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Mental As Anyone

A podcast to promote and raise awareness of mental health issues in comedians and entertainers by exploring views on mental health (from personal experience, or observations of peers and loved ones, or society in general).
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Mental As Anyone
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Feb 8, 2020

Interview with Melbourne-based Comedian Aurelia St Clair, who started comedy around the time of the 2017 RAW competition, where she reached state level and continued from there. Aurelia also began Improv around end of 2018 (mostly at the Improv Conspiracy Theatre). Aurelia has performed at MICF, and in 2020 has her first solo show called Woke, running from 24 Mar to 5 Apr @ 7.10pm at the Pilgrim Bar.

We discuss: Aurelia’s German-Cameroonian background, sharing about her eating disorder on social media, the challenge of eating patterns around Christmas time, negative side effects of eating disorders, tapping into the joy of eating, food being fuel and a way to nourish our bodies, the problems with pro-eating-disorder forums, losing her Mum as a teenager, Aurelia’s experience of grief, the culture change of moving from Germany to Bolivia, the lack of diversity in her German hometown, moving again until settling in Australia in 2014, finding herself and the things she enjoys in life, the power of increasing awareness about eating disorders, body-positive messages from the Nutrition Guru & the Chef and the Kitchen Coach, actively limiting exposure to negative messages on social media, self-care practices, the importance of nurturing and growing friendships, Aurelia’s super power, the value in setting meaningful goals, and Aurelia’s message to trust and confide in your friends.

Jan 25, 2020

Interview with Melbourne Comedian Bron Lewis who is relatively new to comedy (she’s 6 months in) and loves the story-telling format. Bron started performing at the Moth (a program that hosts live storytelling events in cities around the world) and then transferred over to comedy after receiving encouragement from Moth Host Cal Wilson.

We discuss: the assuredness that comes with starting comedy in her 30s, becoming unexpectedly pregnant early in her relationship, the Impossible Baby and a second baby following soon after, becoming housebound with anxiety, the impact of post-natal depression and anxiety, the solace of her relationship, becoming addicted to CrossFit, the benefits of ageing and time, the struggle of feeling judged, Bron’s immeasurable love for her kids, breaking away from the identity of being “only” a Mum or pregnant person, seeing a psychologist once the girls were at an age where they were settled, taking long service leave from her day job to pursue comedy, changing the lack of diversity in the comedy scene, the advice that you don’t have to love situations to survive them, the perils of social media, acting in accordance with your values, being resilient and brave, Bron’s super power, newfound respect for her mother, and Bron’s messages of appreciating the stability of age and not to sweat the small stuff.

Jan 11, 2020

Interview with Bendigo Comedian Luke Morris, who is a returning guest (his first MAA interview was #74 from February 2018). In 2018 Luke was in the RAW competition and performed The Wine Science Show at MICF, and in 2019 he performed the show Love, Sweat and Science. He has also been involved in producing the Bendigo Comedy Festival in October, two years of the Movember Comedy Fundraiser in Bendigo, and the Women of Wit series in Bendigo, which is the only regular all-woman line-up in regional Victoria. In 2020 Luke will be bringing a new and exciting Virtual Reality Comedy experience to Adelaide Fringe and MICF.

We discuss: the importance of valuing his own time, discovering the joys of Netflix, deferring his psychology studies to pursue the VR Comedy project, Luke’s revelation that you do not need to keep studying for the sake of the qualification only, positive and negative motivation from having comedy festival deadlines and keeping it all in perspective, appreciating the benefits of comedy on the mental health of audiences, Luke’s new podcast called What To Do After You Die which explores the taboo of talking about death, spiders and ticks and ladybugs, Luke’s super power and the catharsis of the Love Sweat and Science show, and Luke’s message to not listen to other people’s negative messages and be selective about advice you take on board.

