Steve Martin is more than just the funny guy with the white hair.
In 2014, the popular stand-up comedian and actor was nominated for a Grammy. And it wasn’t for best comedy album. Martin and his band, The Steep Canyon Rangers, were nominated for one of the newest Grammy Award categories, the award for the Best American Roots Song.
And they won.
An actor transitioning from film and television to music is fairly common today. What makes Martin’s transition so unique is that he’s transitioned from an A-list actor and comedian to a full-time career as one of the most artistically and technically renowned banjo players in the world.
“It’s very hard when an actor goes into music, there’s always this ‘oh right…,’ but I think it’s because a lot of actors don’t want to be musicians, they want to be rock stars. And nobody wants to be a banjo player! If somebody wants to be a banjo player they have to know it’s sincere.” – Steve Martin, 2012 Grammy Awards Red Carpet
His childhood growing up in the heart of Texas inspired his love of bluegrass, and at 17, he picked up the banjo and began to learn by playing along to slowed-down bluegrass records. Even as his stand-up career started to take off, Martin would frequently reference his relatively obscure love of the banjo and always played at least one serious banjo song at every show.
“My body was on the road but my heart was elsewhere.” – Steve Martin, Born Standing Up
While Martin was playing and recording music alongside his acting career for several years, since the late 2000s, Martin’s film career has been at a stand-still while he focuses on his band, The Steep Canyon Rangers.
He says that while he keeps his trove of acting awards in his basement, he’s proud to keep his small collection of Grammys in his living room – a symbol of the pride he takes in his transition to a full-time career doing what he loves.
Just because you have made a career out of one of your talents, doesn’t mean the others have to remain on the backburner. Try to carve out a little time out of your work week to do the other things you love, whether it’s jamming with friends or curating a fashion blog. You never know where your passions might lead you.
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