Cottage Bistro, 4470 Main Street, Vancouver, BC
Show: 8-10 PM
Tickets: $10 at the door (cash only) Facebook Event
What people have said about Say Wha?!
“At $10 at the door, Say Wha?! is a steal for a great night out.” – VanCityBuzz
“But is it real comedy? It most certainly is. People love to laugh and there are many routes to arrive at that destination. Is it traditional? It most certainly is not. It’s not what the average person envisions when they think of comedy. But regular shows would kill for these kinds of laughs.” – The Georgia Straight
“I like it when the definition of “theatre” gets stretched. That’s what Sara Bynoe’s doing…I gut laughed the whole evening. So did the rest of the audience. It was a full house. It always is.” – TJ Dawe
A friend of mine just taught me about Googling myself. Yes, I’ve done it and you probably have too! What I didn’t know that my similarly ego-driven friend taught me is that you can search for items from the last 24 hours, week or month. Wowza! It’s so much better than the regular Google search. How did I live this long and not know this?
So, I was searching with the hopes that I could see Say Wha?! covered in blogs world wide when I came across this little posting about my ‘career.’ I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
For anyone who’s ever wondered about the transcultural potential of teen angst, they would certainly need to talk to Sara Bynoe . Although it would be a stretch to say that she’s made a career out of it, she has made it part of a long career of very interesting pieces of projects.(1) All together, they create an image of what might be a great comic talent lurking in the world.(2) Based in Canada, she travels all over the world, (3) with some very exciting projects, and all of them are unusual.
Some are plays, some are projects, and all of them feel sort of like what the most incredibly talented people might do after the rave is over. It’s not pretentious enough to be termed post-post-melancholic, or even hyper-ironic, but it does have traces of the smartest art that is still able to maintain its comedic edges. (4)
One of the most eye and ear-catching of her projects is a poetry review called Teen Angst . It’s a pretty brilliant little idea, and one with lots of room for wild and radical collaborations from everyone who was ever young and wearing too many black clothes. When it came to London last year, it was a moment where cultures across oceans could come together and commiserate on how bad love can be. (5)
This city is, of course, no stranger to the sentiment. Even though it’s got hundreds of years on North America in terms of a history of people speaking English, the sounds are still very much the same. There are some differences, and it might come down to the same differences between their versions of English that keep some people confused, and some people charmed. For anyone who’s ever spent too much time in a hotel, London is a great place to be any time. And when it comes to teen angst, one could stay in and ruminate over lost love, or hit the streets and do the same, because misery loves company, and it’s even better when it starts to turn funny. (6)
Footnotes by Sara Bynoe
1- Really? I’ve had a long career? I have a career? This counts? Oh thank goodness! Oh, I also thought I was still young-ish.
2- I’ll ignore the ‘might be’ because I certainly am lurking -waiting for my moment to ambush the world. Or more appropriately I’m clawing at the door to get in! World, when will you see me as the great comedic genius that I think I am behind closed doors!?
3- Sure, if you think of all the world as Canada, Seattle, LA, NYC and London then yes. Also note: I’ve traveled more extensively than that, I just haven’t performed elsewhere …. yet. (For bookings please contact my agent).
4- That’s what I’ve been aspiring to do – the smartest art. Which is to day the ‘art’ that I create seems to have no genre except to say it’s awesomesauce and makes people smile.
5- I did eight Teen Angst readings during my year in London. I really wonder which one this woman was at. Book Club Boutique?Latitude?The dodgy little pub by London Bridge where that woman sang a song with the line ‘maggot filled corpse of death?’
6- Yes! This is exactly what I want people to take from Teen Angst. Feel sad, then laugh about it later.
Thank you Laura, whomever you are for your time and critique of my career. My ego really enjoys the validation. Especially because it means more coming from you, a dweller in that world across the pond, than it would coming from any lowly Canadian. Cheers!
Last year CBC had a Teen Angst contest for Canada Reads their annual literature competition between books chosen by well-known Canadian personalities.
These were the contest rules:
You can either write up a short description of one of your worst teenage moments. Or you can send in a diary entry from those years, with a little explanation if required.
The rules are simple:
-The judges will be looking for humour – even if the situation felt tragic at the time.
-The story or diary entry has to be your own.
-Maximum 250 words.
How could I not enter? I have to live up to my title as the Teen Angst Queen, after all. Honestly I didn’t think I’d win, but woohoo!
I was proudly walking to school with my best friend in my newest outfit from Value Village: camouflage pants, army boots, and 70s pajama top which perfectly complimented my faded purple hair which was clipped back with plastic ‘Days of the Week’ barrettes (Tuesday and Saturday). My punk-patched backpack was slung over one shoulder, as both would have just been l-a-m-e. Oh yeah, it was 1993.
