By Gabriel Laubach
VANCOUVER — As much as Princess Diana was the Queen of Hearts, Sara Bynoe is the Queen of the Arts. In the way that Diana brought attention to humanitarian causes and was a bridge between the elite and the less fortunate, Bynoe brings attention to the arts and is a bridge between all different facets of the arts community. She is woman that cannot be pigeon-holed as one dimensional or singularly as an actor, writer, producer or performer; as she embodies all of them. It was spoken into her life at a young age of what she was to become, “I remember when I was 10 years old my mom had kind of like new-agey friends and one of them was a palm reader and she read my palm and she’s like ‘You are gonna be an actor and a writer,’ and I was like ‘Yah! Good, that’s what I wanna be!’” As a teenager growing up in Calgary, Bynoe was involved in the all ages punk-rock community and could be found selling homemade zines at local shows; this was the first public display of her art. When asked what inspires her to perform, Bynoe said that she has always had a voice and that she has wanted to engage people with it; she also likes to be silly. In combining those attributes, you arrive at great the great live shows she’s produced and preformed in such as the Teen Angst Night, Say Wha?!, and Sparkle Bunny: The Last Raver Dancing. The first in the aforementioned list helped put Bynoe on the comedy map, the show has been running for 15 years and even spawned into a well-regarded book, “Teen Angst: A Celebration of Really Bad Poetry.”
The Teen Angst Night was Bynoe’s inaugural step into performance art, the whole idea for the show began when she discovered a binder full to the brim with bad poetry that had belonged to her ex-boyfriend. Her response was to share her own poetry from those emotionally confusing and loathsome years that we have all stumbled our way through. Sure enough, the piece connected with the masses and received a warm reception. The day we spoke with Bynoe she was amidst orchestrating her newest piece, “Novelty Act.” This new show features Bynoe and Riel Hahn exploring comedic performance that is both scripted and spontaneous interaction with the audience; Bynoe essentially put it as “an evening with two funny ladies.” The title “Novelty Act,” arose from a discussion Riel had had with a male comedian friend, “whom is a decent human,” in Bynoe’s words, who curates a stand-up comedy night that rarely books women. When confronted as to why he doesn’t book more than a few women he preceded to state “he wouldn’t book a whole bunch of jugglers on one show,” to which Riel asked, “Are you equating women to novelty acts?”
As Vancouverites we can all agree our city is cold and not only in the temperate sense. Bynoe truly believes, “Vancouver needs more opportunities for people to connect,” and “Novelty Act” strives to create a place for that to happen. Apparently it is not a show for the faint of heart, “If you are someone who is willing to take a risk, that’s what our show is. It’s a little risky, we don’t always know what it’s going to be.” There will be a section called “Question Period,” where audience members will be able to ask any question or advice on anything from deep relationship issues to which way the toilet roll is meant to roll – “it’s over,” Bynoe asserts. So make sure to bring your sense of humor, an open heart and your “party-pants.” With a goal of creating community through comedic performance, Sara Bynoe is a Queen of Arts whose policies have us swearing to the throne. Long live laughter!
You can see Sara Bynoe’s Teen Angst Karaoke Night at Hot Art Wet City on May 5, and Teen Angst Night at Cottage Bistro on May 19.BC, British Columbia, Cottage Bistro, Hot Art Wet City, Sara Bynoe, stand-up comedy, Teen Angst Karaoke Night, Teen Angst Night