Dec 28, 2019

Interview with Melbourne Comedian Sunanda, who performs stand-up and sketch comedy with characters. Sundanda performed a Melbourne Fringe show (called How Gay Am I?) which she will also bring to 2020’s Midsumma festival. Sunanda is third-generation Indian-Thai, she grew up in Bangkok and attended an international school. She studied and worked in the US, then headed back to Bangkok before making the move to Melbourne in mid-2019.

We discuss: managing mental health with comedy, Sunanda finding out accidentally that she was adopted when she was 9, wondering who she could have been and her gratitude for the opportunities she has been afforded, being queer and what this means to Sunanda, friends knowing Sunanda was gay before she did, sexual repression and self-medicating while growing up, the importance of pride, the experience of coming out to her family, the philosophy to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend (ie, be kind to yourself), rolling with the punches, moving internationally (twice!) with help from the Marie Kondo approach, checking negative thought patterns and the importance of communication, the pros and cons of early retirement, Sunanda’s super power, practicing gratitude, nature vs nurture, and Sunanda’s message to not be afraid of seeking help if you are unwell or just need an outside perspective.  

Dec 14, 2019

Interview with Melbourne Radio Presenter, DJ, Artist and Comedian Eva Lubulwa. Eva started on radio 2 years ago and found her way onto Triple R (102.7FM). Tune in to hear her show Highly Melanated on Mondays from 10pm to Midnight. Eva also started stand-up comedy this year and performed in 2 shows in Melbourne Fringe: a show with all-African performers called Laughs with Akwasi, and an all-female show called Pick a Dick.

We discuss: Eva’s Ugandan-Australian heritage, the challenge of finding appropriate support for mental health issues and the high price we pay for good mental health, having ADD and wanting to manage it without medication, bouts with an eating disorder, expressing her experiences of racism on stage, how racism has affected her in every way, growing up in Canberra, marrying at a young age, travelling from Australia to Europe without flying and the racism she experienced around the world, her healing time living in Brussels, learning about race in retrospect and how she had subconsciously conformed in her childhood, the danger of assimilation, different levels of mental illness, the one decision her husband made that led to Eva’s decision to end the marriage, Eva’s adopted children and her desire to have Ugandan babies, the notion that some aspects of mental health can be cured by community, the love for her kids helping to manage her mental health, helpful vs unhelpful coping mechanisms, Eva’s superpower, the freedom of expanding into our full selves, and Eva’s message that healing can come in surprising forms so keep looking for things that make your heart sing and follow them.

Nov 30, 2019

Interview with Melbourne Comedian Lucy Best, who has been performing comedy for 2 years. Lucy was a 2019 RAW finalist and also performed a show this year with Comedian Jaxson Garni. The show is called Keep the Change which is all about embracing change. Lucy is also a writer, artist, photographer, director musician, and an environmental and human rights activist.

We discuss: Lucy’s unconventional upbringing, her Dad’s appellation and being the daughter of a Lord, experiencing anxiety and depression while growing up, Lucy’s positive experiences with medication, counselling and mindfulness, the importance of a good night’s sleep and finding the funny, the court jester role in society, where Lucy’s thoughts go when she has a bad day, Lucy’s marriage breakdown and subsequent transformation, the Writing Is Therapy course at the School of Life, Lucy’s conscious decision to move on, the nature of grief and loss, Ducks for Detainees and Lucy’s trip to Canberra, the Tarot Card experience and phoenix mythology, the physical and emotional impacts of alcohol, a mother’s intuition and knowing her children better than medical professionals, the daily roses and thorns activity, stories behind her kids’ names, Lucy’ super power, reframing “Lucy Quite Good” to “Lucy Does Her Best”, and Lucy’s message to embrace change and not be afraid to make change when it is needed.

Nov 16, 2019

Interview with the delightful Isabella Valette, who sings, acts, dances, improvises and more! Isabella started out with a degree in Musical Theatre in the UK, performed a sketch show at Edinburgh Fringe and then started writing one-woman shows. Isabella is part of the Melbourne Impro group Impromptunes, who amazingly improvise one-hour musicals. She is also part of The Big HOO-HAA! who perform shorter-form improvised shows. In the past year Isabella has started stand-up comedy, including a show in 2019’s MICF and Melbourne Fringe called How Far I’ll Go, about her life as a kid’s entertainer. And if you’re after more podcasts with Isabella, you can catch her on the Impromptunes Podcast and Off with the Fairies.

