356 SelfWork: What You Can Learn From Laughter and Fear: A Conversation with Dr. AND Comedian Priyanka Wali
Manage episode 375187801 series 2612104
I’ve long been one to say to someone who’s paralyzed about the direction they see their lives going in or goals they want to achieve – experiences they want to have – to say, “Why not “and?”
After they look at me kinda funny, I’ll explain. “Why can’t you be a plumber and a painter? A mother and an ad exec?
That’s what this week's SelfWork guest has accomplished. She’s an internal medicine doctor and she’s a comic. A stand-up comic at that. Named by Refinery29 as one of the 50 Female Stand-Up Comedians You Need To Know", Priyanka Wali is a stand-up comic who also believes strongly in mind/body connection and the importance of fear in true transformation. I think you'll love this conversation!
She's also the co-host of HypochondriActor with Sean Hayes (yes the guy from Will and Grace…). I know you'll enjoy talking about her story and how you might use it as motivation for your own!
After all, why can’t life be an “and?”Advertisers' Links:
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Click HERE for the NEW fabulous offer from AG1 - with bonus product with your subscription!Episode Transcript:
Speaker 2: Dr. Margaret
This is SelfWork. And I'm Dr. Margaret Rutherford. At SelfWork, we'll discuss psychological and emotional issues common in today's world and what to do about them. I'm Dr. Margaret and SelfWork is a podcast dedicated to you taking just a few minutes today for your own selfwork.
Hello and welcome or welcome back to SelfWork. I'm Dr. Margaret Rutherford. I'm a clinical psychologist, and I started this podcast just about seven years ago to extend the walls of my practice to many of you, some of you very interested in therapy or psychological issues, but also perhaps those of you who are a bit skeptical about the whole thing.
So, I have a great interview for today and before beginning, here's a message and an offer from AG1, the Greens mix I take every morning to get my day started on the right track. Okay... Occasionally I miss a day, gotta say that, but I try to remember every day 'cause it makes a difference.
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I've long been one to say to someone who's paralyzed about the direction they see their lives going in or goals they wanna achieve, experiences they wanna have... They always say, "Well, I've gotta have this or this, but I've gotta make the perfect choice. I've gotta try this or this." And my question to them is, "Why isn't it an "and"? And after they look at me, kind of funny, I'll explain, "wWhy can't you be a plumber AND a painter, a mother AND an ad exec?
We don't have to limit ourselves. We can be "AND", not this or this. And that's what our guest has accomplished. She's an internal medicine doctor and she's a comic, a standup comic, by the way, who was named by Refinery 29 as one of the top female standup comedians that you need to know. Her name is Priyanka Wali. And she's the co-host of HypochondriActor with Sean Hayes, the guy from Will and Grace that probably a lot of you know, It's a great, great podcast and I'm delighted to have her on SelfWork as a true "And" - er .
Here's one more sponsor message. This one from BiOptimizers and Magnesium Breakthrough. I use it every night just like I use AG1e in the morning. And that's my own AND, I guess,
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Episode 356 with Priyanka Wali.
Realize you can support self-work by supporting our sponsors. And now, Priyanka Wally,
Speaker 2: Dr. Margaret
I started off my morning by listening to your comedy routine .
Speaker 3: Dr. Priyanka Wali
Oh, which one? Which bit did you check out?
Speaker 2: the one on your Website?
Speaker 3: The one? Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Speaker 2: And I laughed. I just thought, I've known some in and out guys.
Speaker 3: . Oh man. Yeah, that takes me back. You know, I haven't, I haven't, you know, after the pandemic hit, you know, obviously comedy changed and performing in person totally changed. And I remember going back on stage in 2021, so, you know, we were kind of used to reentry, we were opening up a little bit, and the vibe was just really different. And so I've, I've slowly been getting my feet
Speaker 2: Thought about that. How was it different, Priyanka?
