Saturday, June 13, 2009

Me Talk Pretty One Day

I went to see David Sedaris at a reading in Victoria at Bolen Books. Here's what happened.

The reading was scheduled to start at 7pm. We got there at 4pm. We had excellent seats, but there was a lot of waiting. And waiting. And waiting. And waiting. He arrived just after 7, and read a story that had been rejected by "This American Life", a work in progress that he thought wasn't quite working, and some entries from his diary. They were all completely hilarious and adorable. After the question period (in which people asked some REALLY STUPID SHIT) we all moved to the signing table at the back of the store. Since we had such great seats for the reading, this meant that we were pretty much at the back of the line for signing.

We waited for 3 hours. 3 HOURS. Things started off okay when we were in the fiction aisle. By the time we reached science fiction, things started to go downhill a little bit. We were all starting to get a little tired and crazy. As we winded our way into the final aisle of toys, we all went mental. Touching everything, playing with puppets, pointing out inappropriate phrases on boxes of toys (for example, a fort building kit that said, "Just add bedsheets for endless fun!").

When I could finally see him, I started to freak out a little bit. I had heard him asking people about what they did for a living. I panicked. What the hell was I going to tell him if he asked me that? I couldn't tell him what I do. I couldn't say that out loud. Not to David Sedaris. Oh crap.

Erin and I decided to work as a team, and went up together. (Read her experience here.) After incorrectly guessing her star sign, he guessed mine:

DS: "Sarah... cancer?"

Me: "YES! Whoa. You're good. How did you know?"

DS: "I lied before. I'm actually very good at these things."

Me: "That's amazing."

DS: "So, Sarah. What do you do?"

*Oh crap. Oh crap. Just say it. Just tell him. Don't freak out. It's the truth.*

Me: "I'm a writer."


DS: "That's great! What sort of things to you write?"

Me: "Well, for money I work in advertising."

DS: "Really? Oh! I have to ask you something. Have you heard of Zack Galifianakis?"

Me: "Yes! I just saw The Hangover last week. He's hilarious."

DS: "Okay. This is so great. Absolut Vodka hired him to create some ads for them. Have you seen them?"

Me: "No! That's crazy."

DS: "He agreed to do it under the condition that they had to use whatever he came up with. They are so bizarre. They're wonderful. So weird. You have to watch them. Here, I'm going to write this down for you. I don't want you to forget!"

Me: "Okay! They already sound awesome."

DS: "Make sure you watch them. It would be interesting to hear what someone in the ad business thinks of them."

Me: "I'll watch them right away! Thanks!"

DS: "Thank you for coming!"


You see, despite the fact that this is not my official job title, writing is a part of what I do. Writing is what I do when I'm NOT at work. Writing is what I do sometimes when I AM at work. I'm a writer. It's what I do. I've always been hesitant to tell people that. I've always felt like I'm not qualified to call myself a writer... but I am. I've never answered the "What do you do?" question that way before. I've never really said it out loud. So it was a big deal for me. Especially since the first time I ever said it was so someone I admire so very, very much.


See? I'll never forget about these videos now:

They are really bizarre and hilarious, by the way. Check them out.

Also, here is my book! (Photo courtesy of Erin.)


brie said...

Amazing! When we saw him a couple of years ago I was last in line because I was undecided about getting anything signed. When I finally got off the fence and in line I was last...until the guy in front of me decided that he wanted to be last and went and stood behind me. What a weirdo. Anyhow, it's such a good experience meeting David Sedaris and doing the signing thing. He makes you feel so special and I can really appreciate that.

Also---your conversation...AMAZING! I'm so glad that you told him that you're a writer. Because you are! And you talked about Zach Galafianakis! Swoon. Totally watched one of those videos since you posted this...The other ones will follow shortly. Thanks!

Craig said...

That is so awesome. I am very jealous that you got to meet him.

You definitely should be glad to tell people that you are a writer. If it's a big part of what you do and you actually have people paying you to do some writing, you're way ahead of a lot of people who call themselves writers.

vancityrockgirl said...

that is super awesome.
well worth the time invested, huh?

i've only waited in a book signing lineup once... it was for michael moore and i think i put in about 6 hours. it was long and i was alone which made it even more boring, but it was so worth it.