Whenever people tell me I have a great job because “you get paid for watching movies,” I always correct them — I don’t get paid for watching anything; I get paid for writing about it afterwards.
Now, wanna talk about great jobs, you’re talkin’ David Sedaris. Here’s a guy who turns his daily life into a career. He writes pieces for erudite magazines like the New Yorker, anthologizes them, then gets paid for standing in front of 2,000 adoring fans reading them aloud. Sometimes he doesn’t even have to publish them: At last night’s appearance at the Winspear as part of the DMA’s Arts & Letters Live series, Sedaris spent 20 minutes reading from his diary. Now that’s a plum job.
Of course, it helps that Sedaris’ diary entries are more cogent, funny and insightful than most anything else you’d read in edited periodicals. His style is starchy and prim, but his subject matter rangy — he can recount shopping in an antique store with the same high-mindedness of portraying a Santaland elf at Macy’s. Yes, the reading part is easy; it’s the genius it took to get there that’s hard to come by.