I get addicted to podcasts. It’s not a problem because it’s a free addiction, it’s just a fact. Normally, it will take me a couple of times listening to different episodes to get really into a show. After that, I’ll race through the entire back catalogue available on iTunes and gorge until I’ve listened to everything interesting to me.
Recently I have been suffering from writer’s block. If you read this blog, you’ll know this. I just cannot seem to generate ideas on what to write about. Partly, this has been driven by how incredibly busy my job has been in the last few months. I just cannot seem to build up the energy required, mentally or physically, to write anything.
To bring those two paragraphs together, I have become addicted to The Mental Illness Happy Hour, a podcast presented by comedian Paul Gilmartin on which he interviews friends, mostly from the comedy world but beyond also, about their mental illnesses. Most of this encompasses depression but other issues are also explored.
As a long-time devotee of WTF with Marc Maron, on which Maron will open a vein with his comedy industry guests to explore their craft and psyches. If Maron opens a vein in his discussion, Gilmartin slices open his chest and lays his heart down in between the microphones.
The Mental Illness Happy Hour has had the impact of driving me to push harder to kick-start my writing again. The guests on the show are open and honest. As with WTF, having comedians on proves enlightening and emotional as they have an uncanny, and probably completely necessary ability, to access the darkness in their lives and to articulate their psychological problems and demons in an accessible manner.
The show is self-indulgent in places and occasionally struggles to find the balance between serious and funny, but it’s a really worthwhile, powerful project and I will push myself harder to avoid my life passing me by.
I used to run two podcasts and I fully intend to start one of those up again. But there are two hundred other things I’m constantly too tired to achieve and I need to prevent myself from falling into the trap of putting it off so far that the chance is gone.
Gilmartin’s show is brutal at times, but the way his guests are willing to open up to him, and to the audience, is inspiring. Many will argue that they don’t give a shit about the problems of these people. No doubt there is a level of hyper-introspection on the show and, as I said, there is an intense self-indulgence. But through that the show manages to find universal truths about the modern psyche and it’s inspiring me to push myself harder and not let myself drop back into lethargy and passivity.
Well, we’re coming soon… keep your eyes peeled for the changes happening and some posts will follow in the near future.
Much to consider and sort out first, so don’t hold breaths, but things will get going very soon.
Thanks for the patience.
So my wonderful friends in comedy – Jon Cooper and James Groom as stars and the lovely housemate o’ mine John Doree on music and sound control – have launched the site for online radio series Silence in C Minor. The series is an absurdist romp and honestly, pretty tough to describe. The only way to truly understand the mysterious beauty of Silence is to listen to it and you can do that on the website HERE.
P.S An interesting tidbit, any numbers you hear are spoken eloquently by our resident Beth, Beth.
So it’s time for me (Beth) to check out temporarily – I’m off to San Francisco thanks to the very exciting opportunity to train over there for my new job as UK Editor of PopSugar, at Sugar Inc. I’m flying out to San Francisco on Monday, so I’ll be away from E&L for a couple of weeks, leaving it in the very trustworthy, hilarious, intelligent and handsome hands of Sam.
Anyway enough of the shameless self-promotion; keep on coming back here as I’ll be back in a fortnight and it will be as if I had never left. Who knows, maybe I’ll post from the States too!