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!