Outspoken US comic Sandra Bernhard is inviting Australian audiences into her world once again writes Rachel Quilligan
Comedian and performer Sandra Bernhard’s new show Sandyland is as controversial we’ve come to expect, with an eclectic mix of anecdotes and songs.
“It’s a big one-woman show that covers everything under the sun,” says Bernhard.
“It goes from the topical to the personal, to funny stories about relationships in showbiz and my travels— some stories are fictional and some are true. It’s just a mashup, and it’s interwoven with the songs.”
Inspired by the quirky and compelling elements of modern culture and everyday life, Bernhard says she tries to add her own twist.
“It’s just what interests me as a person artistically, the things that are off-beat and odd, the nuances that make people interesting and life tick,” she says. “Those are the things that inspire me.”
Bernhard has had a varied career, including starring in the 1983 film The King of Comedy and playing one of the first openly gay characters on American television in 90s sitcom Roseanne, but says performing live is the most fulfilling.
“You really need both [screen and stage work] to have an eclectic and varied career,” she says.
“It’s just great to do it all. Writing and doing my work and continuing to be inspired to do new work all the time is very, very fulfilling.”
Bernhard also has some advice for aspiring comedians. “My most important insight into being a live performer is having a very strong point of view, to know who you are, to know what makes you tick, and to reflect that through your work,” she says. “That takes time. I started performing when I was 18 years old, and does anybody at 18 really know themselves? Probably not, but I still had a viewpoint and I understood what I thought about the world.”
See Sandra Bernhard in Sandyland at the Brisbane Powerhouse on Friday 13 March. For more information see our event guide.