Speaker 3: Well, first of all, you know, having, it was an outdoor show and most people were wearing masks. But even if you're doing an indoor show, you, it's hard to see people's facial expressions if they're masked. Right? So that, you know, to me, standup has always been a relationship between the, the performer and the audience. It's a connection. And when you, you know, cover the face for obvious important reasons, safety reasons it, it sort of breaks that connection. And so what I found was that I enjoyed comedy, less enjoyed performing less after the pandemic.
And I actually took a break from comedy and I sort of went back to like, "Okay, what does bring me joy? Like, what is this really about?" And I went to France and I actually studied clowning with Philippe Goer, who's a world renowned clowning expert. And I went back to the basics of like, okay, physical comedy, like comedy with your body and not just your neck up mind voice.
And then I sort of came into singing parody songs. And that's kind of the new stuff that I'm working on now. Really? Yeah. So I'm taking my comedy and I'm turning it into more parody songs, and I've released a few small clips on Instagram. But I'm planning on releasing a longer video at some point. So that's kind of what I'm working on. And that's like part of the transformation as an artist, which is, it's an incredible journey.
Speaker 2: Well, you know and I wanna, I wanna back up and we, we kinda started in the middle, didn't we? Or I did. Yeah. Yeah. And so I wanna back up and, and talk about how you got to be, but you know, I'm a huge advocate of, of, AND kind of lives. I am this AND I'm that, and I'm something else. Mm-Hmm. . So I love that you're living your life that way. Oh, thank you. I also listened to the last podcast that you and Sean did. Mm-Hmm. . And I thought the story about your either great-grandfather or your grandfather was so touching that Wali is actually the Arabic name. Mm-Hmm. healer or helper.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Helper. Helper. Or like friend, friend of man, helper of man. Yeah. Yeah. It was a name bestowed upon us. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Incredible.
Speaker 3: . Yeah. Yeah. When I, when I learned that for the first time, and it sort of changed my relationship with my own name, you know, I always thought I didn't really have a relationship, but then once I realized it was sort of like, gifted, I was like, Wow, that's, that's, there was an identity shift and you know, there's a sense of humility and gratitude as well.
Speaker 2: You know, when you hear stories like that. My grandmother was named Emma Clayton Robinson, and I remember asking one time why was, why was her middle name Clayton? And the story was that I'm from the south, I'm from Arkansas, and her mother and father's home was taken over by the Yankees during the Civil War by a General Clayton.
Speaker 3: Okay.
Speaker 2: He was so kind to them that they, when my grandmother was born, she was named Emma Clayton Robinson.
Speaker 3: Wow.
Speaker 2: And Clayton has become one of our family names, which is just so, I don't know, it adds something to your understanding of your family and what has happened, and of course,
Speaker 3: Right.
Speaker 2: It's just, I don't know, there's something about that kind of tradition or g legacy that's just fascinating to me.
Speaker 3: Yeah. And I'm curious, do you know what, what was the name prior to Clayton before that?
Speaker 2: Well, no, she had not been. She was born and then, and then they named her Emma Clayton Robinson.
Speaker 3: Wow. Wow. Yeah. There's so many complexities to that story, because on one hand, this, this person was the oppressor. They came in and they took, you know, your family home and your land. Right. And yet they were a kind, oppressor, kind enough for us to name them after them. It's like, there's so many nuances to that, that story. It's, it's very complex. It certainly could, would be totally justifiable to bring up a lot of different set of feelings around that.
Speaker 2: Yeah, I think so. So I wanna find out about your journey. You are a physician. Mm-Hmm. , you're an internal medicine physician. Mm-Hmm. . And I think you also have training in OB obesity, is that right?
Speaker 3: Correct. Yeah. Double board certified. Mm-Hmm. double board certified.
Speaker 2: And so, and, and then, and you know, you, you've laughed with your co-host Sean, about I really wanna be just a doctor on tv and Yeah.
Speaker 3: , I just want a small rule on Grey's Anatomy. Is that too much to ask? I mean, come on.
