Storytelling at the theater

An evening with David Sedaris

Went with Wendy, Tom and Anne to see David Sedaris speak. We found ourselves dressed more casual than most at the Taft Theater, electronic tickets in hand for an evening of readings, mostly new it seemed.

Aside from the dry wit and sometimes grotesque or bittersweet stories, it was nice to get a peek at the process behind his work during a question and answer session that followed.

His 30 city tour in 31 days allows him to hear the stories and correct alliteration, refining and editing in the evening. He held a pencil in his hand and undoubtedly made markings behind the podium through the set.

The thought of making something “work” on paper as a vocation seemed intriguing.

More remarkable however, is his ability to go off on tangents that provide insight to himself and those around him.

His description of an afternoon with his sister (no, not the one from Strangers with Candy) struck me as particularly poignant. It started off-color, about the etiquette of talking on the phone while in the can, and ended up being a powerful reflection on how we judge actions and each other.

I could try and recount it, but I’m sure the book will be a lot better.