We discuss: The overlap between Impro and Counselling skills, the impact of capitalism and consumerism on mental health, views on modern romantic consumerism, the philosophy that life is a package of experiences, close family and friend connections, being mindful of comparisons and living up to social milestones, the gift and curse of self-awareness and knowledge that we are going to die, the dangers of mimicking emotional and financial behaviours from the media, the benefits of teaching independent and practical living skills at school, domestic violence and the book See What You Made Me Do by Jess Hill, the higher level of living by appreciating others’ success and building each other up by exchanging positive energy, The Celestine Prophecy by James Redfield, Ariana Grande’s message that money and fame do not equate to happiness, Keanu Reeves’ down-to-earth approach to life, the importance of kindness and simplicity, Isabella’s super power, appreciation for the unconditional love and support from her parents, Isabella’s love of Queer Eye, the importance of spreading kindness, and Isabella’s message that you can change the game by changing what you value.

Nov 2, 2019

Interview with Nikki Viveca who has been a performer for many years, and moved into improv about 6 years ago, then officially began stand-up comedy with a solo show in 2016. She is also well-versed in acting, burlesque and other arts. Nikki has recently completed a season of her show Wasp Movie (to great success!) at Melbourne Fringe. Nikki has some exciting new shows coming up, including Cake Bride which is a look at marriage from a queer perspective, and ACEtravaganza which is a variety act show with asexual artists at Midsumma Festival.

We discuss: Coming out as asexual in her first comedy show (Asexual Healing), representing 2 letters in the LGBTQIA alphabet, becoming a comedy critic to justify her comedy habit, gaining insight into other people’s brains via comedy, the Wasp Situation and Nikki’s emotional responses, reflections on the difficulty of coming out as transsexual, exploring the varied definitions of asexuality and what it means to Nikki, admiration of the Spice Girls, Nikki’s super power, the sad ending to the wasp story, and Nikki’s message about the importance of authenticity and humans taking a lesson from wasps about sticking together in solidarity through tough times.

Oct 26, 2019

Interview with Melbourne Comedian Catherine McClintock. Catherine is Canadian and has previously lived in Tasmania for 10 years, which is where she started performing comedy. She also has experience in acting, and film and television screen writing. Catherine first performed stand-up in the RAW Comedy competition, and smashed her solo show at Melbourne Fringe this year, which was titled Please and Thank Yous.

We discuss: The spreadsheet approach to the MICF, being an “extreme empath”, losing her Mum at a young age, being adopted and dealing with grief, experiences with depression and anxiety, support from a Pastor and Therapists, the importance of taking care of your mind AND your body, having a chronic autoimmune disease called Dermatomyositis, being diagnosed while still at university, the balancing act of nursing, motherhood and comedy, reflecting on her mortality and living life to the full, the challenge of being a people pleaser, dealing with “emotional vampires”, depersonalising by looking at the bigger picture and the other variables, the benefits of CBT, the book Change Your Thinking by Sarah Edelman, My Favorite Murder podcast, Catherine’s super power and her message of being kind to yourself and other people.

Oct 6, 2019

Interview with Melbourne Comedian Caili Christian, who is back for round 2 after her first MAA appearance in March 2016. Caili has been keeping busy, performing 4 MICF shows in the past few years, co-establishing the Comedy Women’s Association in Melbourne (see their Facebook page for more info) and running comedy rooms.

