Toronto Observations – Part 2

I’m still alive in the big smoke! And I’m no longer living with cats!! I’m so excited to not have hair all over my clothing or being woken up by random mewing. Although it was really cute when the scaredy cat finally warmed up to me (before she decided to sleep on my chest every night).

So, what’s been going on?

Well, I was hanging out in Trinity Bellwoods Park, as all semi-employed artists do, and a butterfly landed on me. Then it flew away. Then it flew back and landed on me again. This happened two more times. Basically, it was my longest relationship in years.

Plus, it means good luck, right? Or is that getting pooped on by a bird, because that happened too.

One thing I’ve noticed about Toronto is there are a heck of a lot of psychics with storefront businesses. I haven’t looked into this too much but it’s kinda neat. Mostly in the sense that so many of them can pay their rent. Then again, they could be the Toronto equivalent to Vancouver’s ‘late night massage parlours.’

I was lucky enough to go to a TIFF screening of Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s new film – the guy that did Dazed and Confused and those Ethan Hawk walking around Europe movies. Check out the trailor for it here. It’s a great film. Great meaning I balled my eyes out at the end.

Here’s my real observation. Segways are to Toronto what unicycles are to Vancouver. They haunt me and apparently, I’m the only one of my friends here that sees these things all the freakin’ time!

Now, how are you doing?

Toronto Observations

I’ve been living in Toronto for a month now and I’ve noticed some things.

Drying your clothes through electrocution seems to be a viable option.

 

Some people really care about fashion here and some … not so much. These sandals win the award for the ugliest footwear I’ve ever seen.

 

The streets are dangerous – I was run off the sidewalk by this gang.

But every now and then I’ll see something that reminds me of home. Note the toe shoes.

On the upside, I haven’t seen one unicycle.

Hell of a Girl – Jeff Gladstone

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Jeff Gladstone is a pretty amazing performer and artist. He’s a fantastic improvisor, a terrific actor, a musician and he’s known for being a bit of a flirt. I’m going to his CD release this Saturday and you should too. It’s going to be the most theatrical CD release you’ve ever been to. Here’s info for ya:

HELL OF A GIRL: The Release

Saturday, April 19th
The Rio Theatre, 1660 East Broadway, Vancouver MAP
Doors: 8:00pm
Show: 8:30pm

Tickets: RioTheatreTickets.ca
In Advance: $17 (includes CD), $12 (ticket only)
At The Door: $20 (includes CD), $15 (ticket only)

Vancouver actor and musician Jeff Gladstone will collaborate with over 30 local musicians, including The Bad Ideas and the Kingsgate Chorus, to bring his debut album ‘Hell Of A Girl’ to life on April 19th at the Rio Theatre.

Described as part Cowboy Opera, part Film Noir, and part Moulin Rouge the production, inspired by the myth of Orpheus & Eurydice, is guaranteed to be the most unique CD release performance of 2014.

“They’re like shaky junkie tunes, like you might leap off the stage and attack us.”
- Al Willows, actor & drummer

The show will feature Todd Biffard on drums (Maria In The Shower), Steve Charles on guitar (Viper Central, Chelsea Hotel), Bonnie Northgraves (Jen Hodge All Stars) and special guests Bruce Horak (Assassinating Thomson), Onalea Gilbertson (One Yellow Rabbit), Kelly Haigh and The Murderbirds, and The Kingsgate Chorus.

‘Hell Of A Girl’, funded in part by a Kickstarter campaign, was written by Jeff Gladstone and produced by Terra Hazelton (Jeff Healey’s Jazz Wizards, FUBAR II). It features some of the most talented musicians in Toronto’s jazz scene including Drew Jurecka, Sophia Perlman, Richard Whiteman, Nathan Hiltz, Sly Juhas, Rachel Pomedli, Tim Hamel, Jay Danley and James Thomson.

Prior to embarking on his musical career Jeff Gladstone was nominated for Jessie Richardson awards for writing and acting and for a Canadian Comedy Award.

more at www.jeffgladstone.ca

PuSh Festival Sunday Roast

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Early this year I was asked by Minna Schendlinger, the Managing Director of the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival, to MC a roast she was organizing for the 10 year anniversary. I was thrilled to be asked and so very nervous to do it. Those of you who know me, know I’ve worked for the festival for the last 5 years in some facet or another. It’s a festival very dear to me.

The event took place last Sunday, January 19. I had a lot of fun, despite the hours of fretting I put in wondering if I was too mean or not mean enough.

For those of you who are interested here are my script notes for the evening. I’m sure I said things a little differently, but this is the gist.

TAKING THE PISS OUT OF PUSH

Hi, I’m Sara Bynoe and I will be your host for this evening’s Sunday Roast. Before I begin I’d like to make one thing clear– No! we will not be serving Yorkshire puddings or roast beef.

A roast is an event, in which an individual (or organization) is subjected to a public presentation of comedic insults, praise, outlandish true and untrue stories, and heartwarming tributes as a mock counter to a toast.

It’s a Sunday Roast because it happens to fall on a Sunday. If you don’t get that cheeky wordplay/joke , we are in big trouble.

This evening we are here celebrate the tenth anniversary of the PuSh festival by taking the piss out of PuSh.

Now many of you might be asking yourself who the fuck am I? Well, I’m here because Charlie Demers was unavailable. Also, because we all know CTV anchors make worst hosts for live events – but they look so darn pretty while they read … from… their … scripts (awkward fake smile).

Seriously, it’s my honour to be your MC this evening. I’ve been involved with the PuSh festival for the last few years. I assisted Theatre Replacement in casting 100% Vancouver or as I liked to call it the search for a 60-year-old unmarried Indian man who and speaks Cantonese and lives in Shaughnessy. I also produced the opening galas in 2012 and 2013 – also known as the fun ones.

