We Are What we Overcome, Matt McGuinness – An Artist’s Story
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe, one of the greatest celebrations of arts and culture on the planet, takes place each August. With over 3,000 shows taking place across the city, there’s a great buzz and lots of excitement. We’ve reached out to artists who have or will perform in the Fringe to ask if they will share their stories. Our hope is that we can learn from each other and inspire one another to take positive steps to look after our mental health and wellbeing.
Hear from Matt McGuinness, about his show, the impact of sharing his story and how he looks after his mental health and wellbeing.
What’s the Show about?
We are what we overcome is a live show about mental health with music, comedy and anecdotes about getting your head in a better place, about feeling good.
Even with another car driving by.
It’s a relaxed evening, like a memorable night down the pub with a good mate, especially if he’s the kind of friend that usually brings stories, humour and a full live band just to entertain you.
What has been the impact on you?
I think the only issue for me with sharing my own story about mental health is just the impact that the repeated telling has upon you and you’ve just going to be careful about that and the knock on effects that occur, straight after the show or an hour later or the next day, even if it still feels really positive at the time, it just makes you reflect again about your own life.
How do you manage your wellbeing?
These days for my well-being I find the most difficult thing is to keep on focusing all day on more than one thing because my mind tends to wander.
So I try to, I generally get up early and work very early in the morning and try to get a whole day out before lunch time if we can so that the afternoon is really easy.
It doesn’t always work out like that and sometimes it’s just not possible, but that’s what I try and do.
Do you find time for self-care while performing?
In terms of managing myself while I’m performing, I generally always have a friend or two with me. May someone’s performing themselves with me and so it was really good to think through how the evening went, what people said, how you felt, and talk it through on the way home. That helps a lot.
Tips for other artists…?
If you’re considering sharing your own stories about mental health, then it’s really important that you think through what you are sharing and to what extent you’re happy to share that because it will grow and people will ask questions and ask, want you to expand on it.
So you have to be comfortable in the story that you’re telling and also tell it in a manner that you feel comfortable with so that it’s genuine, honest and easy to deal with both during the performance and after.
You get it right… I wouldn’t say it’s a kind of therapy, but it’s a really good thing to do and it does help.
Song: “Everything under the Moon”
Read more about We Are What we Overcome at https://www.mattmcguinness.co.uk/wearewhatweovercome