On the Couch with Sarah Ward

Sarah Ward_Yana AlanaWho is Sarah Ward?  
A powerhouse singer, cabaret artist and actress. Creator of Yana Alana which was awarded a Helpmann for 2014 cabaret show Between The Cracks.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
Say goodbye to stress, reintroduce yoga, talk less and be more in the moment.

Who inspires you and why?  
No person in particular, but a particular type of person. The type who is brave in the face of fear, who is not afraid to say what they think or hear what others think. Who can act on their convictions rather than just talk about them. The type of person who understands you change the world when you change yourself, who accepts their dark and their light, that sees the complexities in issues and events, that questions things, including the Government, the media, religions, philosophies, science and public opinion. People who treat others with respect, even if they don’t share the same beliefs, people who treat animals and the planet with respect and finally, people who learn to love themselves

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
Exactly what I am doing now. Getting up on the stage singing and sharing a piece of myself with audiences. Offering the personal as universal, reminding people they are not alone in their difference and dysfunctions. All the while being a self-obsessed, histrionic cabaret diva.

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Two places, both I consider home. The coast line and bushland of the Royal National Park starting in the Sutherland Shire and stretching down the coast to Wollongong in NSW and the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria. It’s all about nature for me.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I am now a proud Melbourne Westie, so the first place I take guests is to Yarraville with my partner Bec Matthews. I know many of the shop owners and for me it encapsulates the heart of Melbourne. Community, boutique shops like Village Idiom and Marita’s of Yarraville, great coffee and cake, amazing restaurants, a great art deco cinema called The Sun Theatre, fantastic book shop, second hand shopping, organic and locally produced food and a permanent pop up park.

What are you currently reading?
Sorry I’m not currently reading anything, I’m watching Borgen, which I am absolutely LOVING!

What are you currently listening to?
ABC Classic FM, Adelaide Hall, the Moody Blues (rock song cycle Days of Future Past), Dave Brubeck Jazz Impressions of Eurasia.

Happiness is?
Momentary, so enjoy it while it lasts.

What does the future hold for you?
One thing I’m pretty sure it won’t be 2.3 children, an investment property or a great super fund – not unless my life dramatically changes. But I’m hoping involves a long and healthy career as a performing artist and loving relationships with friends and family. In the near future I have a national tour of Between The Cracks in Sydney, Perth, Adelaide and Tassie, as well as a remount of the live art show Tears Before Bedtime in Melbourne till April. Then I will perform in a play called SHIT written by Patricia Cornelius and Directed by Susie Dee, I know that much.

Sarah Ward is a multi-award winning powerhouse chanteuse and performer. Teetering on the brink of cult status whilst on the verge of a nervous breakdown Yana Alana is the divine and deluded alter ego of Sarah Ward, one of Australia’s fastest rising cabaret stars. Yana Alana’s latest show Between The Cracks, earned her the 2014 Helpmann Award for Best Cabaret Performer and two Green Room Awards for Best Production and Best Cabaret Artiste.

Along with her talented all female band Tha Paranas, Yana Alana has three cabaret shows Bite Me and In Concert (both with 8 Green Room Awards) and a live art show Tears Before Bedtime. Yana Alana and Tha Paranas is cabaret at its very best – incisive, hilarious, confronting, revealing and, most of all, musically divine.

Tears Before Bedtime will be presented at the Northcote Town Hall: 21 – 25 January as part of the Midsumma Festival. For more information, visit: www.darebinarts.com.au/speakeasy or www.midsumma.org.au for details.

Between the Cracks will be presented at the De Parel Spiegeltent, Perth Cultural Centre: 29 January – 3 February as part of Fringe World. For more information, visit: www.fringeworld.com.au for details.

Image: Sarah Ward as Yana Alana – photo by Peter Leslie