Honestly though, as far as PuSh is concerned it’s my job to be the last person on the dance floor of every party. It’s strange, as much as PuSh supports dance, they rarely participate in it. Guys, I’m not getting any younger. It’s time for me to pass the torch! I know, I know, the SFU kids are working on it, but they’re still in “process.”

I think the real reason I’m here is that I’m also a host and comedic performer about town. I am always taking the piss out of things. Screw it, I’m also a shameless promoter so I’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about two shows I’ve been running in this city for many years. The first is a confessional comedic storytelling event called Teen Angst Night where adults read from their teenage diaries and the second is my monthly comedy show Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciously Rotten Writing a show where funny people read from the worst books ever published. They’re so edgy Norman Armour has never been to either one.

I’ve been a fan of the PuSh Festival since my formative years, growing up in Calgary when it was the High Performance Rodeo. Congrats to One Yellow Rabbit for celebrating its 28th annual HPR. PuSh is the largest January interdisciplinary international arts festival in Western Canada? You mean, west of the Rockies, right? Because I know at least 1/3 of the programming is shared with the HPR.

Yeah, that’s right. I said it. It’s called the PuSh Festival Roast – We’re going to cross the line tonight.

What is PuSh? Besides a typographic nightmare? –  P for Pretentious, capital S for bullShit.

What if I told you could see grown men get naked and throw their shoes at each other, then fight and get so sweaty that they wipe themselves off with the Dance Centre’s curtains. What if I told you that’s art?

What if I told you would pay $45 to be blindfolded and have a stranger lead you around the city, and get you to molest buildings and bushes?

What if I told you that people actually like to watch modern dance?

What if I told you the most amazing performance piece you’ve ever seen was it town and you MUST GO AND SEE IT – only … it’s sold out.

Would you believe there would be a five minute speech before every show thanking sponsors and donors and then a huge ask for money from an audience full of underpaid unemployed artists.

That’s PuSh.

In the dark, dark, dark, cloudy, grey, depressing, mildewed, leaky condo, bedbug infested pioneer village that pretends to be a world-class city that we live in there is a festival that intrigues the arts community and confuses the hockey-rioting people of Surrey.

PuSh is an opportunity to see Vancouver theatre legends get drunk in this very room.

Ok, enough of me. It’s time for me to hand over the roast.

Look up here – see the few brave souls who are ready to roast our beloved PuSh.

You might be thinking, “Hey! There are only two women on that stage and everyone is white.” Relax, it’s just a representation of this year’s programming.

I love PuSh. Lots of great shows in the next few weeks. Make sure you see something. Seriously, I’m seeing a lot. Just check my Twitter feed or ask me for recommendations.

Sunday Roast

Paper Mask Day!

My talented artist and designer friend Sasa was in Vancouver briefly and I got to live out a fantasy – being a model for his Paperal project. Here are some of the results from the photo shoot with Sasa and photographer Kathryn Mussallem.

These are just my photos from the day. I cannot wait until Kathryn does her magic on her pics. Thanks to everyone who came out to model!

If you enjoy this project please ‘like’ this project on Facebook.
Check out my Vine or Kathryn’s Instagram Videos 1 and 2.

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Beautiful Noses

Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand

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Kat Dennings

I have a noticeable nose. I’ve written about it before.

It’s something I sometimes feel insecure about. Sometimes I wonder if it turns people off me, or the reason I don’t book acting parts, or the reason why the guy I like doesn’t like me back.

Yet, people rarely comment on my nose- a least they don’t to my face. People are more likely to comment on my eyes, smile, or dimples. I’m ashamed to say how often I think about my nose. I have learned to tollerate looking at pictures or videos of my profile.

Thankfully, I recently stumbled across this tumblr - F*ck Yeah Big Noses. It’s amazing. There are so many beautiful noses on this site.  Pictures of real people, with their real noses, who feel the same feelings I do about their noses, and they are accepting themselves.

I was scrolling through the images and thought, if I can think these noses are beautiful, then I can think mine is too.

I’m still working on it… and it’s getting easier. Thanks, F*ck Yeah Big Noses.

I think my nose looks good in this sailor suit.

I think my nose looks good in this sailor suit.

Also, I’m pretty sure that if I ever did get a nose job I’d fall into the same category as Ashlee Simpson and Jennifer Grey: completely unrecognizable.

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All The Ways I’m Turning Into My Father

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* Sometimes I eat chips and salsa for dinner.

* I get annoyed when people don’t obey traffic laws. “That’s why the good lord invented signals  - you twit!”

* I use my bicycle bell like my dad uses his car horn.

* I phone my family (and friends that I consider family) every week.

* My excuse for buying high-priced good-quality items is that is’s a good investment. It’ll last longer than the cheaper alternatives.

Happy Father’s Day!

I have one of the best, most supportive, generous, caring father’s a girl in the arts could ever hope for. Also, he used to have a sweet moustache that I bugged him to shave for years. Dad, I’m sorry about that.

Grandmere

You might have noticed that I cancelled the 50 Shades of Say Wha?! show (scheduled for March 11). That’s because my grandmere passed away last Friday and I’m out in the Okanagan visiting my family.

She passed away two days before her 90th birthday and as much as we miss her, we know she lived a good long life. While celebrating her life we’ve raised a glass and made her famous Welsh cakes (see photos below).

She really was an incredible woman; she modeled, sang on the radio, hosted Romper Room, was a community leader who spoke three languages,  and she designed and general contracted three homes she lived in. She was an inspiration.

You might be interested in my Instagram feed for photos of her life and the stuff I’ve uncovered from her home: a make-up box from her time working for CKDA Radio, and Christmas catalogues from Eaton’s circa 1974 and 1975 are among my favorite things so far. There’s more to come.

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