Interview with Melbourne based Comedian Doug Chappel who has been on the comedy scene for nearly 19 years and, among other gigs, MCs at the Comic’s Lounge every Monday. Doug is also passionate about studying Psychology. He has several degrees, including Youth Work, Psychology and Psychology Honours, and a Masters of Counselling. He’s also looking at further post-grad studies (maybe another Masters or a PhD).
We discuss: Doug not planning to be in comedy but finding himself to be a natural one random day at the Espy, making mistakes and learning as he went, the psychology in comedy and reading the dynamics of a crowd, stage therapy, dealing with depression, the issues he faced growing up in Footscray, calling for more education and awareness about mental health issues, supporting a friend with anxiety, the violence of growing up in Footscray, the cycle of bullying, generational violence, how comedy and his partner changed him, Doug’s thesis on family violence, Sarah Ferguson’s Hitting Home documentary (on ABC), effects of violence on children, adults, families and the greater community, Doug’s second thesis on the role of gender in regard to violence, frustration with people who say “Why doesn’t the woman just leave?”, the impacts of gender inequality, the notions that perpetrators can be good people and that men can be victims of family violence – but the odds of the victim being female are so much higher, women being more likely to be attacked by someone they know and love (and yes men can be victims too), how victims can feel to blame, control/anger issues, the cycle of violence and how it escalates, attitudes and behaviours, benevolent sexism and the notion that gender inequality is reinforced by it, controlling behaviours leading to imbalance of power in relationships, sense of ownership and behaving in “unacceptable ways”, the Ramage case and provocation laws, Shae’s question about how best to advise/support women in counselling, assisting women to be aware of how certain controlling behaviours can escalate into violence, awareness of the warning signs, providing women with support networks, the call for society to provide more options and better fund services and laws to be changed, the call to do more to protect women, anger management for men, humans having executive function (and therefore the choice) to change attitudes, awareness of the bigger picture/other people’s perspectives, frustration re victim blaming, and providing support so people can help themselves.
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.
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.
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.
Interview with lovely lady comedian Nicky Barry, who is a self-described late bloomer in comedy as she first entered Raw Comedy at the age of 45 in 2011 (and made the state finals no less). She then returned to Raw in 2013 and has been gigging regularly around Melbourne since then. About 12 months ago, Nicky also became the resident comic at the vaudeville club Speakeasy HQ in Melbourne.
We discuss: mental health in family life, Nicky's high-functioning dysfunctional family, alcohol issues in family members, Nanna's electric shock treatment (and resulting trauma), Nicky's main career in community development work, destigmatising MH, seeing people as people rather than a diagnosis, changes in language to describe mental health issues, reflections on memories of growing up, being a positive person by nature, personalising family issues as a teen, how childhood can consciously affect parenting, the different talents and experiences of Nicky's kids, monitoring healthy levels of self-discipline, the challenges of her youngest with Autism, mental health in the comedy community, bonding over humour, truth and vulnerability at the heart of the best comedy, time healing, the importance of having someone to listen when you need it, men vs women seeking help, issues in regional and remotes areas, the role of GPs, Man Therapy, the importance of learning more about a loved one's mental health issues, the universality of fluctuating mental health, investing money into community services, Kennett government cut-backs, Men's Sheds, Kennett now being Chairman of Beyond Blue, comorbidity of mental health issues and domestic violence, unemployment, Centrelink/DSP, homelessness, workplace support and incentives (eg. Job Share arrangements), government modelling, policitcal advising, making the most of free comedy, and getting out and having fun with comedy - with or without mental health issues.
Interview with Perth Comedian Jeff Hewitt, who has had a comedy career (in balance with his law career) for 11 years, and also has a podcast called Once Were Zombies.
