Interview with Classical Musician Ben Turner. Ben is a Bass Trombonist who lives in Berlin, and we crossed paths recently as Ben is visiting his hometown of Melbourne. Ben has a podcast discussing all things mental health, called Double Depresso, and we did a double recording: You can listen to Ben on MAA here, and Shae’s Double Depresso interview will be out soon.
We discuss: Berlin being still under construction, orchestras and other musical work, worry from projecting forward, problems with Perfectionism & the Imposter Syndrome, the “I’m not enough” story, the frog in boiling water analogy (sorry frog fans!), reflecting on rock bottoms, drugs & alcohol in classical music, the bigger picture perspective, views on having only one teacher, positive feedback and accepting praise, the myth of pursuing happiness, being present and enjoying the journey, Ben's super power and his general message of the importance of connecting to others.
Interview with the open and authentic JC Clapham, who has been performing comedy since January this year. He jumped right in with the RAW competition, and then performed a solid 50-minute Melbourne Fringe show in September titled Humpty Dumpty Daddy. JC also appeared on MAA’s current favourite TV show, Hard Quiz, a couple of weeks ago. You can catch JC at the Adelaide Fringe from 13-18 March, and at the 2017 MICF with two shows (a refined Humpty Dumpty Daddy, and a second show titled I’m A Futurist And Even I Don’t Know What That Means).
We discuss: Major life events from mid-2016, support from the Beyond Blue phone line, reflections on oversharing about mental health, changes with work, family background and Dad’s suicide when JC was aged 16, reflections on the relationship with his Dad, sharing mental health issues on social media and messages of support from around the world, healthy sharing of emotions with his children, professional and personal self-care, stew ingredients, recent appreciation of quotes and memes, JC’s super powers, learning patience and locus of control, and JC’s message to be open and authentic.
Interview with Melbourne Comedian Ben McCarthy, who has been performing comedy for the past 18 months, including a successful Fringe show this year. You can catch Ben at various venues around Melbourne, including at Speakeasy HQ for the MICF in 2017 with a show called Nevermind.
We discuss: Having friends with mental health issues and never knowing unless people share what they are experiencing, fitting in, views on anxiety, the ABC TV series “Man Up” by Gus Worland*, the book “Night” by Elie Wiesel, The Mental Health Quiz, Ben’s super powers, and Ben’s message: Don’t be afraid to speak up.
*For information, episodes and statistics on Man Up, check out the website at: www.manup.org.au
Interview with worldly comedian Vincent Tshaka, who started comedy 7 years ago as a way to learn about Australian culture. His comedy is based on his life and experiences, including racism. Vincent frequents venues like the Comic’s Lounge, the Exford and the Joint, as well as travelling for gigs interstate.
We discuss: Being booed off-stage in Kenya, the young comedy scene in Kenya and making fun of tribes, the lack of discussion about mental health in Kenya, moving to England in his 20s, government involvement in promotion of mental health issues in Australia, recognising the flow-on effects of mental health on society and the economy, growing awareness of mental health issues in Kenya, Band-Aid approach of not selling alcohol until 5pm, not addressing the underlying issue of mental illness, views on the Kenyan Government (“democratic on paper”), self-funded mental health care in Kenya, the benefits of community care and family support, importance of addressing the underlying causes, open racism in the UK vs more subtle racism in Australia, defending himself against other people’s perceptions, being told to “tone down” on stage so that others are comfortable, being stereotyped, the issue of applying for jobs, passive-aggressive racism and finding the humour in it, using comedy to get people thinking and talking about issues, celebrating cultural differences, mixing cultures to grow and develop, Vincent’s super power, making a snowman in his PJs, and his message of asking people “How are you?” because that question can be a lifesaver.
Interview with Matt Young, a Tassie born Comedian who started performing in 2014 and moved to Melbourne in 2015. Matt has done the Tasmanian showcase in the MICF for the past 2 years (called Heads A-Plenty), and runs a comedy room in Hawthorn called Guerilla on Wednesdays – check it out if you can!
