Last night my daughter, Sarah, and I attended a reading by David Sedaris at the Long Center For the Performing Arts in Austin, Texas. This is the third time we have seen him read in Austin. It has become a yearly tradition for us. David Sedaris is my favorite author. I love his insightful observations of our culture and his masterful descriptions that allow me to see everyday events from a new perspective. Well, that and his writing makes me laugh out loud.
Austin has been a stop on David's book tour for many years. He has outgrown smaller venues and last night's performance at the Long Center For the Performing Arts was sold out. The announcer introduced David by sharing a conversation that they had before the show. Several years ago, after out growing the Paramount Theater, David's reading was booked into a large church in Austin. (This is Texas people, the churches are HUGE!) The crowd in the Long Center chuckled at the idea of David Sedaris, who is known for stretching the limits of acceptable conversational topics, performing in a religious environment. David told the announcer that he had toned down his performance out of respect for the location. To which the announcer reminded him that he had said "cocksucker" four times!
My favorite part of hearing David Sedaris read is when he shares entries from his diary. Last night was no exception. He manages to make a story about waiting in line for coffee not only hilarious, but a reflection of our society. The YouTube clip below is David reading a different selection from his diary on Late Night with David Letterman.
Can you imagine reading for a crowd this size? Four tiers of seating and by showtime there were only a few empty seats. We laughed at all the right places and applauded vigorously. I'm not sure of the capacity of the Long Center, but it is well over a thousand people. David signed books both before and after the reading...there was a long, long line.
This is big time success, but his travel schedule is grueling, a different city every night. A lot of rewards, but a lot of work too. I can't wait to hear him again next year.