We discuss: Jeff's breakdown in the final year of law school and his subsequent diagnosis of depression, rebelling and dropping out of law school and starting comedy, tattoos and green hair, insulting a room full of bikies, triggers for his breakdown (ie, law school pressure, competitive peers, and unrequited love), encouragement to seek help for depression, how Jeff got into comedy, the co-dependent relationship with a messy break up, rediscovering himself, comedy being the "go-to place" after trauma, law and comedy being opposite but balancing careers, the dark side of Family Law (domestic violence, child abuse, financial battles), comedy = connector of people, positive outlook after being fired in 2011, the burn out of family lawyers, the oxymoron of "corporate social responsibility", "Triangulating", Zen and meditating on a black cushion, book: Zen And The Art Of Stand Up Comedy by Jay Sankey, childhood amibitions, being poorer but happier, getting into Family Law by process of elimination, inspiration from Geraldine Hickey, Jeff's show about depression called Reach Arounds For The Soul (2009), meaningful vs whimsical comedy styles, helping people vs being a cog in the machine, Once Were Zombies, Infinite Jest - the book and the comedy room, podcasting to cope with traffic jams, importance of a good home life, the benefits of meditation and plugging in to the universe to recharge, reading recommendations, cutting down on social media, getting out of your own ego, no matter how bad something is you never know what's just around the corner, and don't give up on yourself or Jeff will personally come to you to kick your ass!
Interview with Frank William Hampster, who has been crafting comedy since 2011. Frank describes himself as "a standup comedian, connoisseur, conspiracy theory expert and general bon vivant". He is also the Executive Producer of The Elegant Universe Radio Show, which you can catch 4pm to 6pm on Fridays on 94.1FM, and also on You Tube. Frank was in the Australian Army until 2011 and this interview contains very open discussion about his Army experiences and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)*.
We discuss: PTSD (shell shock and war neurosis), jumping at shadows, the phenomenon of symptoms disappearing when Frank is on stage, being in the 4th year of a "comedy apprenticeship", Frank's breakdown in 2008, being in and out of a mental health facility, the Boxing Day Tsunami, preparation for warfare vs military response to civillian crises, humour as a defence mechanism, Oscar Wilde quote, philosophy re comedians telling the truth, occasional not-so-good gigs due to soldier-mode aggression, feeling of normailty on stage, Anti-Depressants, the slow return to work, "face leakage", stigmas in the Army, survival reason for protecting women and children first, sharing his view of Black Saturday, Psychiatrist and medication, benefits of exercise, coffee and cupcakes, eating habits, sleeping habits, relationships and MH issues, nightmares, not believing in ghosts but finding a way to cope with seeing them, middle name "Darling", empathy, understanding, tollerance and patience, recognising triggers, concern about soldiers not having access to mental health support ... slight interruption by colleagues following Frank's re-enactment of a trigger at Brisbane Airport ... Charity organisation Soldier On (check out their Facebook page), 'fight or flight' doesn't include flight in the Army, noise cancelling headphones, being proactive, avoiding self pity, reaching out to friends, cuddle/hugs therapy, strength inside comedians and love of the craft, killing and dying, connectedness within the comedy community, unhelpfulness of hearing "Harden the F@$% Up", Generation X saying No to child abuse and gender inequality, resilience, love of children, Rosie Batty, comedy for coping and wellbeing, views on PSOs, Key message: Be tollerant and patient, just SMILE, working miracles, and the craziness of under-funding mental health.
*WARNING: This podcast includes graphic discussion about war/battles, the Boxing Day Tsunami, and the Black Saturday bushfires. If you need to speak with someone about how you feel after listening, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Part Two of the MAA interview with Ari Mustonen (Part One was released last week, feel free to go back and have a listen if you haven't already). Ari has been in Australia for only a few months but he's already storming the Melbourne comedy scene. Ari is from Estonia, and has been doing comedy for about two years (in two different languages!).