We discuss: The awesome Tassie comedy scene, the relationship between drugs, sobriety, creativity and mental health, starting and stopping weed, different strains of pot for creativity, Matt’s experience of having motivation and creativity dulled by weed, substances being addictive vs being habit-forming, celebrating periods of sobriety with weed, 2 weeks off in Japan, how weed affects sleep, managing social pressure, decision-making process, views on alcohol, expectations from self and others, the value in learning what you don’t want to do, Matt’s dream of being a blu-tack scientist, being a teacher’s aide, kids being a rich source of material, Matt's love of entertaining, sketch comedy and writing, learning from bombing on stage, Matt’s super power, and his message of the value and well-being in taking action if you’re feeling down (eg. making something with your friends).
Interview with Courtney Barnett’s number one fan Daisy Berry, who has been performing comedy for 4 years, including two Adelaide Fringe shows, and a MICF show in 2016. If you’re planning to be in WA in January 2017, you can catch Daisy’s show at Perth Fringeworld. Also check out Daisy's new podcast, it's called Mad Chats With Daisy Berry.
We discuss: Daisy’s “Am I Mental?” show exploring the notion of comedy as therapy, audience over-sharing and listening as best she can, Daisy meeting her Dad at age 16, flipping a coin and going with your gut, family traits, Daisy’s first comedy set, supposedly having an easy name to remember, Mad Chats With Daisy Berry podcast (listen now!), accountability for making judgments, portraits of Daisy as a snail, meeting Courtney Barnett, and Daisy’s message that no one is perfect and try not to judge.
Interview with the passionate Kieran “Truth Teller” Butler, who has been performing comedy for 15 years, and for the past 5.5 years has run a weekly open mic room at Station 59 in Richmond. Some notable shows from his comedy career include the Ben Cousins Rock Opera in 2009/2010, the Ned Kelly Last Stand Up show in 2011, and the Australia Is Fucked show which Kieran took to Edinburgh in 2013.
We discuss: Comedy in Australia having a bigger role to play than “just getting on the telly” or becoming famous, Kieran’s views on child abuse in Australian culture, family history of bipolar disorder, self-medication, the blessing of the way his brain works, what goes down must come up and vice versa, the benefits of working in the Arts for taking care of mental health, the capitalist approach to comedy that will always exist, happiness from his relationship and parenthood, running a room with the view to give back, issues with cliques, the “sad lifestyle” of comedy, the power of people being heard on stage, Everyone Is Welcome policy, black and white terms of acceptance/exclusion, the evolution of comedy, being pigeon-holed with the label of “football satirist”, the Michael McIntyre genre of comedy, the importance of the artistic journey, views on medication, self-control with weed, importance of not starting on weed too early in life, Kieran’s super powers, the essence of being a true football supporter, the need to experience the pain of defeats to truly appreciate the elation of wins, and being all-in with life.
Interview with the considerate and charming Nat Malcolm, who is a country girl at heart and has been performing comedy in Melbourne for almost 12 months. Nat was part of a MICF show in 2016 with Angela Green, and is working toward her own show next year. You will often find Nat in one of the many open mic rooms Melbourne has running, including Station 59 in Richmond and Tago Mago in Thornbury*.
We discuss: Connecting to other females in comedy, working in male dominated fields, empowerment of women, observational comedy, the role of self-esteem in mental health, “contagion” of mental health issues, growing up with dyslexia, family mental health, depersonalising hurtful comments from others, different types of intelligence, drugs and alcohol use as a teen, having her own liquor-filled bar fridge as a teen, moving out of home and into a “disastrous” share house, Nat’s challenge of living with other women, the simplicity of living with boys, friends with mental health issues, treating people with mental health issues as you would treat anyone else, Nat’s skill with sarcasm, pros and cons of the philosophy of “if you don’t laugh, you cry”, the impact of her grandmother’s death, advice to never live with a couple, Nat’s super powers, her knack of always being right, seeing the good in people, advice that manners are free, texting movie quotes to friends, and Nat’s message to treat people with respect and manners.