We discuss: Creating a comedy space for female-identifying and non-binary people, the #MeToo movement and the more balanced nature of line-ups in recent times, comedy becoming Caili’s world and community, comedians coming from different walks of life and sharing the stage in common, managing anxiety with pacing and relaxation, curbing social media usage for self-care, being mindful of comparisons, adopting the Mum Role and striving to make comedy a better space, encouraging people to avoid punching down and to craft better jokes, reputations vs sense of safety, remembering Eurydice Dixon and the shockwaves through the community, the polarity between men and women’s views on safety, the pain of facing the victim-blaming mentality, the charity Awkward Giraffe, the change in how the media report things, unhealthy gender stereotypes, Triple M’s No Talk Day, enjoying Steph Tisdell and Dave Woodhead on Triple J Breakfast for NAIDOC Week, the seemingly-impossible becoming reality in world politics, Plan It Change 10, lack of funding for mental health, an update on Caili’s super powers, and the brilliant Light the Way Home project to help female, trans, non-binary or other vulnerable performers get a lift home after comedy gigs (you can donate at: https://www.comedyfestival.com.au/lightthewayhome).   

Sep 21, 2019

Interview with Musician, Counsellor and ACT Practitioner Deborah Hart, who also facilitates workshops and teaches music. Deb has many fine strings to her bow and has a lot to share about her career path and mental health journey.

We discuss: longing to call herself a Musician while growing up, panic attacks while studying, aspiring to be like (Music Educator and Conductor) Richard Gill, the challenge of nerves in auditions, working in an Orchestra in 1995, seeing a Psychologist and introduction to ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), the prevalence of performance anxiety, the function of a music audition, fear of public speaking, “a lone monkey is a dead monkey”, Noticing and Labelling, flight/fight/freeze/fawn, defining what it means to be a “Good Musician” and teasing out values, burning out and choosing a new career, common humanity, developing skill and getting out of your own way, the I Don’t Sing Workshop, being wired to work together as a tribe, Susan West quote about the more you teach children music the less they want to do it, the Quicksand Analogy, the values behind the free gig in an aged care home, the philosophy that we’re all in this human soup together, the prevalence of Imposter Syndrome, British Psychologist Paul Gilbert and the importance of self-compassion, Kelly Wilson and treating people like a sunset not a maths problem, music for connection, Deborah’s sad and sweet super power, reflecting on values, and Deb’s message to turn towards gratitude.

Bonus interview (at 1:04:08) with MAA Host, Psychologist and Comedy-Lover Shae: starting the podcast following Robin William’s death in 2014 (not 2013) and wanting to support comedians, approaching the first podcast guest, Entertainment Assist, the importance of sharing and communicating about mental health, the unique stories people have shared along the way, observations about comedy, the vulnerability of opening up and sharing thoughts and feelings, the importance of support networks, praise for Hannah Gadsby, Shae's dream podcast guest, feedback from listeners and wanting to make a difference. 

Sep 7, 2019

Interview with Perth-born Melbourne-based Comedian Anna Piper Scott, who has been performing comedy for about 10 years now. Anna and her co-star Sophie Joske were nominated for the Golden Gibbo in 2018 for their MICF show Almost Lesbians.

We discuss: similarities and differences of the Perth and Melbourne comedy scenes, the challenge of coming out as Trans with the lack of Trans voices in the media and not knowing how she might be received, the difficulties of finding therapy, some benefits of Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs), taking meds when you need and want them, awareness that there is no one-size-fits-all path for coming out, the challenge of finding a Trans-specialising GP in Melbourne, the strong support from her network of friends, a different view of childhood events after coming out, Trans-preferred language, the double-edged sword of gender stereotypes, IDAHOBIT and Trans Visibility Day, being in a great mental space from performing comedy and having a wonderful support network, actively addressing transphobic people who dead-name or misgender or use the T-word, being strong and true to herself, Nelly Thomas’ books: Some Girls and Some Boys, Anna’s super power, Definitions and language: Cis means within and Trans means across, and Anna’s message to explore your gender.

