what they're supposed to be feeling, when they're supposed to laugh.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Laughing #Long #Feelings

  • A kiss may not be the truth, but it is what we wish were true.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Truth #Kissing #Wish

  • Romance takes place when you first fall in love. It stirs all emotions and you can manipulate and be manipulated.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Falling In Love #Romance #Firsts

  • Always make room for the unexpected in yourself.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Rooms #Crafts #Unexpected

  • I just don't identify myself with a place. I just don't get it. Like, why am I cheering for this town? Towns are good and bad but they don't have principles, constitutions. You wouldn't go to war for your town.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Cheer #War #Towns

  • It's so hard to believe in anything anymore. I mean, it's like, religion, you really can't take it seriously, because it seems so mythological, it seems so arbitrary...but, on the other hand, science is just pure empiricism, and by virtue of its method, it excludes metaphysics. I guess I wouldn't believe in anything anymore if it weren't for my lucky astrology mood watch.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Believe #Mean #Science

  • I never had a movie that I wanted to do turned down in my whole life. I always write the script first so it speaks for itself.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Scripts #Firsts

  • She tried to get even with him through psychological warfare but couldn't, because he didn't care.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Care #Warfare #Psychological

  • Stand-up life is really hard. At one point, I got so paralyzed I could write five screenplays before I could write three jokes for stand-up. Later, I've finally allowed myself to relax quite a bit, to think I can do it because I've done it in the past. The pressure to come up with the material is the same but the anxiety about whether I can do it is gone.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Writing #Past #Thinking

  • My most persistent memory of stand - up is of my mouth being in the present and my mind being in the future: the mouth speaking the line, the body delivering the gesture, while the mind looks back, observing, analyzing, judging, worrying, and then deciding when and what to say next. Enjoyment while performing was rare - enjoyment would have been an indulgent loss of focus that comedy cannot afford.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Memories #Loss #Worry

  • Awards mean nothing to comedians. What matters is the audience, how you're doing - artistically, for the most part - at that moment.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Mean #Awards #What Matters

  • A celebrity is any well-known TV or movie star who looks like he spends more than two hours working on his hair.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Stars #Two #Hair

  • I thought yesterday was the first day of the rest of my life but it turns out today is.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Yesterday #Firsts #Today

  • Performing music is a way to do comedy, but without the obligation to do a solid hour, hour and half of a standup. I could intersperse it with music, so it became a really good format for me.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Half #Way #Comedy

  • If you saw her in these moments, you might think she was collecting her thoughts in order to go forward. But I see it another way: Her mind is being overwhelmed by two processes that must simultaneously proceed at full steam. One is to deal with and live in the present world. The other is to re-experience and mourn something that happened long ago. It is as though her lightness pulls her toward heaven, but the extra gravity around her keeps her earthbound.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Thinking #Order #Two

  • There's no better way to learn something than to learn it in front of an audience. Your terror drives you.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Way #Terror #Audience

  • The banjo is such a happy instrument--you can't play a sad song on the banjo - it always comes out so cheerful.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Song #Play #Cheerful

  • It's horrible for someone to listen to someone learning any instrument - when I was first learning the banjo, I used to have to go out and sit in the car, and even in the summertime I'd have to roll up the windows. Because you just couldn't practice a banjo or a fiddle with other people around. Unless they're being paid.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Practice #People #Car

  • I have found that-- just as in real life--imagination sometimes has to stand in for experience.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Real #Imagination #Sometimes

  • I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Inspirational #Funny #Dog

  • ...it is not the big events that hurt the most but rather the smallest questionable shift in tone at the end of a spoken word that can plow most deeply into the heart.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Hurt #Heart #Tone

  • First the doctor told me the good news: I was going to have a disease named after me.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Inspirational #Funny #Hilarious

  • An apology? Bah! Disgusting! Cowardly! Beneath the dignity of any gentleman, however wrong he might be.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Sorry #Apology #Gentleman

  • Boy, those French: they have a different word for everything!
    -- Steve Martin

    #Funny #Boys #Different

  • I used to smoke marijuana. But I’ll tell you something: I would only smoke it in the late evening. Oh, occasionally the early evening, but usually the late evening – or the mid-evening. Just the early evening, midevening and late evening. Occasionally, early afternoon, early midafternoon, or perhaps the late-midafternoon. Oh, sometimes the early-mid-late-early morning. . . . But never at dusk.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Morning #Marijuana #Afternoon

  • I've got to keep breathing. It'll be my worst business mistake if I don't.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Inspirational #Mistake #Breathing

  • I just believe that the interesting time in a career is pre-success, what shaped things, how did you get to this point.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Believe #Careers #Interesting

  • I did stand-up comedy for 18 years. Ten of those years were spent learning, four years were spent refining, and four years were spent in wild success. I was seeking comic originality, and fame fell on me as a byproduct. The course was more plodding than heroic.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Years #Four #Originality

  • Despite a lack of natural ability, I did have the one element necessary to all early creativity: naïveté, that fabulous quality that keeps you from knowing just how unsuited you are for what you are about to do.
    -- Steve Martin

    #Art #Creativity #Knowing