*I looked up Tago Mago's after recording, go check it out in Thornbury if you can!
Interview with the humble and entertaining David Tulk, who has been performing comedy for 12 years. David has 5 MICF shows under his belt, has performed in Edinburgh, and recently assisted his friend Gabe Hogan with her 2016 Fringe show.
We discuss: David’s Bipolar II diagnosis, self-medicating vs self-management, medication to manage self-doubt and negativity, the definition of a pre-sleep, mediating between his parents in childhood, the different ways he and his siblings coped with their parents’ separation, ice in regional areas, the unfinished Spanish galleon of Finley Lake, travel via helicopter, Dad’s anger and physical violence, reconciling his relationship with Dad, private school corporal punishment and Saturday morning detentions, being a cadet, artistic escapes, smuggling alcohol as a teen, dabbling in drugs, psychiatry vs psychology, sonnets and Shakespeare, obsession with world globes, becoming a full time comedian, corporatised artwork, Ollie the fair weather friend, the joys of being a cool uncle, David’s super power, and David’s advice to remember that everyone is a fallible human and therefore be nice to everyone and act with love.
Interview with the luminous Nadine Sparks, who performs stand up, and also character comedy and improv. Her Fringe show is called Bridesmaid To Be, which is running from now until 2 October at the Courthouse Hotel.
We discuss: Nadine’s early comedy influences, the lack of focus on mental health, benefits of writing, The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, the “fat tax” of gym memberships, walking to notice your surroundings, the intuitive treasure hunt, anxiety overseas, displacement, Nadine’s motivation for quitting her addiction, Nadine’s positive experience of support services, the best approach of love and kindness, benefits of tough love, family views on depression and other mental health issues, Nadine’s role-model Mum, benefits of self-kindness, Nadine’s take on the glass half full or empty scenario, Nadine’s super powers, and the benefits of hope and gratitude.
Interview with the lovely Jo Bella, who was not a comedy fan at all back in her uni days, but now works as Comedy Producer and also has a partner who is a Comedian. Jo shifted from being a corporate high flyer living an unhealthy lifestyle to being a happier, healthier person working in the Comedy world. Among other achievements, Jo produced four Fringe comedy shows in 2015, and she has produced more shows this year.
We discuss: The ‘normality’ of mental health issues, the model orphanage in Scotland where her Dad was raised, family mental health issues and losses, being the rock for her Mum, physiological vs environmental causes for mental health issues, impact of grief, the challenge of very mental unwell people not being able to access treatment, comedy as therapy for healing from trauma and a source of empowerment and catharsis, the benefits of exercise, family love of cooking, being in nature, the meditative process of running, leg pressing 100kg after 2 weeks of training, awareness of factors that impact mood, universality of self-doubt, connecting with friends for support via social media, the illuminating Clue app to track periods and mood (you’re welcome ladies!), sharing of grief, time for healing*, shame over ‘traditionally shameful’ things, the importance of reaching out, being vigilant about managing mental health, love of travelling solo, strengthening social connections, Sean’s activism and street medic work, empathy and alliances, picking your environment and pursuing your values, Jo’s super powers, and Jo’s message about the importance of talking to others, and to be weird and be yourself because ‘normal’ is the problem.
*Special guest sounds from the cleaner and Bourke Street trams!
Interview with the entertaining and animated Harrison Engstrom, who hails from Wollongong and has been performing comedy in Melbourne for two years. Harrison is creator of That Comedy Podcast, which evolved from Laugh Till You Cry Podcast. He also works in video and content creation, and edits videos for Quick Bites Comedy.
