Skip to main content

Toronto Sandra Bernhard confesses: ‘I’ve tapped into my craziness’

Sandra Bernhard performs her one-woman show I Love Being Me, Don’t You? at the Winter Garden Theatre.

Kevin Thomas Garcia

As part of Canadian Music Week (March 19 to 24), the saucy Sandra Bernhard performs her one-woman show I Love Being Me, Don't You? at the Winter Garden Theatre. From the road in Arizona, she spoke to The Globe and Mail about social media, shifting approaches and drug-free craziness.

I've read a few reviews over the years of your performances, including a rave review in The New York Times last year. You're like the Sally Field of one-woman shows. It's like, the critics like you – they really like you.Now more than ever, the fact that somebody has longevity doing live performances is very exciting for a critic. I'm someone who has been consistent at being creative, risk-taking, interesting and entertaining. People appreciate that. So, why wouldn't they support people who continue to do that?

Do you think the appreciation is because of your originality?

Story continues below advertisement

Yes, and again, now more than ever, when everything is so derivative – and not very successfully so. You draw on a lot of different influences and hopefully distill it down into something that's honest and authentic for you and your voice. That's what I've been doing for all these years. That's what keeps people intrigued.

Speaking of all these years, there was a mistake in the Times piece, in which you were reported as being 57 years old.

No, I am. And rapidly approaching 58. I'm fortunate I get to take care of myself in a way that a lot of people don't have the time or resources for. I'm a health advocate. I eat right, I don't smoke and I've never been a drinker.

How about drugs?

No, I've tapped into my craziness on a natural level. So, I've been able to maintain my inner and outer beauty [laughs].

Have you mellowed?

You get beat up along the way. You get to the point where you don't want to fight every battle like you did when you were 20 or 30 or 40. But I certainly have things that I rail at, and I have not lost any of my concern or spark about any of it. But everybody's a critic now, with social media. Everybody's got something to say. So, I've shifted my approach a little bit. I like to think I've risen above the fray now, and I'm approaching things in a more sophisticated way.

Story continues below advertisement

You've talked about your act, including your current show I Love Being Me, Don't You?, as falling under the umbrella of "old-school entertainment." Is that style dying out?

People are on television screaming at each other, and that seems to be people's entertainment. On YouTube you can watch kittens falling out of windows. And with social media, we move so fast and yet we learn nothing and absorb nothing. The whole world is [a freak] show. Thank God people come out to see me on stage.

Sandra Bernhard performs at the Winter Garden Theatre, 189 Yonge St., March 22, 9 p.m. $44.50 to $54.50, ticketmaster.ca. For full information on Canadian Music Week (including Film Fest, the Canadian International Comedyfest and Canadian Musicfest): CMW.net.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter