My response to this question depends on who is asking. Since you met me when I was doing comedy I’ll answer from my performer persona.
I’m Sara Bynoe. I’m an actor, writer, producer, host and general ‘who’s that girl’ about town. I run a monthly show called Say Wha?! Readings of Deliciolusly Rotten Writing where I get funny people up onstage to read from the worst books they can find. I’ve also been the force behind a community comedy show called Teen Angst Night, where anyone can get up on stage, the catch is that you have to share embarrassing writing you wrote when you were a teenager. I’m also the Den Mama for the Vancouver Chapter of Dance Dance Party Party – currently on hiatus while I have a contract for the PuSh International Performing Arts Festival Jan 17-Feb 4 in various venues around Vancouver.
What do you do for fun?
For fun I dance, sing, and hang out with friends. I often combine all three by going to karaoke. I also perform, write, produce and act silly on stage for fun.
Other things I think are fun: yoga, pilates, traveling, and dancing. I said that already, didn’t I? I really like dancing.
What is your favourite community? Why?
This is a tough question. I feel a part of so many communities it’s hard to pick just one. Lately I’ve been loving how I can hardly walk down a street in Vancouver with out bumping into anyone I know. So I guess I’ll have to say Vancouver’s performing community. I know so many wonderful people working hard on and for events and their art; be it comedy, theatre, film, dance, writing, music or art. I’m constantly inspired by the endless dedication to creation that is in the city.
What is your superpower?
My superpower is the ability to see projects through to fruition. I don’t feel particularly talented in any art form but my gift lies in dedication and the ability to produce.
For example: In 2000, when I was 19 years old I had the idea for a website that would be the online database of the world’s worst teenage poetry – 11 years, one website, one book, several international gigs and maybe a hundred Canadian shows later I’m still doing it.
How do you use it to build community?
A lot of my superpower is already dedicated to building community, be it through organizing Dance Dance Party Party, growing my connection with the performing and comedy scene or through my audience at Say Wha?! Nights.
I’ve recently added a community element to my shows where I encourage the audience to talk to each other. It’s amazing how people will follow directions if you have a microphone in your hand. The way I see it, why shouldn’t you say hi to people at other tables, you’re at the same small event which means you’re all awesome, therefore you should know each other.
1. She makes reading fun! Not to mention friggin’ hilarious.I absolutely love the powerful simplicity behind Say Wha?! - crappy writing, when read with style, sass, and interspersed-witticisms, begets many laughs from lucky guests. With perfect stage presence, playful unpretentiousness and Jill Barber-ish style (unless, Sara, you aren’t a fan…I’m just saying that you have a wonderful, throw-back fashion sense that jives well with your act) Sara makes us all appreciate good literature while we cringe, squirm and howl at the bad stuff. My lovely wife and special lady, Michelle, doesn’t care too much for comedians; and she absolutely loved Sara’s performance at the Havana Theatre in early January. Because Sara makes reading fun!
2. Organized drive that delivers awesome. I have the highest respect for people who deliver on what they say they’re going to do. And people who set and achieve goals (especially stretch-goals). And people who get results. So, what’s the difference between real entrepreneurs and everybody else? Entrepreneurs do things. Their life is a living laboratory of thinking, testing ideas, revising them, and then testing them again. Seeing Sara perform – and then conversing with her in person and through the Internets afterward – revealed her sparkling possession of such character. And it’s a beautiful thing!
3. Audience participation. Inclusiveness is once of the most important pillars of happy and healthy communities. And whether it’s organizing Dance Dance Parties Parties (right?) or encouraging a talkative audience, Sara gets more – maybe the best – out of myriad Vancouver communities. Hey, Sara, I look forward to bumping into you on the street sooner than later!
- As told by John Horn | masthead image from robholland / flickr