Russell was the first in the cracking line up for the CALM Comedy Club last month where he laughed in the face of ‘fear of isolation’ and told us why “cracking a gag” is good for our mental health. Something he hopes to do more of as CALM Ambassador: “I hope to help people to realise that humour always finds a place - even when you think it can't”.
But funny stuff aside, he thinks it’s important to talk, especially in the utterly weird situation we all find ourselves in. “I’ve ended up becoming an ambassador when staying calm is harder than ever. I’m a big believer in conversation as a complementary therapy”.
Even the trolls that showed up to the live show didn’t get Russell down. Instead he used their comments to talk about the challenges he faces as a comedian. “I’ve been doing stand up comedy for a decade, my skin is thicker than a lizard dipped in concrete” - plenty of us ROFL-ed at that one. Following up, he explained how touring on the road can be tough, especially in an industry that is only just beginning to talk about mental wellbeing. “We live alone on the road. Massive amounts of adrenaline and validation are followed by being alone in a hotel room. It’s challenging”.
So how does he cope when things are tough? “BOOKS. Thank god I’m a reader. Audiobook in the ear - one in front of the face”.
We’re sure Russell will be giving us lots to laugh out loud at during quarantine and beyond, but his proper good words of advice were: “Try and find something that makes you smile before breakfast!”
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