BY TARA McCARTHY

Under the gaze of soft lighting, a microphone and guitar sit idle.

Andrea Burgoyne swiftly walks onto the Wood Street Centre stage and breathes life into the instruments and minimal surrounding.

It’s not the first time she strummed a guitar and sang lyrics with engaging honesty – Burgoyne habitually graces the stage at Flippers on Whitewater Wednesday Jam Nights.

But standing solo in front of the silent crowd for the recent Brave New Works Transition/Transformation performance show was a whole new feeling.

“Regularly, I screw up,” Burgoyne says with a laugh. “It doesn’t even matter if I’m comfortable or not.”

Her modesty is refreshing.

Burgoyne opened and closed the show with both a spoken-word piece and original song. The words and lyrics echoed relatable glimpses of heartache and significant simplicity.

Only a few short years ago, Burgoyne experimented with her musical talents after high school – first in a ska band and later through an indie rock outfit. While she admits she misses being a part of a band, she says her recent solo showcase felt good.

“I had a bit of my own work and I knew it was going to be a short piece, so it wouldn’t have to be a whole set. There’s a lot of people in town that play whole sets of their music, but I don’t have enough,” she says.

“So I thought that’d be kind of cool because I only have about three songs I actually play in front of people right now. And it makes me nervous because you don’t have the other dudes around you. It’s good to do things that scare you.”

Originally hailing from Penticton, B.C., she attended school in Vancouver and then lived what she calls “a bit of a transient life.”

Her main focus is on theatre design and tech. For the past seven months, Burgoyne has worked as the theatre intern at the Yukon Arts Centre and that career path usually leads her backstage, rather than on stage.

“It’s odd because I take care of artists all the time up there and it’s weird for you to be the person not organizing the food and the money and the show and the schedules,” she says of her stint as a performer.

“People just tell you to show up. It was a role reversal and really interesting for me.”

Burgoyne has worked on local events like Frostbite and Longest Night.

“What I love is putting the puzzle together. And I think theatre is what I know and what I love to see and be a part of. And the people, I love to work with them.”

Through the internship, she has been rubbing elbows with artist managers, tour managers and tech producers. She says working so closely with them continues to cement her adoration with the industry.

Burgoyne admits she’d love to write more songs, work with young emerging artists, maybe start “a super pop band” and coach a soccer team. Ironically, in the same breath she states the need to pare down her life.

Judging by her enthusiasm, she’s likely to work her way down that ambitious checklist before slowing down any time soon.

PHOTO: MORGAN WHIBLEY morgwhib@gmail.com