Apr 1, 2018

Interview with Melbourne Comedian Luke Leonard, who is a returning guest because a lot has changed since we spoke in Novmber 2016. Luke has a MICF show called Mirth, which you can see at the Imperial or Dirty Secrets, for dates check out the Luke Leonard – Comedian page on Facebook or the MICF Guide. You can also find an image of Luke at the Face of Comedy exhibition currently running at ACMI - these original works by Matt Hofmann celebrate the talented individuals that make comedy happen. And for the back-story to this podcast, check out Episode #041 for the first MAA interview with Luke.

We discuss: Glossing over horror in the name of humour, the importance of narrative in comedy, reflecting on his mental state at the time of the last podcast (Nov 2016) and the complete 180 turnaround since that time, alcohol being part of the comedy workplace, skateboarding at age 36, being a “Getting Shit Done Guy”, the 1 Giant Mind app, our shared love of Andrew Johnson, a lesson in tolerance from an audio book mispronunciation, words from parents being truth, success from ignoring advice about back pain, the un-sought-out challenge from Bryan Cranston, holding anger in the lower back and finding a way to release it, friendship circle changes, how Luke quit alcohol, Luke’s superpower (adaptable optimism and refusal to give up), the irrelevance of hope,and Luke's message to just be cool, prepared and flexible.

Mar 17, 2018

Interview with the wonderful, worldly and wise Justine Sless, who is not only an experienced Comedian: she also writes in various forms, run comedy workshops and has created her own festival (The Melbourne Jewish Comedy Festival). Other works by Justine include a Podcast (Kvetch with Sless) and a Blog (Excuse me there are crumbs in my comedy). She is also a Mother, completing her Masters, and doing extraordinary work in the Community/Non-Profit sector.

We discuss: The agency of performing comedy, experiencing misogyny, anti-Semitism and racism in comedy rooms, wanting to effect a change within the community, involvement with Raw House and Spark Theatre, Justine’s family tree and the creation of her festival in 2015, articulating culture through comedy, the points of difference in her festival to the commercial festivals, the aim of connecting people, the importance of natural gathering places and creating opportunity to connect, the challenge of raising teenagers, Justine’s European tour, being a Jew of the World, effecting change on a micro level to create opportunities for connection, care and compassion, finding light where there was darkness, remembering what we share in our humanity rather than our differences, Justine’s super power, being guided by integrity and morality, and Justine’s message of managing mental health by connecting with others in meaningful ways.

Mar 4, 2018

Interview with the determined and delightful Melbourne Comedian Miriam Levy. We discuss: The tendency to conceal the reality about mental health, Miriam's PhD in French Philosophy and addiction, her personal experience of addiction as a coping mechanism, the importance of connection, the art of balance, a near-death turning point, trauma and energy healing, Relaxation vs Dissociation, methods of meditation, Miriam’s super power, Sarah Silverman’s incredible display of empathy and compassion, assumptions and projecting pain, the importance of asking questions to assist with understanding, and Miriam’s message that there is no such thing as normal, and if we could recognise this, we would all be better off.

Feb 17, 2018

Interview with David Rose, who has been performing comedy for 6 years, including writing for Cracked magazine. David is co-producing a MICF show in 2018 called Just Kidding. Check it out at Tasma Terrace from 27th March to 1st April at 5.30pm. David is also hosting a gig on 22nd February at the McKinnon Hotel with a great line up, go to www.ticklepit.com for tickets.

We discuss: Anxiety, depression and hypochondria, learning mindfulness from a Liverpudlian Monk, Smiling Mind, Oak and Calm apps, Mindful vs Mindless Colouring, anxiety about being judged by other Comedians, the birthday present that may possibly outlast his relationship, visiting Little India and gigging in Singapore, David’s comedy tour of Germany, Bo Burnham’s take on happiness, misdirection and synesthesia with emotions, Dan Dennett’s concept of “Deepity”, Waking Up (book and podcast) by Sam Harris, and David’s super power.

