Interview with the lovely Bec Charlwood, Comedian (and self-professed IKEA Meatball Inspector) from Perth. I was very fortunate to catch Bec in person while she was doing a run of shows in Melbourne.
We discuss: Bec’s recent tours of Melbourne and Sydney (and the scoop that she might move to Melb next year!), the connectedness of the Perth comedy family, poking fun at East-Coast-ers, mental health issues in Bec’s family (including depression and suicide), Bec’s consciousness of monitoring her own mental health, staying active and healthy with exercise, good diet and sunshine, the huge natural high from Zumba, the catch-22 of depression/lack of motivation and needing exercise to counter it, giving up personal training for comedy (conflict of late nights and early mornings), doing around 20 thousand steps a day working at IKEA, seeing signs of mental health issues in the comedy family (anxiety, depression, PTSD), supporting her friends (encouraging them to exercise,, eat well and seek professional help), getting “check ups” with a psychologist every now and again, the problem of pre-conceived ideas about therapy (eg. “What if I’m crazy?”), Man Therapy, checking in with friends and helping them to make an appointment with a professional, the commonality of thinking distortions, Bec’s pre-date “snowballing” (“What if he hates toes??”), Shae’s mani/pedi catastophising and general “Manicure Anxiety” (coined by Bec!), Bec’s surprising "snowballing" story from outside a nightclub, her even more surprising story about her first boyfriend (and talking about it on stage to help her come to terms with it), and Bec’s final message of encouragement to reach out to talk if you need it.
Interview with Joe Patrick, who is a Brisbane comedian on the scene for the past 4 years. Joe got into comedy for the right reason: to make people laugh and feel happy. Joe's comedy style is "blue", reminiscent of Kevin Bloody Wilson and Rodney Rude, and to date he's performed as far north as Cairns and as far south as Ballina. Joe will be heading to Melbourne and Adelaide in mid-2016.
We discuss Joe's experiences of living with family members with mental health issues. Joe's Mum has depression and anxiety and recently resumed taking medication (after a period of stopping it cold turkey which had negative results). Joe's younger brother also has depression and anxiety, and has recently been experiencing some mood swings. Joe tries to be as supportive as possible, by listening, asking if they are ok and listening to their responses, and offering advice at times. Joe also has a friend who has three children on the Autism spectrum*. We also discuss how Joe interacts with the family, and how the parents manage their kids and their own mental health by taking respite at times. Joe's main message he would like to share is the importance of reaching out to, and connecting with, people with mental health issues. Ask your friends/family/loved ones if they are ok, and if the answer is no, help them to get some help from a GP, counsellor, hospital or phone support line (eg. Beyond Blue). And in particular, do not say "Just cheer up", as people with depression or other MH issues can't help it!
*I mis-spoke around about this point in the interview when I mentioned the term "normal kids". What is "normal" anyway?? What I meant was kids who are not on the Autism spectrum (which is a term I used a bit later in the interview). Sincere apologies if I have caused any offence or upset.