We discuss: Foreign Accent Syndrome, Harrison’s experience of hypnotherapy, the surprise popularity of his podcast, Corey White admiration, 9-11 obsession, Harambe the gorilla’s hashtag, the story of Diane Schuler, worry about being a terrible person, undiagnosed ADHD (which is perfect for his job), the impact of his engagement break up, advice of what not to do with acid, the Icarus myth, making a Census skit, Operation Avalanche, techniques Harrison used to cope with depression, the importance of routine and discipline, revelations at Mount Keira, belief in possibilities instead of expectations, philosophy about death, Harrison’s super powers, vacuum cleaner distraction (apologies to Harrison and our listeners!), speech patterns and accents, the firework incident, and Harrison’s messages that mental health issues can be hard but instead of motivation, focus on discipline and find what works for you; listen to Harmon Town and Bojack Horseman; and take care of yourself & reach out for help if you need it.
Interview with the engaging and inquisitive Comedian Kirsty Webeck. Kirsty started out with a comedy workshop/showcase three years ago, and soon after put together a 1-hour show, which (with her Public Relations background) she managed to sell out very quickly! Since then she’s written several hour-long shows, including her first MICF show in 2015. Kirsty also works on Joy FM (94.9), including a recent seven-week stint on DriveTime.
We discuss: Getting gigs before getting to know other comics, the risqué and wild challenge of drinking water on stage, the opening of doors with networking in comedy, the importance of mental health maintenance, mindfulness, baring your soul with comedy, depersonalising, views on social media and mental health, reacting vs responding, locus of control, the danger of assumptions, Kirtsy’s super power, giving and receiving compliments, the issue of today’s desire for instant gratification, and Kirsty’s message to keep yourself healthy in every way and to be kind to everyone around you.
Interview with Craig “Coombsey” Coombes, the creator of Naked Tuesday (there’s no space between the words if searching on Facebook) which is all about getting out of your comfort zone. Coombsey frequents the Comic’s Lounge as a punter, has appeared as a guest on Adam Hills Tonight (check out the footage here https://youtu.be/5CP8h-MO3Rs), and does a bit of specialised* stand up. These ventures into the comedy world came about after Coombsey was diagnosed with thyroid cancer four years ago. He had treatment including surgery and radioactive iodine, but despite all efforts it was found that tumours had spread and Coombsey was given an estimated 18 months to live. That was three years ago. In that time Coombsey has quite literally been living his life to the full, which was kicked off when his close friend Pete B got him started on a Bucket List.
We discuss: Coombsey’s experience of the illness (which he thought was viral laryngitis in the beginning), the subsequent treatment and insisting on a timeframe when he received the bad news, the significant role his Mum played in how he received the news and in his general outlook, The Bucket List and how everyone needs a Pete B, the first time he met Adam Hills, the profound health benefits of comedy, family health history, family reactions and setting a positive example for his kids, dealing with the tough times, upcoming plans including comedy in Montreal and filming a DVD at the Hammersmith Apollo in London, the importance of his tattoos, Coombsey’s super power, and his message to make the rest of your life the best of your life.
*Coombsey does cancer-related material, where he aims to have a laugh at cancer’s expense. Coombsey likes his audiences to have fair warning about who he is and what he’s about so they can be on board.
Interview with Melbourne Comedian Mimi Shaheen, who first performed comedy on Valentine’s Day this year, and is off to an impressive start so far. She performed her second gig in front of a large crowd at the Comic’s Lounge (which was a milestone as she'd frequented the venue as a punter from the age of 15). Mimi has always loved comedy: she received various comedic theatre roles in high school (which earned her a spot at the Victorian College of the Arts), and has a very dark sense of humour. Mimi had TWO gigs at the Comic’s Lounge this week, and will be performing at Yes All Women on 6 July, and Funny At The Brunny on 18 July.
We discuss: The adventure of comedy speed dating in December 2015 which in a roundabout way led Mimi to attend the Comic’s Lounge workshop group, putting in lots of open-mic hours, the past pains which brought about her dark taste in comedy, comedy goals and wanting to “eat it alive”, Mimi’s experiences as a Social Worker/Family Worker, immigrating from Syria as a child and the challenges of fitting in, how bullying and other traumas have shaped her work so that she is a strong advocate for children, inter-generational problems and other issues in her work, Mimi’s techniques to maintain a healthy work-life balance, managing temper, Mimi’s super power, and her message of finding a way to laugh as it will assist with coping.
