Monday, November 4, 2013

Smith vs. Sedaris

Last weekend Sara and I went to see "An Evening with David Sedaris" at the Pabst theater in Milwaukee. If you're not familiar with his work, he's a author that writes mostly about his experiences in life interacting with people, primarily his family. He uses comedy to express himself, unlike what I've been trying to do with this blog, but he does it in such a way that comes across very endearing and intellectual.

It was a rainy and cold night, but we were trying to enjoy ourselves as much as we could given the present circumstances with not only me but what has been going on in our family; it's been a very trying time to say the least. So much so that I've even been having texting sessions with my therapist.

We stayed at the County Clare Bed & Breakfast and had just enjoyed a friday fish fry. I was worried about my stomach, because eating large meals with my medication can cause me to feel ill, if you know what I mean. We drove through the quiet streets of Milwaukee, and when we arrived we found our seats and took in the beauty of the theater.

Once David Sedaris took the stage I tried to really absorb the way he read and how he presented himself on stage. It was interesting because he was constantly making notes without a pause in his reading. I feel like it takes a lot of skill to do this. I mean, he's always working, even when preforming.

I've been talking to Sara about writing and what kinds of benefits that it has brought me. It's fun talking about the blog to her because it's something that I've really come to love. Sedaris said during the Q&A portion of the evening that a writer has to write every day, even if it's just keeping a journal. I'm getting there, I think, but have a long way to go.

Although this blog is mostly about Epilepsy and how I manage my life around my illness, I feel like I could grow, but first I need to expand my willingness to really engage life. I haven't been able to do that in a while.

When I was a photographer, my job was to engage people and get the story, not only visually, but editorially, as well. I mean, it wasn't actually writing articles, but I had to provide the "gist" to my editors. It didn't allow me to be very creative, I left that to my photos, but I had to put myself out there and engage my subjects after the photo had been taken... getting names, dates, quotes, etc.

While sitting here in the apartment, I'm not engaging life. I'm only really getting to know myself. While that sounds positive, you can only look into yourself for so long before you start to nitpick and critique every aspect of your personality.

What Sedaris did after his talk was, not only sign books, but talk to his fans and answer their often quirky questions. Questions I'm sure they hope are unique enough to end up in one of his writings. There were a lot of egos there that night; people who thought they understood him perfectly, when in actuality he could see right through them.

After the talk, Sara and I retired to the Inn and had breakfast the next morning. I felt very tired, like I always do when I sleep outside my own bed, but I didn't forget the feeling I had while watching David Sedaris work, because that's what he was really doing. His writing is fluid, and that's what I took away from that experience and that's the kind of writing I wish to attain in the future.

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