Sean Ryan: Thanks, David Sedaris

Thanks, David Sedaris


I’ve been an entertainer for as long as I can remember. I’ve thrilled audiences world wide with my amazing talents. I’m a multiple Grammy Award winning musician and have received Academy Awards for best director, best original screenplay, as well as best performance by an actor in a leading role. My impeccable comedic timing has brought the house down, while my live music performances have made believers out of the most skeptical critics. Of course these shows were always given before an audience of one; my own reflection staring back at me from the mirror. The best part about performing only for yourself is that you’re assured a standing ovation and even if you’re having an off night, the editing powers of imagination take care of any loose ends.

Balancing the constant touring and production schedules of my pretend dream jobs can be a pain, but when I’m afforded a little time off, I just get plain silly. Random impersonations as I towel off from a hot shower are always fun. You wouldn’t believe how quickly I can move from Al Pacino’s revered Tony Montana to the great Bobby DeNiro as the troubled Travis Bickle. Are you talking to me? Are YOU talking to ME!?! Well say hello to my little friend! Okay, so maybe that’s not so much of a stretch. For some reason the two tend to follow each other in sequential order, but my material is endless and believe me, I’m as versatile as they come. It’s true I’ve got most of the prominent gangster characters down, but more diverse examples of my work aren’t hard to come by. Take for instance my rendition of William Wallace, the legendary Scotsman so adequately portrayed by Mel Gibson in Braveheart. My accent goes in and out, but if your eyes became watery watching Mel bellow for freedom, you should really catch me in the shower some time. Something about rinsing the shampoo from my hair under the running water makes it more believable.

I’m also quite a dancer, rather prolific actually. There’s no telling when the rhythm is going strike and set my hips a’ gyrating. I booty dance in the kitchen while thickening a cream sauce and sashay through the hallways of my apartment when no one is around. And that’s really the emphasis here. I might get a little ballsy and reply in a French accent to one of my wife’s haphazard questions, but I play the dancing close to the chest. Being that my wife loves a good belly laugh, she might grow a new appreciation for my talent if I’d ever let her in on it. The danger is there is a very good chance that she might not ever stop laughing at me, therefore leaving her vulnerable to a diagnosis of some acute mental disorder, which would not only ruin the life of a vibrant young woman, but also our entire family. In addition to that, over the years I’ve achieved a certain familiarity with my adoring fans and spotting her in the crowd might throw me off my game.

The only problem with the way I’ve chosen to spend my solitude is the tendency I have to talk to myself. Not the note to self type of mental conversation that I assume most people practice, but rather the type of communication that involves moving lips and an audible voice and is generally associated with more than one person. This embarrassing little habit can be problematic because it is entirely involuntary. While driving home from work and stopped at a traffic light, I’ll arbitrarily look to the side and find the person in the car next to me staring in my direction wearing a puzzled and slightly frightened look on their face. It’s then that I realize that my mouth is moving and that I’m alone in the car. I’ll quickly begin to bite my lip in effort to distract my viewer into thinking that’s what I was really doing the whole time. I’ve tried to work up the courage to play the mentally insane angle instead, becoming agitated; waving my arms and pounding the steering wheel but each time I instinctively resort to the lip biting. Wireless communication technology has helped make me look a little more normal in situations like these, but still I have a feeling most people get the gist of what’s going on.

Aside from my roadside folly, I thoroughly enjoy the fictitious world that I didn’t have the heart to leave in my adolescence. As a kid, behind the closed doors of my bedroom, I would perform make believe interviews pretending to be someone important. Fake acceptance speeches and posing for imaginary photographs were all part of the usual routine as well. I’m not sure how I’d react if fame and fortune somehow found me now, but I’m actually quite good at being a phony celebrity. So until my wife comes home early and finds me tangoing through the living room, the cumbersome tasks of coping with paparazzi intrusions and jet setting around the world – either on tour with the band or to some exotic film locale – will most definitely continue. The other day when discussing my inspiration to write, my wife asked if when I became a famous author, would I thank David Sedaris? We must have both been laughing a little on the inside, knowing that I already have.


About the Author

Sean Ryan was born in 1978. He has spent years immersing himself in the works of his favorite authors and began writing with fervor and purpose in the fall of 2006. Thanks, David Sedaris is his first published work. He lives in Portland, Oregon with his wife, son and two dogs.