Sunday, October 03, 2010

David Sedaris

I don't usually admire people. Maybe it's cynicism or maybe it's a large ego, but I see the vast majority of celebrities as equals; average people who got lucky.

Yet I found myself in awe of David Sedaris when I saw him perform live on Friday night at Centennial Hall. His way with words was inspiring. His sentences were carefully constructed yet natural, weaved into not-quite-fables that jump and twist yet always feel cohesive.

It was clear that it wasn't just a well-rehearsed routine. While answering audience questions, he was able to produce pure improvised wit. And while reading from his diary—which was kinda like hearing someone read a blog, except one actually worth reading—he still had enough cognitive resources left to simultaneously ponder and write down notes for improvements to future shows. That sort of mental athleticism impresses me far more than any sports star or guitar shredder.

When I met him at the book signing after the show, somehow, within a minute, he had me confessing how much I cried when Willow died. Then he predicted that I'd get a cat soon. So, you know, he's not perfect.

Still, it was nice to admire someone for a change.

7 comments:

Matthew Trevithick said...

He does stories on This American Life all the time. They're really good. He's been on Letterman a few times too :P

Dale said...

I love David Sedaris and had the great pleasure of seeing him and hearing him once too. He's rather brilliant and therefore so are you and I.

Hey Lady! said...

A cat? Really? Until I read that I was all ready to look this dude up and download some of his stuff to read. Now, HELL no...

Just kidding. It's a rare thing when we get older to find people who we admire, and often times it's the way some articulates and presents themselves that we find admirable. It's a tough thing to do, and most people, myself include don't do it well.

Candice said...

I'm a big Sedaris fan, he's fantastic. SO jealous you got to see him talk live!

Forest City Fashionista said...

I've been a fan of his ever since I started seeing his stories in the New Yorker, and have read several of his books. He is genuinely funny without trying to be, and his books are hilarious and moving at the same time. I forgot he was coming to London!

Tatiana said...

I've read his books too, but have never had the pleasure of seeing him live. Lucky duck. And really, cats rule, especially ones that shower with you and eat bananas.

littlest roro. said...

I can't believe a man who has smoked as many cigarettes as he is still able to speak to an audience...