We recently caught up with Vancouver Comedian Amber Harper-Young to chat about her favourite comics, her best bit and where we can check her out next.
How would you describe your comedy style?
My comedy style is silly, self-deprecating, sometimes dark, and all-times human.
Who are some of your influences?
My 3 sisters/partners influence me a lot; so did the television (basic cable) growing up. Bugs Bunny was probably my favourite comic lol, alongside SNL cast members: Rachel Drach, Will Ferrel, Chris Farley, Adam Sandler, and Molly Shannon. In Living Colour/Mad TV cast: Bobby Lee, Mike MacDonald, Jamie Fox, Jim Carey, Keenan Ivory Wayans, Keegan Micheal Key etc. And Canadian shows like The Tom Green Show, The Jon Dore Show and Rick Mercer Report.
Who was your favourite comedian growing up?
Steven Wright was the 1st comic I ever saw live, it was amazing. Other stand-up comics I love, who’ve affected me are Joan Rivers, Ellen, Norm MacDonald, Sara Silverman, Mitch Hedberg, Rosanne, Eddie Murphy, Lucile Ball, Rory Scovel Steve Martin and Hannah Gadsby.
Who is your favourite comedian now?
Tig Notaro is my favourite comedian now.
What is your pre-show ritual?
If I have time I do yoga before heading to a show(s). Onstage I become conscious of my breath when nerves hit. And in the wings before the stage, I love to do this grounding visual mediation that helps me focus and relax but also energizes/aligns me with the moment and the audience’s vibration.
What is your favourite place you have performed? Why?
Recently I performed in a show at Comedy Bar in Toronto, it was Frontline workers themed. The audience and I connected on a level I haven’t yet reached on a regular basis. I’ve worked peer support in the DTES for the last 5 years and this audience understood my experiences on a, “Ho notha level” it was mind-blowing. It’s also the same stage I did my first set ever on, so it’s forever in my heart. The only other comparable venues Vancouverwise would be the recently demolished, Little Mountain Gallery (where I luckily got to record my album) Also the closed Yuk Yuks on Cambie where I was first signed as a professional comic, I had a bunch of great memories there.
What is your favourite bit you have written and why were you proud of it?
The best bit that I am most proud of is one where I share my experiences of responding to overdoses at work, in the bit, I also inform people on how to check on people who are using substances in their community
What is your favourite medium for listening or finding new comics/comedians?
The best way to experience finding new comics, for me, is always live! Either while they’re on a show you’re on or even better in a new city or venue you’re exploring, that’s the best feeling, adventuring!
Do you have anything to promote right now?
Recently Released Debut Album (EP), Drenched
Where can we follow you?
PAY IT FORWARD: Who is another local comic/comedian we should know about?
A local comic I always see working hard, that I also find funny is Danika Thibault. She’s very herself, refreshing and smart.