Jack Rooke is one thing of a stand-up curiosity. A naturally, humorous and partaking determine who eschews the thought of out-and-out jokes and trite content-free reveals, in favour of painfully humorous tales embedded in transferring and even motivating programmes. In an period when the bad-taste gag typically grabs the headlines, it’s refreshing to see somebody creating reveals which can be extra about emotional punch somewhat than glib punchlines. To rejoice his new sequence Happy Man (all episodes embedded within the article – you’re welcome) we spoke to him about his historical past with binge consuming, why Quavers gained’t get him and how he tried to bowl his weight away.
First of all, inform us about Happy Man. Your first present Good Grief (which is good and nonetheless obtainable on iPlayer by the best way) handled a interval of tragedy in your life. What are you specializing in with this present?
Happy Man is concerning the options to the male psychological well being disaster on this nation outdoors of simply speaking. It’s about discovering the issues that younger males can do which can be free and are simply accessible and that maybe aren’t being run via the NHS, however that also assist good psychological well being. There is a kind of failure within the assist system infrastructure in sure areas on this nation that signifies that some males don’t get the assistance that they want.
The sequence is impressed by my pal Olly’s suicide. He took his personal life when he was 27 and I genuinely consider that earlier intervention for him would have been a life-saver. But it’s actually a celebration of him and I don’t need it to be too unhappy or miserable. I would like the programme to encourage and empower folks to have extra instruments to assist themselves.
Men’s psychological well being has been gaining a variety of protection lately due to the efforts of Princes William and Harry to carry #headstogether and get folks speaking about psychological well being – is that sufficient?
The present mainstream protection of psychological well being is so saturated with calls to speak and simply conversations about conversations. For me, it’s actually unproductive to encourage males to speak and go to their GP in the event that they’re then going to cock-up all of that bravery by placing a bloke on an 18-24 week ready checklist to do one thing about the best way they’re feeling. You have to type out the infrastructure and the assist providers on this nation earlier than you’ve gotten this clarion name for males to exit and speak.
That’s why I’m actually proud to be an envoy for CALM and I’ve been since I used to be 18 years previous. I believe they fill within the hole that the federal government have created by supporting males in a method that’s accessible to guys and that’s pleasant and approachable and humorous and life-affirming. It’s nice to see psychological well being rising to the highest of agendas however I’m by no means certain if it’s simply wanking into the abyss about speaking with out truly sparing a thought for what may very well be the answer. I believe it wants infrastructural reform and extra options which can be free and straightforward which is what Happy Man is all about. In the programme I’m assembly up with plenty of totally different males who’ve performed fairly radical issues like chilly water swimming, working and drag all to assist themselves really feel higher.
You additionally strive posing for a life drawing class within the programme. Would you say that was a superb motivator to really feel higher about your self?
I’m going to make this one straightforward: no.
Ok. Male physique picture is a rising situation, or it’s one that’s gaining traction as an concept that perhaps males generally don’t really feel great about how they appear. Is that one thing you see in your personal life?
I believe with male physique picture it’s both finish of the spectrum. Unfortunately, you’ve received greater guys who probably have low shallowness who’re actually beginning to really feel the crunch of not assembly as much as masculinity’s portrayed supreme. Then I believe you’ve received blokes who’re actually lacking the purpose of life as a result of they’re simply thrashing themselves with protein shakes, obsessive about health and picture as a result of it’s clearly filling a void somehwere else. It’s the boring age-old factor of claiming that we should be balanced.
You’ve misplaced a variety of weight your self lately, so nicely performed for that! What was your motivation behind that?
I’ve wished to shed weight lately for well being causes and as a result of, I gained’t lie, it’s a tough factor to be efficiently gay, be fats and get laid particularly when homosexual tradition actually, actually promotes a hyper-masculine, oiled-up Greek God picture. So I believe for me I had these considerations and it’s arduous to steadiness each self-importance and desirous to be joyful and to be embraced no matter measurement you might be. That’s what I hope Happy Man has is this concept that you recognize what, fuck it, I don’t have essentially the most stereotypically supreme of masculinity however my masculinity is past muscle tissue. The motive I’m an extremely sturdy man is as a result of I’ve handled so many fairly tragic experiences and come out the opposite facet, in a position to chortle and to rejoice the folks I’ve misplaced. I believe that’s what marks you out as a powerful man, somewhat than somebody who’s hooked on protein shakes.
So how did you shed weight then? Got any suggestions you can share?
Generally, I used to be simply taking care of myself and watching what I ate. I attempted a couple of weight reduction programmes with my mum, Slimming World nevertheless it wasn’t actually for me. I favored parts of it, folks coming collectively as a group and having a joint objective. I believed what was attention-grabbing a few weight reduction group was that it gave you a secure house to fail in and I believe in society today there are only a few locations to fail. You can’t fail at work. You can’t fail as a dad or mum. You can’t fail on-line. So to go to a weekly weight reduction assembly and should you’ve placed on and failed you discover that persons are nonetheless supporting you. I believed that was actually human and I liked it. Then however I used to be like, “Oh my god this is a cult.”
Fun truth about you is that you simply’re a superb ten pin bowler. Perhaps it’s much less well-known although that you simply truly began bowling to shed weight – is that proper?
It’s true. When I used to be a young person my GP informed me that I wanted to do extra sports activities as a result of I used to be obese. My dad wished to do one thing with me and him on Saturday mornings and the native tenpin bowling membership was there and open and so somewhat than truly doing bodily train I simply rolled a 14lb ball down a lane in a warehouse that smelled of toes and sick. Me and my dad ate worse meals as a result of each bowling alley within the nation is true subsequent door to a McDonalds and additionally they had sizzling canine merchandising level contained in the lanes, so it was totally pointless for weight reduction. The neatest thing I take from it although and my one tip is that with reducing weight it was good to strive and do it with another person and have that assist (the MAN v FAT Forum is this fashion).
In Good Grief you had been very open about binge consuming – what do you concentrate on that now?
For me it was actually unhealthy. It occurs once I really feel fairly low and it’s about management for me. Food and management are intrinsically linked in lots of people’s lives, it’s one factor that you could management how a lot or how little you place in your physique. I discovered that any time I’m pressured I discover myself strolling via the kitchen opening cabinets and I catch myself and assume, “What am I doing!?” You’re simply opening cabinets taking a look at meals and it’s mad. You realise that you simply do it in a daze and you then assume, perhaps because of this I’ve received huge tits.
You’re touring from April twenty eighth till June twenty fourth (tour particulars right here), how do you handle to remain wholesome on tour provided that storage forecourts are notoriously arduous to seek out salad at.
It’s actually boring, nevertheless it’s simply planning. It helps having a stage supervisor that’s fats phobic, so he’s undoubtedly not going to let me stuff my face with Quavers which is an effective factor. It’s doubly essential to eat and reside nicely on tour as a result of your psychological well being is paramount and below strain. If you had been consuming McDonalds on a regular basis you’d kill your self half method via and I actually don’t wish to find yourself feeling suicidal at a service station at Leamington Spa.
Thanks to Jack for chatting with us and tell us what you concentrate on Happy Man over on the discussion board.