Mental As Anyone

MAA #100: With Gillian Cosgriff

Aug. 8, 2020

Interview with the delightful Gillian Cosgriff, who has been performing comedy for 10 years. Gill has recently been performing in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child at the Princess Theatre in Melbourne, although the show is currently on lockdown hiatus. Gill has a background in cabaret, comedy, and music theatre.  

We discuss: writing songs on planes, the vacuum analogy of lockdown, the challenge of having big gaps in between work, tying her identity to her occupation, the philosophy of “a bad day is a good story”, reharnessing your own narrative through comedy, knowing the ingredients to the recipe for self-care in tough times but not doing them out of worry she will not feel better, lockdown affording her the time and space for self-care, the twilight zone of waiting for Covid test results, appreciating the slower pace of lockdown, the shock of the first 2 weeks of Melbourne lockdown in March 2020, the good fortune of being able to find work, being “show fit” and becoming a genuine fan of exercise, the rollercoaster of lockdown and anticipation of Stage 4, the high expectations of the first lockdown, living with uncertainty and the extremes of emotions, the "What If" thoughts about Covid, tour life being preparation for lockdown, creative online social activities, the mental health benefits of pets, self-care and putting on your own mask before helping someone else, the simple pleasure of making a great cup of tea and having the time to drink it, the importance of not making your (theatre) job your whole life, the heartening hope that shows will return to Victoria, the emotional response of bargaining and wishing we had tougher restrictions earlier on, and the power of hindsight, lockdown fatigue, the class inequalities highlighted by the pandemic, fatigue from the news cycle, the security of being able to proactively seek therapy when engaged in full-time work, the benefits of CBT and thought-cataloguing to help maintain perspective, Gill’s super power, and Gill’s message to be kind, follow the rules and enjoy some sunshine.

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