Meet My New “Mentor”: David Sedaris

I had been in line for over ninety minutes. In this time I could have gone to a movie, but I needed to meet the man who made me laugh harder in just two hours than I have in an entire month.

There’s no doubt about it, if you thought David Sedaris was hilarious in print, you really need to hear him read live. His reading is not the dry sleep-inducing “class participation” professors often force you to engage in, but almost a stand-up comedy routine. Whether he’s reading fractured fables with very anthropomorphic animals or just pages out of his diary (which are just as well written and side splitting as his full essays) you hear a full variety of laughs throughout Lisner Auditorium.

Sedaris knows how to time a joke, but just because he’s a master of his craft does not mean he’s lost his humility. He knows how to answer audience questions ranging from “Have you ever drank breast milk?” (there was a relevance to this question believe it or not) to the nasty “What do you think about health care?” (Don’t you ever wish they would ban audience Q&As?).

Even after that annoying Q&A period, we were still hungry for more, and that is why I stood in line with all the rest of the NPR listeners and Capitol Hill staffers (it was amazing how few students were actually in the auditorium) to get my book signed and hear what the ever personable Sedaris had to say to me.

Maybe if you ever see me around the English department offices you will notice that I have an odd obsession with collecting bizarre animal-themed necklaces. Last night’s weird accessory happened to have an owl on it, which was surprisingly enough what Sedaris and I talked about. He proceeded to sign my book and draw an owl in it all while discussing whether or not I was an actual student here. He was glad to hear I was an English major (of course) and asked if I wrote or just read a lot Jane Austen. I replied I have done a bit both, but the writing did not surpass this blog. Though he did assure me this blog was a very valid form of writing and I should continue with it because I had a very “interesting way of talking.” Encouraged to write by David Sedaris? I couldn’t ask for a better night!

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