Canadian poet Shane Koyczan had his wisdom teeth removed in February, a procedure that left him under the weather and robbed of his voice for a few days. While laying in the chair, he was told it had been an extremely labour-intensive extraction. When the dentist asked Koyczan whether he wanted to keep the extracted pearly white, he was surprised to hear an affirmative answer.
“I told him `My parents gave it to me’,” Koyczan told the Star via email—a comment that perfectly captures the gentle giant ethos he’s been cultivating for years. He was hoping to save his voice in preparation for his upcoming Capitol Theatre performance on Saturday, March 21.
“I’ve played in Nelson a few times over the years and I’ve always had a really good time. The community there feels very appreciative and I’ve always had a warm reception.”
Koyczan’s particularly looking forward to catching a meal with his bass player, Jesse Lee (also known as DJ Rafferty Funksmith).
And though he’s been known to collaborate with other artists and incorporate outside elements into his live shows, he’d like to keep the particulars of his Nelson set to himself.
“I generally don’t like to tell audiences exactly what they’re in for. Expectation can ruin an experience for people. I’ll give the audience in Nelson my very best…that’s all I can offer.”
Koyczan recently completed writing an opera for the Vancouver Opera, which is based on his book Stickboy. This is only one of his current projects.
“I’m really pleased with how it’s turned out and I think I’d like to continue this creative wing-stretching I’ve been doing. I’m currently working on my first feature length film and very excited to see how it all comes together. I’m also contemplating a graphic novel and a children’s book.”
Recently Koyczan collaborated with animators to make anti-bullying viral video To This Day, which has had over 13 millions view on YouTube. He performed a customized version called For the Bullied and the Beautiful to acclaim at the 2013 International TED conference in Long Beach, California. A constant theme throughout his career, bullying is something Koyczan has strong feelings about.
“I think everyone feels like an underdog at some point in their life. Sometimes the odds seem stacked against us and the challenge is too big to face alone. That can be a very isolating experience. I really just want people to remember that there are many others facing those same challenges. That sense of understanding can be a source of great comfort and strength.”
Shane Koyczan’s show is being brought to town by On The Road Productions. It will be held on Saturday, March 21 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $22 for adults and $16.75 for students and seniors.
Tickets are available at capitoltheatre.bc.ca or by phone at 250-352-6363.