Helping you get through tough times

Dermot Whelan

Dealing with a hectic schedule

Dermot Whelan on managing a hectic schedule, early starts, how important sleep is and your well-being.

Dermot Whelan transcript:

ReachOut: Dermot Whelan, what keeps you fruity? How do you get up at five o’clock in the morning?

Dermot: Sleep is essential for your head, if you’re not getting enough sleep you’ll be tired, ratty and everything seems like it’s a giant hill to overcome. So if you’re doing exams, if you’re doing an interview, anything like that, anything stressful coming up you’ve got to be getting sleep.

Being a comedian

It’s five thirty in the morning and I’m exhausted. See that ship over there? That should be over here. That means I’m running approximately forty five minutes late.

Funnily enough. I’m a comedian, and comedians have one of the highest rates of depression and suicide in the country. I don’t know why comedians are more susceptible to depression. I think, maybe it’s from the thing that makes us want to get up and make strangers laugh, that we’re desperately seeking approval or that we need a big high. If in your life you have a lot of big highs, it goes without saying you’re going to have a lot of lows, maybe that’s why.

Surround yourself with good people

There’s a cobweb gets me there, every morning right across my face, and I keep forgetting and it keeps getting me.

Avoid people who sap your energy, it’ll just make you ratty. I think you need to surround yourself, as much as possible, with people who’s company you really enjoy and are good for you. And not people who are mad out of it “He’s mad out of it, we stayed up all night!” Not him, your mother was right about him.

Having fun

I taste money. Apparently I’ve been sleeping with pennies in my mouth, again. Getting ready to wake up Dublin yeah! Even though I feel like I want to punch somebody, because I haven’t had enough sleep. Come down here! It’s a white knuckle ride!

I think it’s really important if things are getting on top of you, it can happen if you’re ten or a hundred. Then you take a few moments out to do something that genuinely makes you laugh. So whether it’s looking at funny things on youtube, or playing with your child’s toys. I only had children so I could play with their toys. Mr. Potato Head is, still genius.

Back in your bucket potato head!

Asking for help

This time of the day you’ll usually find there’s very little traffic. Just me and a few Taxi drivers, cruzing. You see some choice running. There’s one guy who runs in his pyjamas, silk pyjamas.

It’s important that you seek help, when your head is too cluttered, and that’s why Reach is good. Because, when I grew up all we had to worry about was whether the computer game we had was going to take four days to load, or ten weeks.

Hello yes, I must have rang you in my pocket by accident.

Take time out

I suppose to some extent your life is, more or less like a computer your body is, your mind is. So you need to reboot it from time to time. For me I usually try to go away somewhere maybe. Sometimes I go to the Aran Islands, because it’s a brilliant place, there’s none of that rattle going on. So you take a couple of days to free up your head and just talk to random people in a pub on an island.

On stage

We’re gonna rock yeah! That’s how I roll, I gently let my guitar fall over. Wait until I get back to my hotel room and I’m gonna put my television near the window. That’ll teach the travel lodge.

Lonely business

Stand up comedy can be a lonely business, because you’re standing on stage on your own and often times you’re in Clonmel, in a hotel room with only three walls. So that’s why it’s important to have really good people around that you can work with as well that do great things for your mind. Like my pal Dave who I do the radio show with.

In studio

Dave is like one of those professional golfers how have that golf hair. Well if you’d like, I could remove the hat and we could do the hand shake after the eighteenth tee. That’s nice Padraig Harrington hair there. Well, he has been very sick of late, he’s had the man flu for the last few days. Women don’t understand this, this is serious!

Nonsense people are great

You need people around you who speak nonsense, because the world is too serious. You have exams, jobs, everyone’s like “Oh what time are you gonna be there at?” It’s good to have nonsense.

This is my wife, Carina, give us a random word. “Tigers”. Excellent choice, you can go now.

Nonsense people are great, like her. She gave me two balloons. Come, this is a wall of nonsense I have in my sitting room. A tiny teapot, a very tiny spoon, disco glowing nail polish, a picture of my friend Cathal on a badge.

The fog is in your mind

Come out here, this is very important. This is my work bag, which I haven’t touched since I came home. I have all the essentials, my diary and a selection of wigs.

There’s a fog, the fog is in your mind.

What can I do now?

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