Feb 10, 2018

Interview with Writer, Podcaster, and Performer of Comedy, Luke Morris. Luke is part of the close-knit comedy community in Bendigo, and competed in RAW this January. Luke is involved in running the Bendigo comedy workshops and gigs at the Metropolitan and Handle Bar, and also visits various Melbourne Open Mic nights regularly. For more info about what’s on in Bendigo, check out www.bendigocomedy.com.au Also check out: Bendigo Comedy Podcast, Luke’s informative episode on the Laborastory podcast about Dom Perignon and the production of champagne, and his 2018 MICF show called The Wine Science Show.

We discuss: The bullying survey he wasn’t allowed to complete as a kid, writing a book, being the change you want to see in the world, fond memories of The Old Church on the Hill, the lack of hecklers in Bendigo, Consumers vs Producers, being “a Great Avoider”, the philosophy of following your curiosity, the Manchester Gig, support from the social media community, writing and comedy influences, Luke’s superpower, and his message to go and see live comedy because it’s good for mental health.

Jan 27, 2018

Interview with the lovely and vivacious Tara Bell, who has been performing comedy for just over 6 months and already has a RAW competition notch in her belt from 2017. Tara started out in the (male dominated) Bendigo scene, and has now performs with the (female dominated) Wodonga scene. Tara also has a podcast called 20 Bucks Is 20 Bucks, discussing the ins and outs of the first/worst jobs people have had. Shae from MAA was a guest on episode 9. Find the podcast in all the usual places, or on Facebook: 20 Bucks Is 20 Bucks Podcast.

We discuss: Tara’s diagnosis when she was 16, growing up in a rural area, getting into comedy as coping mechanism, being a young Mum and having a gifted child, the benefits of exercise, the drawn-out process of receiving an accurate diagnosis, the problem of medicalising human nature, having a nervous breakdown, the eMoods tracking app, the importance of continuity of care, Tara’s super power, and her message to know yourself well so you know if something is not right, and seek support until you find it.

Jan 13, 2018

Interview with the humble and very humorous Thomas McMahon, who has been performing comedy in Melbourne for 11 years (on and off).

We discuss: Microphone logistics, Thomas’ experience with bipolar disorder, an insight into mania, the helpfulness of tracking moods, adjusting to having a diagnosis, issues with people self-diagnosing, the benefits of multiple professional opinions and check ups, Progressive Muscle Relaxation with soundtracks and music, Dalek Relaxation, the importance of a good support network, dealing with the stigma of mental health issues, analogy of a car without an accelerator or brake, the benefits of exercise, super powers, and Thomas’ message to talk to people and seek help because things can get a lot better.

Dec 30, 2017

This week's interview is with the delightful and dynamic musical comedy duo Colin Craig and Alia Vryens​, otherwise known as Pick Up, which they describe as Kylie Minogue’s Tinder account meets Freddie Mercury’s Grindr account. Catch them performing at Perth Fringe and MICF in 2018!!

We discuss: Their background in theatre and learning the ropes of the comedy community, Colin and Alia’s experiences with mental health issues, the Rocky analogy and finding your own way to measure success, job titles in the Arts and how we self-identify, the Fail Faster mantra and the First Pancake Theory, ways to manage mental health, views on medication, support from the Arts community, issues with body image and being our own worst critics, Alia and Colin’s super powers, how to accept compliments, and their messages to recognise your achievements and efforts, and remember that emotions and bad experiences don’t last forever so ride them out.

Dec 16, 2017

Interview with Comic Book Producer Maarten Bouw. One of many comics he (together with his twin brother) has produced over the past 5 years is called Shtick, which is about a Comedian who tells an offensive joke and then goes on a mental health journey while dealing with the fallout. For more info on Maarten's comics and how to get your hands on them, check out the Facebook page: Drawn Out Dad Productions.

We discuss: Maarten’s experience of anxiety, not sweating the small stuff, locus of control and looking at the bigger picture, how Maarten started producing comic books, making changes for better life balance, anxiety flare ups, the benefits of seeing health professionals, anxiety feeding itself, mindfulness to assist with comfort eating, listing a few of our favourite podcasts, dealing with grief, Maarten’s super power, and Maarten’s message that only you can make the changes to get where you want to be in life, so set yourself small goals to make it happen. And make succotash: it is delicious.

