Interview with Melbourne Comedian Sunanda, who performs stand-up and sketch comedy with characters. Sundanda performed a Melbourne Fringe show (called How Gay Am I?) which she will also bring to 2020’s Midsumma festival. Sunanda is third-generation Indian-Thai, she grew up in Bangkok and attended an international school. She studied and worked in the US, then headed back to Bangkok before making the move to Melbourne in mid-2019.
We discuss: managing mental health with comedy, Sunanda finding out accidentally that she was adopted when she was 9, wondering who she could have been and her gratitude for the opportunities she has been afforded, being queer and what this means to Sunanda, friends knowing Sunanda was gay before she did, sexual repression and self-medicating while growing up, the importance of pride, the experience of coming out to her family, the philosophy to treat yourself as you would treat your best friend (ie, be kind to yourself), rolling with the punches, moving internationally (twice!) with help from the Marie Kondo approach, checking negative thought patterns and the importance of communication, the pros and cons of early retirement, Sunanda’s super power, practicing gratitude, nature vs nurture, and Sunanda’s message to not be afraid of seeking help if you are unwell or just need an outside perspective.
Interview with Melbourne Radio Presenter, DJ, Artist and Comedian Eva Lubulwa. Eva started on radio 2 years ago and found her way onto Triple R (102.7FM). Tune in to hear her show Highly Melanated on Mondays from 10pm to Midnight. Eva also started stand-up comedy this year and performed in 2 shows in Melbourne Fringe: a show with all-African performers called Laughs with Akwasi, and an all-female show called Pick a Dick.
We discuss: Eva’s Ugandan-Australian heritage, the challenge of finding appropriate support for mental health issues and the high price we pay for good mental health, having ADD and wanting to manage it without medication, bouts with an eating disorder, expressing her experiences of racism on stage, how racism has affected her in every way, growing up in Canberra, marrying at a young age, travelling from Australia to Europe without flying and the racism she experienced around the world, her healing time living in Brussels, learning about race in retrospect and how she had subconsciously conformed in her childhood, the danger of assimilation, different levels of mental illness, the one decision her husband made that led to Eva’s decision to end the marriage, Eva’s adopted children and her desire to have Ugandan babies, the notion that some aspects of mental health can be cured by community, the love for her kids helping to manage her mental health, helpful vs unhelpful coping mechanisms, Eva’s superpower, the freedom of expanding into our full selves, and Eva’s message that healing can come in surprising forms so keep looking for things that make your heart sing and follow them.