Interview with Melbourne Comedian Anthony Jeannot, who has been doing comedy for 7 years and has a few MICF shows under his belt. His 2016 festival show, Rage Against The Man Child was reviewed as “intelligent and insightful” (Herald Sun) and “funny, sweet, uplifting” (Squirrel Comedy).
We discuss: Anthony’s period of anxiety following graduation from university 2 years ago, how the anxiety affected him in regard to job duration, lack of confidence and feeling overwhelmed, how Anthony started dealing with it differently once the anxiety was pointed out to him, acceptance and managing perfectionism, vicarious learning from seeing the people he admires not always getting things right, rewarding himself for getting on stage – regardless of performance, never wanting to be the “tone deaf” comic who cannot try new material, dealing with being constantly evaluated, meditating for wellbeing, “lego blocking” what works for him, Anthony’s passion for sharing ideas, super powers, and his messages of the importance of talking to people and treating wellbeing as an outcome to be evaluated – it’s just as important and valuable as evaluating other areas of your life and leads to greater insight and awareness.
Oh, and I forgot to thank Peaches at the start, so … Thank you Peaches.
Interview with Actor/TV Show Host/Producer Andy Nolch, who has been making The Kink TV show for 1.5 years (watch it on Fridays at 11.30pm on Channel 31). The Kink is a late night comedy TV show, in the style of Letterman or Rove Live. Andy has always enjoyed comedy and found a way into television, funnily enough, via a job he held in a plumbing store.
We discuss: how The Kink TV show evolved, comparisons to Tom Green, the catharsis of podcasting, Andy’s depression which started in the later years of high school, attempting university and a postal job before taking time out to do what he loves, trying various methods to deal with depression, the side effects of anti-depressants, discovering Scientology, learning how to learn, starting a business, Naturopathy and other activities/techniques that helped Andy, Andy’s super powers, The Celestine Prophecy (by James Redfield), the benefits of gems, and Andy’s message that you can cure your mental health issues by taking one step at a time.
Interview with Comedian Jaymie Wilson, who started performing comedy in 2006 (14 February to be precise). He’s got several MICF shows under his belt (including one with guinea pigs), and he’s been performing Puppetry of the Penis for 4 years. Jaymie performs locally, interstate and overseas, and in his first year of comedy he did a staggering 506 gigs!
We discuss: quitting real estate and getting straight into comedy, his awesome first gig - but bombing for the next 8 months, jumping right in the deep end at the interview for Puppetry of the Penis, being on stage in front of a large crowd just a few days afterwards, Jaymie’s personal relationship issues when a request for a paternity test showed up in the mail, the subsequent ups and downs of his mental state, the delay of results due to the legal process, how his stage partner deals with spontaneous erections, how Jaymie met his current partner in quite a memorable way, his parents’ professions and Dad’s unorthodox methods, addictive personalities and minds, drug of choice = comedy, 506 gigs in one year and reflections on the guy who beat that record, gig jealousy and stage anger, dealing with a period of depression, avoidance of drugs and alcohol, the constructive methods Jaymie uses to manage mental health issues nowadays, Jaymie’s super powers, and the message of not being afraid to be different, and sharing advice from Comedian Chris Bennett – make sure your act cannot be followed.
Interview with Comedian Tessa Ryan, who has been on the Melbourne scene for about a year, and has been performing in a sketch comedy show at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival called DotComedy (the last show is TONIGHT – Sunday, 3 April). Tessa does stand up as well, and has been known to frequent the Imperial, The Wild, Club Voltaire, Attik and other open mic rooms.
