I just spent two evenings in a row at the lovely Hill Auditorium here in Ann Arbor. I don't take nearly enough advantage of the fact that there is a constant stream of cultural events here in and around the university, but I think I've done my share this week. Wednesday night, I went to see my friend Maggie -- who is a senior voice performance major -- sing in a chorale concert. Truth be told, I saw half the show -- the half that she was in! -- because the peeps I went with and I decided to get enchiladas at Sabor Latino during the orchestral part and pop in after intermission. For someone who was raised on classical music, I have to say I'm not good at sitting listening to an orchestra. I need something to look at. Like a book or knitting.
We sat right up in the front section for the chorale performance, which was basically a half hour mass. Beautiful, but again, probably five or ten minutes of mass is plenty for this heathen.
The next night we returned to Hill -- in much further away seats, mind you -- to see David Sedaris read. He decided not to read from his new book, but to treat us to some new and unpublished work which was, as would be expected, fantastic and very funny. I love the insider-y feeling of hearing his new stuff, especially that still in progress.
I love the fact that the pulls a little notebook out of his pocket and jots down notes, which I imagine are about what works and what doesn't, for when he (by his own admission) goes back to his hotel room and reworks the pieces. It makes the audience feel like part of the writing process, which is nice. I've been feeling lately just how lonely and isolating the writing process can be and I imagine letting other people in has to alleviate some of that.
I also love that Sedaris is so generous with his time after the readings to meet with his fans. I've seen him several times and I haven't ever lined up to have him sign a book or have a minute of chat with him but I've watched him do it. And it's amazing how accessible he is, how real he is with people, how much he appreciates his readers. If I ever get any readers, I'm gonna appreciate the HELL out of them too.