Interview with Mitchell Tinley, Perth Comedian and one half of radio’s Mitchell and Michael Show (track them down on Facebook for more info). Mitchell started comedy two years ago and is putting on a Fringe Show with his friend Tor Snyder in 2016. The show is called Dating Naked, check it out if you’re in Perth at the end of January for Fringe. Mitchell will also be performing at Laughs For Locks (an event raising money for Camp Quality) on 4 December.
We discuss: Comedy as the “un-happy” profession, comedy being a great outlet for mental health issues, the courage and bravery of “I’m funny, let me prove it”, comedy being very nerve-provoking and switching to “bullet-proof” on stage, Childish Gambino’s notion of turning a negative into a funny story, making jokes at funerals, laughter = medicine, feeling fake on stage, the comfort of having solid material, being a natural at radio, the contagious-ness of laughter (and grumpiness), the subjectiveness of comedy, Mitchell’s style of humour, keeping it clean vs swearing, philosophy around bombing (on stage), looking on the bright side of negatives and not running away from problems, metaphorically having eggs in different baskets, the grief process of a bad gig, philosophy of “as good as it can be is as bad as it can be”, being aware of the reasons for your actions, semantics of the word “depressed”, keeping things in perspective, the unhelpfulness of personalising and “mind reading” (ie, thinking we know what others are thinking – which is usually negative!), preference to at least give things a go (and possibly fail), reflections on RU OK? Day and asking for help, growing up with Harry Potter, jokes that transcend time, the “please like me” element of comedy, humans creating rules, the awkwardness of small talk, the near completion of his Media Degree, and playing pranks on radio veterans.
Interview with Perth Comedian Jez Watts, who runs Infinite Jest, the weekly open mic & experimental comedy night, at the Flying Scotsman in Perth. He's also had some great opportunities in his 2.5 years of comedy, including opening for US comics Joe Mande, Esther Povitsky, and just this week, Duncan Trussell. Jez's stand-up is confessional and truthful, in a story-teller style.
We discuss: Reflections on finding your comedy voice and honing his craft over time, learning more from failure than success, insecurity about receiving help and support, Jez’s other career in Neuroscience, overcoming unhelpful thought patterns in order to do the things he loves, a bit about Jez’s previous marriage (he’s now happily divorced and the relationship helped him get into the mindset that he could study), Jez’s study repertoire including molecular biology, biomedical science and biotechnology, an Honours thesis in genetic disease and starting his Doctorate in Neuroscience, starting the PhD and comedy at the same time and balancing the two highly demanding vocations, more about the thoughts and drugs that led to his marriage, the positive grounded-ness of his current relationship, what Jez has learned from previous bad decisions (and getting away with them), the reality that worst case scenarios rarely eventuate, Don’t Propose While On Crystal Meth!, philosophy and revelations of self-medicating, seeking a sensory deprivation experience, prioritising of his relationship and comedy, back to the (family) beginning: candid and insightful discussion about Jez’s Mum, self-protection and preservation, the difficulty of revealing the truth to his partner, reflection that most people have some level of mental unwellness at some stage in their life, comedy reinforcing emotional highs and lows, the idea that how you “should” feel – and feeling short of that – is its own trap, what’s important is working towards your own goals and focusing on your own journey (with the exceptions of being on meth and getting married in Las Vegas by Elvis while on LSD), Jez’s advice to DO MUSHROOMS (based on research data* that they can reduce symptoms of depression), and the adage that “neurons that fire together wire together”, ie. Negative thought patterns can reinforce themselves to repeat, as can positive thought patterns, so Jez avoids the negatives and rewards/reinforces the positive thoughts/behaviours.
Jez will be doing his first solo show at the 2016 Perth Fringe, titled: Sex, Lies and Videogames. If you’d like to know more about Jez and where else to see his comedy, check out his website at www.jezwatts.com
*Research data not provided, but I did a brief search and found this info to start with: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ecam/nep201.