In Part Two of this podcast we discuss:Getting into marijuana via being a bouncer/waiter/bar tender, being social with drunk people, 'cures' for social anxiety, Athieism, the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, smart people smoking marijuana, researching marijuana before using it, theories on paranoia, positive influences of marijuana, medicinal marijuana and experiences of mental clarity, legalisation/decriminalisation, theories on cigarettes, drug messages in high school, prescription drugs and abuse/addiction, issue of insecurity while growing up, stage fright and keeping things in perspective, seeking a father figure, coaches and older comedians, isolation due to no one being open, introspective perspective, feeling guilty about porn, security of knowing someone has been through the same experiences, life changes when kids come along, kicking elders out of bars, unvisersal emotions, philosophy that Everything Will Pass, and the purpose of this podcast. Enjoy :)
Interview with Ari Mustonen, who has been in Australia for only a few months but is already storming the Melbourne comedy scene. Ari is from Estonia, and also spent time in Poland and Finland growing up. He's been doing comedy for about 2 years, and in at least 2 different languages so far.
In Part One of this podcast we discuss: the size of Australia (for travel purposes), the challenge of changing languages in comedy, benefits of using English, accents, being fully immersed in a foreign language, Melbourne's cultural mix, mental preparation for new things, pressing the reset button, teaching independence, education options, quitting vs deciding otherwise, being a "C- or F-List" celebrity, Deal Or No Deal, deciding to travel, initiative to break a cycle, expecting the unexpected, less money = more relieved/happy, self-belief, anger and pressure, family background, growing up with your mum working in another country, record absenteeism, Mixed Martial Arts, live like there's no tomorrow vs who do I want to be when I'm older, headaches and potential brain damage from sparring, losing memory, and time limits with sporting careers compared to comedy. Please enjoy, and listen out for Part Two next week.
Interview with James "normally funnier than this conversation*" Masters, who has been in the comedy game since 2008. Originally from Perth, his comedy career grew in Vancouver, Canada and you can now find him in Melbourne where he does stand up around the place, including 2 years running at the MICF. James also runs a couple of comedy shows in Victoria (Australia, not Canada).
We discuss the high percentage of Aussies at Whistler, comedians seeing the world differently, observations and challenges of Bipolar Disorder, manic vs depressive states, major stage fright, experiences with suicidal friends, experimenting with variables to quality-test jokes, Steve Hughes, the process behind James' MICF shows, the trap of doing what other people are doing (rather than what you're good at), Oscar Wilde's quote, comedic influences vs developing your own style, comedy beginnings and creative outlets, phases in the early days of stand up, the love of the career, down-playing successes so you don't get a big head, and being kind when you flop, the brutality of Edinburgh, extraneous factors affecting a show and the stars aligning, views on MICF and the theory of quality control, gaining experience and learning on the job, alochol and drugs and bumming cigarettes, "unaddictive personality", Movember vs "Just Moustache", and weight loss as an incentive to periodically stop drinking.
*I can attest to this, and you can find out for yourselves by checking him or one of his comedy nights out - look for Dirty Secrets Comedy Night on Facebook.
Interview with Matt Fennell, aka Melbourne's King of Food Porn, is a man of many talents including comedy, music theatre, cabaret, and general entertainer. Matt hails from Brisbane and has been in Melbourne for the past 5 years. We discuss: Matt's experience with depression which started about 7 years ago, reluctance of males to seek help for mental health issues, the impact of depresison on both entertaining and the day job, the happiness mask of "the show must go on", remaining friends with exes, unhelpful thinking during a break-up, premature "stage therapy", The Wound Analogy, self-help books and internet self-help options, "planting the seed" of seeking help, Amanda Palmer, black & white & grey, Lightning Bolt moments of change, practicing gratitude (cliched but helpful!), mindfulness, Acceptance & Commitment Therapy, acting in accordance with your values, the face of Ruby Wax, other coping strategies, Yoga in comedy, the brilliance of Zumba, the Comfort Eating Theory, love of sleep, carbon footprints, cycling safety, being a morning person (or not), #Grateful, #Blessed, reflecting things in the positive: "Flip That Shit!", Hannah Gadsby, Ending The Stigma of Mental Health, that movie guy and Uncle Willie, song writing and composing, musical comedy critics, and more useful references.
