In a city full of buskers and entertainers, there is one that really stands out to us here at TCT Blog. You are most likely to see him in and around Leslieville, a quaint East end neighborhood in the beautiful city of Toronto. Frequenting most notably, Coxwell and Gerrard.
Introducing, the man with the jams – Mr. Wayne Larabee.
In this short, but delightfully entertaining video, we meet Dylan Harman on his show “Chillin’ with Dylan”. A local to the East end ‘hoods, Dylan is a young, charismatic, inquisitive and astute interviewer and host who appears frequently in filmmaker/editor/producer Kire Paputts’ videos. Kire creates compact but informative documentaries in and around the city, following East Ends’ eclectic people, places, and things it has to offer.
In this part of his series “Chillin’ with Dylan”, Dylan claims that one of his favorite things in the city is busking. So, who better to interview than local East-ender and spirited busker, Wayne Larabee, better known just as “Larabee”.
Kire’s editing in post highlights the comedic, awkward silences between questions and comments – making it feel as if you are there, staring at your feet and scuffing your shoes back and forth on the sidewalk to fill in the long blanks. Though I usually find moments like these awkward, neither Dylan or Larabee seem to feel uncomfortable, and that’s one of the many things that make this duo so charming. Both men are boldly and proudly stepping in to the limelight. I love Kire’s editing style, between takes and questions, he fills in the video with “behind the scenes” footage of Larabee doing stretches in his running shoes, or setting up his street side stage.
“Larabee is an honest musician and all around cool guy” quotes Dylan at the beginning of this short. Now how cool, you ask? Well lets find out what Wayne has to offer.
Filmed on Gerrard St East, just outside of Glen Rhodes United Church, Larabee briefly speaks of the Youtube show he co-hosts “It’s on Me”, focusing on meals that can be made just from ingredients from the local Dollar Tree. The show features an unnamed chef who cooks the meals, as well as some of Larabee’s music and painting pieces. Wayne boasts that he writes his own music and doesn’t do covers. 80’s rock and roll is what seems to inspire him most when writing his own tunes. When he offers to play something, Dylan responds “maybe in a bit”.
After a quick comb through and multiple pumps of his hairspray, Wayne sits down with Dylan on the side lawn of the church. Larabee starts with telling us about busking, and his passion for it is clearly evident. “I love playing my music and I love making people happy” he states.
Wayne tells a story of having had an epiphany at the corner of Coxwell and Gerrard one day while playing some good old rock’n roll. He realized that day that this was something he wants to do and he felt truly in his element. He claims this is one of the coolest things that’s ever happened to him, alongside “having 3 children”.
One of my favorite questions that Dylan asked was if Larabee had ever played outside of a strip club, in which Wayne replies “maybe I should try that” – following there after, his respect for self expression of female entertainers. “What would we do without women?” asks Larabee. Dylan answers “Men”
Cut to another “behind the scenes” view of Dylan dancing (he’s quite skilled I must say), and Wayne on his keyboard, emitting his original tunes and good vibes in to the breeze of a warm summer day in the east end. When Larabee is performing one of his many instruments, his confidence and love for music exudes. You wouldn’t be able to help but stop and enjoy his entertainment when you’re cruising the Gerrard strip.
You’re most likely to find Wayne playing along Coxwell and Gerrard/Coxwell and Danforth. Stop and say hi, listen to his original work, and get to know a little bit more about this spunky, high-spirited and talented artist!
Wayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and would love to hear from you!
Video credit: Kire Paputts