Across the street from us was a gang of older yuppie kids we knew as, ‘The Flava.’ This was a name they had given themselves: sometimes they went as ‘The Flava posse,’ ‘The Flava Crew’ or just ‘The Posse.’ They wore baggy jeans and drove around suburban Calgary in shiny black trucks pumping early 90s hip-hop. These high school boys liked to call me and my friend, who were in jr. high, “The Dirties,” and in, “You’re such a dirty grunge rocker.” (Not the dirrty which Christina Aguilera later sung about in the early 00’s.) Sometimes they called us ‘dirty girls’ or ‘dirty punks’ or ‘dirty skids’ and one time, they raised a hand and uttered, ‘Yuck to you.’
We had walked a block away from The Flava when they pulled up beside us, rolled down their window, shouted, “Nice Pants Dirty!” then they threw an egg which hit me in the chest completely ruining my new vintage find. That night I cried and wrote a bad poem but I’ve never been able to wear camouflage since.
A few months ago I went to a workshop. It was one of those build your career, find your edge, life and career workshops for entertainment industry people. The coach was from L.A. and has been doing this for far too many years, at least that’s what I got from her auto pilot ramblings over the two day workshop. I had decided to go because a good friend highly recommended it and I wanted to kick start my career and get help marketing myself as a creative package – which seemed to be the point of the workshop.
The first day the ‘career coach’ -whose shirt was inside out until our break when someone pointed it out to her- and I did not click. When I told her I was an actor who just got an MA in creative writing and was writing a novel she said, “actors don’t write novels.” (She also later told me that I needed to get a better haircut.)
Coming from a woman who said she’d be our personal champion and wanted to inspire us to have the personal and professional careers of our dreams, I felt this was very limiting statement- the one about actors not being writers. For the rest of the day I was guarded and cynical about her ‘advice’ which mostly consisted of stories about how she’s friends with John Travolta and was in the first Broadway production of a famous musical.
However this experience did get me thinking – am I totally off my rocker wanting to do both writing AND acting? The answer: Hells No! And to prove my point here’s a list of actors who also write and do other amazing things and do them well -not like Ethan Hawke whose novel got panned by critics.
Stephen Fry – This man does everything! He’s played Oscar Wilde. Hosted the quiz show QI. He’s done theatre – he’s even hosted the BAFTAs. He’s written four novels, an autobiography, non-fiction books AND he writes a weekly tech column for TheGuardian. He is the epitome of a Renaissance man. Don’t try to tell this man that actors don’t write novels, host radio shows or travel America in a black cab.
Hugh Laurie – The comedy partner of Stephen Fry has recently come to great acclaim in the US playing the lead on House. Before his television success Laurie appeared on the Blackadder, in mulitple films, and wrote a BEST SELLING novel. Apparently he’s written a second one but the publication date has been held back. He has a band and oh, he’s won a SAG and Golden Globe award.
Amy Sedaris – Sister of the humorist David Sedaris (who is a fine writer/performer himself), Amy has created a TV Series, co-written several plays, worked as a sketch comedian, done voice over and she has her own baking company out of her apartment. Don’t try to put Amy in a corner by saying actors can’t write, voice or bake!
James Franco – This future boyfriend of mine just got an MFA from Columbia University’s Writing Program (see- we’d have lots to talk about on our first date being fellow Masters). James dropped out of UCLA (English Major) to study acting and got his break shortly after in a role on Freaks and Geeks. Since then he’s appeared in several high profile flicks like Spiderman playing Spidy’s BFF. He’s done hilarious work with Funny or Die and apparently he’s going to Yale this fall to get a PhD in English. A Ph-fricking-D! Booya!
Miranda July- Although she puts most of her work under the umbrella of Performance Art, Miranda July is an accomplished performer and writer. Her short stories have been published in the Paris Review, The New Yorker, and Timothy McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. She wrote, directed and acted in her first film You Me and Everyone We Know which won the Caméra d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. She’s a musician whose music was released on Kill Rock Stars. Basically there is nothing this woman can’t do. She hasn’t even had a day job since she was 23!
The list goes on. Essentially all comedians are actor/writer since they write their own material. Look at Tina Fey! A few members of the Office ensemble cast are also writers for the show! And then there’s the biggest actor/ writer of them all Shakespeare! I learned a lot from this workshop and the limiting statement Mrs Wannabe-Tony-Robins made. Mostly I’ve learned that I should spend my money more wisely.
NOTE: If you want to know who the woman was that taught this terrible workshop please e-mail me. I’m not about to stoop to internet slander.