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Thursday, 13 December 2018 11:23 am

Podcast a way to talk about mental health for talented performers

IT all started on a drunken night out, with Max Apse and Robbie Nichol sobbing into each other’s arms.

The result was their podcast, How’d it Go, which has just completed its second season.

In the show they challenge each other to do something that they wouldn’t normally do every episode, and share with each other how it went.

“It’s me and my best friend challenging our insecurities and trying to better people,” Max says of the podcast.

The two have been friends since high school, and they naturally finish each other’s sentences and laugh loudly together.

Max is best known for his acting, starring previously in Shortland Street, and in plays such like Spring Awakening. He works in social media marketing on the side.

This is the only project Robbie Nichol does as himself. He is recognized from his role in political web series White Man Behind a Desk, which has birthed a Circa and a Bats show.

On the drunken night of the podcast’s creation, they realised how important it was to share experiences and decided to create something together.

“We ended up just going to the waterfront and talking about all the things that we were worried about, and crying into each other’s’ arms,” says Max, recalling that night.

How’d it Go started by reviewing life, and just doing challenges that scared them, such as stand-up comedy, motorcycling and honesty.

“A lot of the podcast is just listening to people make mistakes and then you get to learn from our mistakes.”

Max and Robbie make the podcast feel like you are hanging out with old friends.

They have laughed but also cried, talking openly about mental health and honestly about themselves.

“Mostly it just feels like I’m talking to Max, so its cathartic in that way that it is for anyone to talk to their friend,” Robbie says.

They realised they didn’t feel as interested in exploring things without a purpose.

“The interesting thing about this is not dumb stunts, it’s that we are very close and very open and honest with each other and that’s the value of the podcast. And so, let’s make it more personal and about our own mental wellbeing”

Eventually they started making the activities about making themselves grow.

“We added a rule that you really have to think this challenge would make the other person a better person.”

“I‘ve come to terms with a lot of my insecurities doing this,” says Max.

Robbie says he has become more accepting of himself.

“We just started doing it and it started evolving.”

This became the foundation for season two.

Season two is centred around the specific theme of mental health.

They explore ways to improve their mental wellbeing each episode, such as trying counselling and religion.

They considered other themes but decided to go with what they always had been.

“It’s like when you’re writing a thing and then it’s only when you get to the conclusion that you realise what the whole thing was about. That’s a little bit like this podcast.”

Max and Robbie conduct interviews with Chloe Swarbrick, David Seymour and Action Station.

“It’s got music, it sounds better, it’s crisper, and it’s got better content,” Max says.

The production value is higher, with new equipment and Max producing original music for every episode.

Max and Robbie are paving the way for men to talk about their feelings and be open about the things they struggle with.

“We realised that it’s actually quite powerful and important, especially for dudes, to talk about their feelings.”

Listeners have written them messages thanking them for speaking up about certain issues.

Robbie says they find themselves lucky that they have a lot of male friends who talk openly about their struggles, and that hopefully they can help others who don’t have that support.

“You realise how rare that is and how people want to see that and hear that.”

They’re not done experimenting with How’d it Go yet, but they will always talk about mental health in some form.

“I care about what we’re talking about. We’re trying to represent our experiences and hopefully resonate with other people. Also, I love Robbie” Max says.

As for the podcast making them better people, Max and Robbie say it has.

How’d it Go is available to listen to on Soundcloud and iTunes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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