I saw David Sedaris for the third time back in February.
He is one of my favourite authors and one of the very few authors who always make me laugh. I first saw him at The Opera House, and was back there again this third time, the second time he actually came to Newcastle, which was amazing.
For those that do not know Sedaris - really!?! - he is American, from the mid-west and a very large family, gay and the brother of comedian, Amy Sedaris (the mechanic in The Mandalorian). He writes memoir style essays. He has a very unique way of seeing the world.
If you want to start reading Sedaris, definitely start with The Santa Land Diaries, based around his time as a elf a Macys when he was much younger.
Once he got popular he started backing up his books with these extensive tours. The tours are a mix of him reading from previous books and specifically the book he is touring, along with new material for his next book. You see him on stage with a pencil making notes on the script, what to change. He talks about it in his books. It is always a fabulous evening.
He also loves and I really mean loves meeting his readers after the talk, and when you meet him, it is not small talk, he wants a conversation and he mines these encounters for his books! He is adorable to chat to. Quirky, funny, kind and with a twinkle in his eye.
You don't have to have anything to say, he will get things rolling.
He often gives little presents, and while you are chatting, he draws pictures with coloured sharpies in the book/s you are getting signed. And he will have key topics he is interested in that he asks.
One of his funnier accounts, is he decided to talk about monkeys one night during his signings. He asked a random lady when she last saw a monkey. The lady deadpanned, can you smell it on me? She had been with one earlier that day. You can't make this stuff up he says.
So in true Sedaris crazy, the first 2 times I met him he asked me exactly the same thing. I was with my friends Athena and Linda both times. Athena, like David, is Greek, but Linda is not, but he thought she looked Greek. So he asks me, why are you hanging with these 2 Greek girls? The first time we laughed and continued chatting. The second time I said you asked me that the last time we met, he thought that was hilarious and interesting. Still waiting to see it in print in his book/s, lol.
This time, he was interesting in language and the app everyone seems to be into. Duolingo. I said a spoke a little French but that was it. We also spoke about weird names, Andrew is a high school teacher so he has seen it all, and Sedaris was amused by it all.
Andrew didn't really know him prior to the evening, I had sent him some youtube clips and he liked his sense of humour and his honesty. He had a blast and loved the show. I knew he would, I have never met anyone who didn't like David Sedaris.
The most recent book had a lot of dark subject matter, his father (who he had a fractured relationship with) dying, COVID, cyclones, Black Lives Matter, Gun control etc. Whilst staying respectful, he managed to makes these subjects funny. He spoke about some of them, about language, weird names in kids, punishment of children now compared to when he was a kid, and much more.
He took questions towards the end. I hate these things, it is always some dick who just wants to either suck up or grand stand. They are the worst. So this idiot asks this long winded question basically asking for help to grieve a loved one as he is obviously doing well after losing such a beloved family member. Sedaris, sadonic as ever, was well, I didn't really get along with my father, so I feel much better now he is dead, there was not much grieving at all. I couldn't stop laughing, that showed that idiot! How could he even be there and call himself a fan, if he asked such an idiotic question.
Meeting him, as mentioned, was a delight. We both walked back to the tram feeling lighter and happier. Laughter is always a great thing, and Sedaris gave it to us in spades.
PS, not many pictures, as he doesn't like photography in the event or the signings, so I just snuck one!
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