We discuss: Tessa’s panic attacks as a child and fear from not knowing what they were, the self-fulfilling prophecy of anxiety, the helpfulness of Progressive Muscle Relaxation, awareness of self-medication, preparation for change, exercising and other helpful coping techniques, gradual return to exercise after not doing it for a while, incidental exercise, how people are not very open about mental health issues, people going to counselling for help about their loved ones, comfort eating, short-term vs long-term goals, friends keeping mental health secrets, watching for extremes in behaviour, the power of hindsight, the importance of making time for yourself and getting enough sleep, Tessa’s super powers, the sage advice to Pat A Cat If You’re Sad, and Tessa’s message to encourage everyone to be more open about mental health issues, put yourself first and be kind to yourself, always.
Interview with Melbourne Comedian Hamish Paterson, who has been doing comedy for six months (with a pause in the middle due to a bad gig experience). Hamish is a fun and likeable guy who tells personal stories on stage, and also works at The Comic’s Lounge to immerse himself in the comedy environment even when he’s not performing.
We discuss: Building his comedy confidence and being himself, comedy goals both local and abroad, meeting one of his comedy heroes, starting and stopping psychology studies, experiences of living abroad with his family, depression, how Hamish almost got his family deported from Dubai, the perils of taking Roaccutane, a “toxic” relationship and “life crisis” after high school, anxiety issues, views on being realistic with kids, The Bad Gig, reading the comedy audience, learning from mistakes, triggers for anxiety, lying & losing friends vs the relief of being himself, Hamish’s super power and ones he’d like to have, and the message of perseverance being the key to everything, along with staying healthy, self-belief and not being a lazy b!tch!
If you’d like to catch Hamish doing comedy, keep an eye out on Facebook to see if he’s at a roast battle or an open mic room or around Melbourne.
Interview with Melbourne Comedian Caili Christian, who is a self-professed late-starter, but is already kicking comedy goals. Caili is involved in a couple of MICF shows (including support for Angela Green’s show Perfectly Reasonable, and the 100% Nuts showcase) and does regular open mic gigs around Melbourne.
We discuss: Caili’s sudden start in comedy after walking out of a frustrating job, the welcome from the comedy community, Caili’s “meltdown” three years ago, Tropical Island Therapy, Caili’s view on medication, the challenges and rewards of working on Nauru, Caili’s pivotal role in helping the other workers cope AND reach their personal goals, Caili’s view of government corruption, challenging social norms about women and gender stereotypes, the move to Melbourne, shift work and managing anxiety, work/life balance, comedy goals, coping strategies, owning her excuses, Caili’s super power, and her message of going easy on yourself and finding support and where you want to be.
Interview with Lainie Chait who is new to the Melbourne comedy scene, but has always been hysterical to her loved ones! Lainie undertook a series of comedy workshops six years ago in Byron Bay with comedy mentor Mandy Nolan, and since then has been regularly writing comedy (and also a book!). In and around Melbourne, Lainie is doing open mics at the Imperial, Yes All Women in Richmond, and also has an upcoming gig in Daylesford.
We discuss: The comedy scene in Byron, Lainie’s diagnosis of epilepsy at age 19 and the difficult road to accepting it, the big role of mental health in relation to epilepsy, different types and onsets, Lainie’s view of the triggers for her own onset, hiding the symptoms for four years, knowing intuitively that it’s not “just chemical” but emotional too, the fear and anxiety related to revealing her vulnerability, the self-fulfilling prophecy of anxiety, the conscious decision to not have children, the importance of trusting her intuition, the semantic difference between “you are epileptic” and “having epilepsy”, bringing epilepsy to the comedy stage, strategies for managing anxiety, never knowing how people might react to seizures, how her holistic approach has led to being 18 months seizure free, the “safety net” of seizure warnings, duty of care to self AND loved ones, Lainie’s book Electro Girl and the catharsis of writing it, Lainie’s super power of empowering people to feel comfortable about their flaws and finding the funny side of your human self, working on acceptance and finding a way to make it funny.