Dec 2, 2017

Interview with the industrious and insightful Jade Fitzgerald, who is a Comedian from Albury. Jade started her comedy career in 2016 and has since competed in RAW and performed a Fringe show called The Three Step Program.  Jade also runs a room in Albury called Off the Rails.

We discuss: The organic country comedy scene emerging in Albury,  the high suicide rates in rural and regional areas, working with high-risk youth, having a wonderful behind-the-scenes husband, men experiencing post-natal depression, accessing mental health services in the country, The Healthy Mind Platter (www.mindplatter.com), the benefits of sleep diaries and charting, vacuum and rally noise, supporting gay marriage (recorded before the Yes outcome), views on being gay in the country, minorities in the AFL, Jade’s super power, university options and the low average wage of country areas, gendered thinking and body autonomy, family genetics, and Jade’s message to reach out and seek help if you need it.

Nov 18, 2017

Interview with the awesome and inspiring Jess Cochran, who has always had a talent for humor, but officially started performing comedy at the end of 2016. Jess was invited to participate in a comedy workshop organised by the University of Melbourne, MICF and Women with Disability Victoria, which was delivered by the wonderful Nelly Thomas. Jess recently performed her set at a gig for the Disability Rights Commission.

We discuss: having an eating disorder and other health issues from a young age, lack of accessibility to mental health services for those with physical disabilities, Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome and Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome (POTS), eating disorders and perfectionism, dealing with reputations and rumours in high school, being in 15 bands at once, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome in her final years of school, being competitive and not saying No, perfectionism and burn out, the importance of pacing, taking the career path you want via the back doors, perspectives on Nursing from both sides of the bed, easing into the workforce, some massive life traumas, the Divine Divas of Sunbury, the accessibility challenges of being in a wheelchair, the blessings of being able to drive and live independently, the importance of pacing, being an Olave, making the most of what she has, raising awareness so people don’t suffer in silence, Jess’ super power, and Jess’ messages to not be afraid of speaking up, and to keep fighting on.

Nov 4, 2017

Interview with the friendly and humble Ben Stevenson, who is a Darwin Comedian originally hailing from Melbourne. Ben has been performing comedy since 2011, and currently co-hosts breakfast radio in Darwin on Hot 100FM.  Ben was kind enough to share some experiences and stories related to mental health while on a recent visit to Melbourne.

We discuss: The close knit comedy scene in Darwin, Ben’s take on managing anxiety, the man in the gorilla suit, Imposter Syndrome and being happy with who you are, the Australian drinking culture, switching off from work and social media, the concept of confirmation bias, working on sitting with and accepting compliments, neuroplasticity, the self-care tip from Lamb of God, Ben’s super power, and Ben’s message that there are more people willing to help you than you may think.

Oct 21, 2017

Interview with Andrew Goodone, who has been a Comic for 36 years and has done “pretty much everything” in the comedy world.  For the past 10 years he has been doing some amazing work with teenagers at risk, by engaging and collaborating with them to make short comedy films. To date, Andrew has made a whopping 151 short films. Check out some of his work by searching for the Robinvale Comedy Project on YouTube. Andrew also did a TED Talk last year, called Zen and the Art of Making Comedy, which you can view on YouTube.

We discuss: starting the interview immediately to get the gold, comedy films as a form of therapy, stories from Monash Secondary College, addressing the high youth suicide rate in Robinvale, importance of being open and non-judgmental, family suicides, family mental health, Sue-Ann Post and the auto-biographical comedy style, the anti-suicide comedy project in Robinvale, the sacrifice sometimes involved when being a support person for friends, being seen as the villain when doing the right thing, the lack of funding for mental health services, self-care via comedy, Andrew’s super power, and his message to try not to bottle things up, and even though it may be tough or trying at times, be supportive to those around you.

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