Where else in Vancouver can you find a table tennis demo from US Open champion, three-year-old singing dynamo and an Australian Vanguard of Vaudeville…all in the same night? Why, Paul Anthony’s Talent Time of course. The city’s most bizarre, memorable and unique talent show is celebrating its fifth year anniversary on the February 6th.
For those unfamiliar with the show, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month, it’s the creation of Anthony, a local actor and comedian. It usually follows a theme – slumber party, Wayne’s World – and features acts you likely won’t see together all on the same bill. Anthony commits a lot of his time searching talent contests across the Lower Mainland, community events and occasionally Craigslist to find people with a flair that’s unusual, intriguing or downright strange. And while the talent often varies (wildly) there are a few consistencies to Talent Time.
1. The host
Anthony started Talent Time with simple intentions.
“I just wanted to put on a show that I wanted to see,” he says. “I wanted to put things that shouldn’t belong on the same stage together, on the same show. Placement and the way things fit together is a huge part of it.” When he’s not scrambling to put together the show, he works as an actor. He’s had roles in films like Battle in Seattle, Blade: Trinity and the vampire flick Suck.
2. The venue
The Biltmore has been the permanent home to Talent Time for the past five years. In fact, it first started around the same time the venue first opened. It’s still one of the only regular shows that still has the same time slot at the venue, half a decade later.
3. The house band (though not the players)
While the musicians are constantly changing, Talent Time’s house band has been a consistent fixture at the show. The core group consists Malcolm Holt (the Gay 90’s/formerly of Fake Shark Real Zombie), Louis Wu (current member of Hot Hot heat) and Parker Bossley (the Gay 90’s/formerly of Fake Shark Real Zombie).
4. The cover change piñata
A popular segment at every show, the cover change piñata is exactly that – a piñata filled with change from the door. An audience member is blindfolded and gets to swing at it and then once it’s busted, the audience scrambles to pick up as much change as possible. (Fun aside: The woman who used to make the piñatas Meaghan Kennedy, went on to start her own business where she makes piñatas in anyone’s likeness. Her creations have been featured everywhere from Breakfast Television to the Ellen DeGeneres Show.)
5. The volunteers
The show is produced exclusively by a team of volunteers. From the lighting, stage design and the performers, everyone involved in the production is there out of the kindness of their heart.
Talent Time takes place at the Biltmore Cabaret, 2755 Prince Edward St.
Doors are at 8 p.m., show starts at 9 p.m. sharp. Cover is $8.