As mentioned in this podcast, check out the Electro Girl page on Facebook, and Lainie’s book (also titled Electro Girl) when it comes out later this year.
Interview with Chris Asher, who has been on the Melbourne comedy scene for about 6 months. He has performed at Open Mic nights, the Comic’s Lounge, The Brunswick Hotel, and also at Roast Battles which are on Sunday evenings at the Town Hall Hotel in North Melbourne.
We discuss: Chris’ self-deprecating comedy style, enjoying the exploration of performing comedy, thoughts on RAW, self-analysis of Chris’ recent performance, the perils of reading your phone right before you perform, aiming to be comfortable on stage, a bit about The Podcast Formerly Known As, not being able to hold grudges, struggling with pressure from himself and others in a past job, reaching a point of burn out, a revelation while motorbike riding, the holiday escape after quitting, over-sleeping vs depression, the lesson of needing to be more aware of work-life balance, the emotional hangover from that period, the transition to self-employment and issues with motivation, the issue of not liking what you do, philosophy of eating the frog first, defining a “good job”, doing what you love so it doesn’t feel like work, counselling with puppies and kitties, the Cat Café in Melbourne, the new MAA segment called What Is Your Super Power?, Shae and Chris’ super powers, the power of self-belief, the law of attraction and goal-setting, the magic of the computer desktop background technique, Steffi’s magic Myki card, the importance of talking to people, the message that no one judges you as much as you think they are going to OR as much as you judge yourself (and most people just want to be supportive), and the power of venting.
Interview with Justin Fleming, who has been in comedy for three years (his anniversary was last Tuesday!). However Justin does not do things by halves, and he has worked extremely hard to gain a lot of experience in his three years. Justin runs the workshops for young comedians on a Tuesday at the Comic’s Lounge, as well as Monday nights at the Lounge, and has introduced Roast Battles to Australia. Round #2 of the Roastbattle Downunder is TONIGHT (Sunday, 7 February) and Shae from MAA will be in attendance!
We discuss: Justin’s background of being in a heavy metal band for 20 years and how it gave him stage/acting experience which set him up for comedy, Justin’s comedy style, growing up in Springvale, the point of the Roast Battles (ie, to use wit and insults in a fun way, not to take the jokes personally), his experience of anti-depressants when he was 17 (which didn’t agree with him), Justin’s breakdown which resulted in a hospital visit, how he came across Kundalini Yoga and meditation, doing a Vapashna meditation retreat (which meant silence for 10 days), reflecting on how everything comes and goes (including emotions), being on a more spiritual path, having high expectations of himself, Landmark courses, “wrangling” the comedy audience, philosophy on performing, the mental health issues of J’s parents, Justin and his brother facing identity issues, the Brotherhood of the heavy metal community, his views on the cliques and bullying in Melbourne comedy, Roasting and how it will help comedians to rapidly improve their craft, Justin’s view that life isn’t always smooth sailing and that contrast makes life good, the message that it’s OK to ask for help, learning how to stop playing the victim via YouTube, negative thinking and J’s vivid dreams, difficulty practicing gratitude, therapeutic experiences with mushrooms and understanding himself more profoundly, floatation tanks, the double edge of being on his own, how he obtained a medicinal card in LA, creativity with and without weed, breaking down the clique barriers and constructive criticism.
Interview with Reuben Hunter, who has been doing comedy in WA since the RAW competition in 2009. Reuben is performing at Perth’s upcoming Fringe World Festival for the first time this January. His show is titled The Hoard, and is his musings on hoarding and the reasons for it.
We discuss: Reuben’s reflections on himself and his own mental health following the suicide of his father a few years ago, Reuben’s long-distance relationship with his Dad, the issue of men’s suicide, how Reuben has been coping, overcoming the stigma of receiving counselling, “clicking” with your counsellor, “The Voices”: reality TV idea about group therapy in reverse, mountain climbing analogy, self-care trip to NZ, and the importance of communicating and sharing how you are feeling.