Comedic act shines light on mental wellbeing

COMEDY ACT POSTPONED: Comedian Marc Ryan was going to perform at the South Gambier Football Club but Covid-19 has intervened.

Charlotte Varcoe

A COMEDY event which hoped to shine a light on mental wellbeing in a new and innovative way has been postponed due to ongoing Covid-19 uncertainty.

Australia’s very own Beautiful Bogan, Marc Ryan, was due to come to Mount Gambier later this month to put on an entertaining show with organisers making the tough decision earlier this week.

Mr Ryan is known across the country for his comedic response to mental health with his shows based on his own life experience.

“As someone who lives with mental illness, I really feel like I can use my comedy to reduce the stigma around it,” Mr Ryan said.

“My whole aim now is to normalise the conversation around mental illness and make sure those who are struggling aren’t alone.”

Since beginning his comedic act, Mr Ryan said he had received an overwhelming positive response from the audience.

“I get this fantastic response because I really believe that we are – as a community – looking for people who are brave enough to be vulnerable about mental illness because it is all about realising we aren’t alone in this world,” he said.

Mr Ryan said he decided to take the path of comedic acts to break down the stigma because of his enjoyment of storytelling.

“Naturally when I started performing, storytelling mental illnesses was the genre I focused on because essentially we can relate to human failure,” he said.

“I find that when someone stands on stage and admits to failure it is both hilarious and relatable.”

Hosted by Mount Gambier’s StandBy Support After Suicide organiser Tracey Wanganeen, the event came to fruition after she met Mr Ryan at a previous event.

“We were both guest speakers and I was lucky enough to have a bit of a chat with him,” Ms Wanganeen said.

“I really wanted to organise something positive for the men around the region because three quarters of our suicide rate are consistently male.

“It is about trying to talk to the male demographic in a way that would bring them along and appeal to them.”