Interview with Brad Richardson, aka Rad Bitchin'son, who is a comedian and trivia host. You can find him on stage around Melbourne, particularly at the Comic's Lounge, or at the Mountain View Hotel in Richmond if you'd like to test out your trivia knowledge.We discuss: the double positive of his stage persona, comedians opening up about mental health, diagnosis of depression, pros and cons of medication, fear of being average, walking through treacle, being (like) Kardashian-like, more on medication, the wider range of emotions, the vicious cycle of depression, the challenges of fitting in exercise, 'fighting with one arm' analogy, the solo nature of comedy, self-praise vs self-doubt, fitting in helpful coping strategies, 'the false economy', team sports and injuries, the new puppy, keeping things in perspective, the Melbourne Soundscape, views on counselling, juggling plates and changing channels, importance of rapport, mental health initiatives, wearing masks, relaxation, golfing tantrums, being surrounded by technology and screens, driving as downtime, yoga and Headspace app, questioning the type of laughter, "Westgating", finding a balance, amplification of the negative, constructive criticisim, getting runs on the board to get better at comedy, pressure to give people their money's worth, the notion of perfection, the myth of the perfect gig, giving good advice to ourselves, and June Northern Month*.
*Even though it's July, The Little Dum Dum Club (podcast) are extending June Northern Month for a little longer until they reach their 250th show. The money they raise goes to Beyond Blue, so to find out more and/or donate, head to their Facebook page: The Little Dum Dum Club with Tommy Dassalo and Karl Chandler.
Interview with Adam Jacobs, who originally hails from Adelaide, and now lives in Melbourne. Adam performs comedy and also does some MC work in Melbourne, and occasionally in NSW. His jokes tend to be one-liners and non-sequiturs, and maybe a comedy song every now and again. We discuss the pressures of modern life (acronym: POML), OCD jokes, the mandatory Terrible Stage Experience, first experiences of comedy, finding your niche as a comedian, mananging and overcoming stage nerves, positive reframing, post-show reflections, Comedy at the Olympics, marshmallows & fluffy bunnies, comedy as a response to stress, genetically inheriting your sense of humour, sense of humour and sense of self, nuns stealing bikes, PTSD and trauma, Light vs Dark, coping by way of nonsense, catharsis of working with animals, bottle-feeding kangaroos, negotiating a peace-offering with Peggy the Ecelectus Parrot, getting material from a non-existent dog, fake-smiling and Fake It Til You Make It, acting in accordance with your values and the weather analogy, Cindy Lauper and nail polish, reflecting on depression, healthy habits, wellbeing and self-care activites, appreciation of Adam's voice, comedy problem-solving & mental gymnastics, and trying on different sorts of comedy and discerning what you like.
Also, apologies from Shae for getting the name of her own podcast wrong at the very start of this episode!
Interview with Dan "the best guest so far" Willis. Dan is a British comedian who has lived in Australia for 3 years, and doing comedy for 14 years. He holds the record for the most solo comedy shows (although he questions whether this is a desirable record to hold). We discuss the highs and lows of working in comedy, thoughts on Russell Brand, comedians' egos, the pros and cons of venting, setting boundaries, the joys and challenges of bringing comedians out to Australia, dealing with people who steal ideas, self-worth, positive use of stage nerves, mantras, corporate gigs, surpassing "the comedy poo" phase, practice making perfect, posting on YouTube, people who steal jokes or take short-cuts with writers, Stewart Lee and Robin Williams, "happy places" for time out amidst comedy festivals, the challenges of debt, expectations and realism, comedy plans for the year ahead, values of integrity and loyalty, and the festival circuit in Australia. Enjoy!