Interview with Brodi Snook who kicked off her comedy career 2 years ago in the Raw Comedy competition while visiting her home town of Perth (and had to keep delaying her flight back to the UK in order to attend the advancing rounds and state finals). She spent some time on the open mic circuit in London before returning home in January 2015 to continue comedy in Perth. Brodi is also a writer, and has an article in the upcoming YAWP Magazine (Mental Health in Comedy edition). We discuss: Brodi’s five years in the UK and the differences in performing comedy in the UK vs Oz, the "life and death" of not sharing suicidal thoughts, big-name comedians modelling that it’s ok to discuss mental health issues and painful emotions, Brodi’s anxiety from a young age, experiencing anxiety about normal/everyday things, Brodi feeling at home on stage (and Shae feeling the opposite!), nerves when loved ones are in the audience, Brodi’s cathartic experience with CBT, thoughts on meds, Valerian and mindfulness, awareness of mental/cognitive states, vicious cycle of physical and cognitive symptoms of anxiety, how health professionals can help by explaining things differently instead of having to figure things out by yourself, enjoyment of CBT homework, a bit about ACT, Russ Harris and The Happiness Trap, mindfulness helping with sleep, Eckhart Tolle’s soundtracks, relaxation apps, Brodi’s change of perspective on exercise, Endorphins!, soothing sounds and smells of the ocean, the unhelpfulness of “shoulds” (and associated feelings of guilt), writing as an outlet/journalling to empty the head, encorporating experiences of anxiety into comedy, performing at the Perth Fringe and MICF in 2016, and the importance of speaking up about mental health issues.
Interview with Bonnie Davies, who is a Perth comedian and also has an alter-ego named Famous Sharron. We discuss: Bonnie’s Laugh Or Your Money Back show in 2011’s MICF (and only one person asking for their money back), the next show I’m High On Life, What Are You On?, growing up with parents who were youth workers, memories of people from childhood, the Open Door policy at the Davies home, people experiencing the same things over and over (eg. Not being accepted, being neglected, not allowed to be themselves, sex work and drugs), people finding that drug dealers become friends and family, the table top analogy and Dad’s emotional bank balance analogy, old habits dying hard, the importance of perseverance, a house full of love, Mum being an Environmental Warrior and Dad writing his memoirs, Dad’s observation of a community disconnect over the years, Bonnie’s involvement in community organisations, Shopkeeper Kindness, falling into the Arts, work experience at Awesome Arts, early job offers, Fellowship in the UK and figuring herself out, being back in Perth and organising comedians, the bet that started it all, Raw Comedy, kids and school pressure, looking forward to the wisdom of being 50, Famous Sharron development, wanting to be Australian and change outfits a lot, inspiration from a Brisbane drag queen, a hard Edinburgh experience, being famous for no reason, Sharron’s trip to Melbourne, celebrity after-parties, 2015 being a great year/year of hard work, comedy being bad for mental health, Facebook being a “highlights reel”, always being honest about how hard things can be, the unhelpfulness of beating ourselves up, the role of forgiveness in success, speaking to yourself the same way you would to a friend (ie, kindly), learning from hard times, metaphorically climbing Mount Everest … and then climbing back down so you can climb the next mountain, recent experiences of losing people to suicide, the importance of reaching out and talking if you’re feeling down, finding out what works for you, and a little plug for Perth Fringe in February.