Interview: Everyone Needs Therapy3 April 2019
Iszzy Williamson and Emily Weir make up the two parts of the fresh comedy duo bringing you Everyone Needs Therapy. Done with the trope of the comedian who justifies their depression with laughter, Weir and Williamson are out to show how getting help can be much funnier than staying sad. So why should you catch this political and absurd piece of theatre? We asked Iszzy and Emily.
Iszzy: Because EVERYONE NEEDS THERAPY!
Emily: BEcause it’s the cheapest therapy session this side of bulk-billing.
What inspired this show?
Iszzy: I was inspired by my own personal struggles with my mental health. I wasn’t always okay. It was such an isolating and helpless experience. My aim of this show is to trick people in with the comedy aspect, and then inspire them with the message. There’s no shame in reaching out.
Emily: I’ve been honest about my mental health in conversations with friends and found that it helped them to get help, too. I kind of hope this show can do that on a larger scale — by showing that going to get help is something to be proud of!
How do you think mental health is typically portrayed in comedy? Is this something you agree or disagree with?
Iszzy: I think a lot of comedians have problems, and in some ways I feel like there is an expectation that you have to have problems to be funny. I hope this can change. I hope I can continue doing comedy even after I finally sort my shit out.
Emily: Comedy’s got a lot of problems, but one of them is straight white dudes talking about their “crazy” girlfriends. It’s stale and it’s boring. So don’t support any more of them. Support us and support young queer neurodiverse comedians.
How long have you two been performing together?
Iszzy: This is first show as a duo! So not very long at all – a few months.
Emily: Wish it’d been longer, Iszzy’s a legend.
Has your creative process been influenced by one another? What does that process look like?
Iszzy: I think we are bad influences to each other, and I love it! From afar, the process looks like two gals rolling around the floor laughing, and up close it looks the same too.
Emily: I usually screech a lot.
Best joke you’ve ever written?
Iszzy: I once wrote a sketch about mermaids, and it had a sequel. Watch out for it when I do my farewell Rowdy Laughter show.
Emily: It was probably about how much I like birds. I run a comedy bird page called Parkville Pigeon – a character who is consistently funnier than I am.
Best joke that didn’t make the cut?
Iszzy: We cut this story about how I thought I was allergic to sad music. Every time I heard it, I felt a funny feeling inside. Turns out that ‘funny feeling’ was called sadness, and it was a natural reaction to sad music.
Emily: I personally think that every reference I made to Guy Fieri has been unfairly cut.
All time Best Therapist?
Iszzy: Mr Snugglepots. Best listener.
Emily: I’ve got a seriously good therapist, but I also wrote my thesis on Dr. Phil — perhaps the most prominent therapist of our time. He is deeply flawed (see my thesis for details) but when I finish my psych degree, I hope to give advice to at least that many people.
Who would make the best impromptu counselor: Jack Black or Jack White?
Iszzy: Jack Black for sure.
Emily: I’m with Iszzy.
And how does that make you feel?
Emily: Everything hurts but we’re excited.