Speaker 2: So I would love to hear you know, there's a lot of doctors in your family and you told that story, but Yeah. How, how did you decide to become a physician? And are you, are, are you American born? Are you, were you born in India or were you born in America?
Speaker 3: Yeah, great question. So I was born in the United States, so I'm Kary Pundit. So my family originates from Northern Kashmir, and that region was actually affected by genocide as recent as 1991. And so that led to a diaspora and immigration all over the world. And my family chose the United States.
And so I was born in Los Angeles, but I actually spent some early formative years going back and forth between India and the United States up until I was age three. And so, you know, my childhood upbringing you know, my parents were doctors, their siblings are doctors. Their kids are doctors. I mean, and, and the lineage goes further up the chain. So healing was really, we would not have normal dinner discussions. You know, like the, the dinner table discussions were about, like, the cases my dad had and like, you know, all this sort of preventive medicine stuff.
And so I joke, you know, like I sort of came out of the womb holding a stethoscope. It was something that I lived, breathed. It wasn't until I went to college that I was like, oh, people can do other things. You know what I mean? And I always had an artistic side to me. And so I always loved performing arts and creative writing, and that's always been a, a very big part of my sort of soul's energy.
And at the same time, the science had also would come to me quite easily. And so I found myself you know, going through the pre-med classes and I actually was accepted into a program coming out of high school called a Baccalaureate MD program. It no longer exists, but it was a program where you basically got accepted into medical school coming out of high school.
Really? It was a, yeah, it was a very competitive program. They only took, I think like 12 or 15 people all across the United States. And so I knew, I knew out of high school that I was gonna go to med school. Yeah. And I can't say honestly though, that that was what I wanted.
I think there was a part of me that really was you know, I loved creative arts. I loved performing. And I couldn't see a path if I were to pursue medicine. But I, I grew up in a very traditional Indian family. Like, I had a tremendous amount of pressure from my parents. Like, no, you have to go to med school. Like, that's gonna happen. Yeah. And so, you know, again, because the science would come to me easily, I decided to, to sort of give it a go and give it a chance.
You know, in hindsight I wish I had taken some time off in between undergrad and med school. 'cause I went straight through. And I, I don't necessarily recommend that. I think if I had had more time to sort of develop and simmer as a human being you know, I, I wasn't really a human being by the time I went to HU Med School. I was just this concept, you know, I was so undeveloped as a person.
Speaker 2: So you followed the structure that your parents wanted you to follow, and really hadn't had a whole lot of autonomy about
That. Totally. Yeah. And, you know, it would come out in these different ways. Like I, you know, when I was a med student, I joined this local improv troupe in East Los Angeles, you know, and I would have these little pockets of things that I would do to create balance. Sure. And it's funny now because the work that I do as a, as a physician, I, I am very passionate about it now, but I think it's because I've taken much more of a an an identity that this is part of social justice activism in terms of like, what is going on right now with the current medical paradigm and you, what needs to change. I feel like very compelled now to be involved with this and to be a part of this. Because at the end of the day, we're all connected.
And I feel like I was given a set of privileges by being born into a family that, you know, was all healthcare providers on some aspect. And I feel like it would really be a, a waste to, to squander those gifts essentially. Mm-Hmm. . And so it's funny 'cause now I, I really love what I do and the way I've sort of built my life. I mean, I'm definitely not working like a traditional medical doctor at like, you know, a major hospital or anything like that. I mean, I have my own private practice and I, the way I think about healing, I would say it's, it's more consistent with like a new paradigm as opposed to the older paradigm. You know, in terms of integrated,
Speaker 2: More holistic,
Speaker 3: More holistic integrative, you know, thinking about issues from a mind body perspective as opposed to the current, you know, the current paradigm is like, you have a heart problem, you go to a heart doctor, you have a kidney problem, you go to a kidney doctor, you have a mind problem, you go to the mind doctor. It's like that. It's very disconnected and, you know, there's no more like general doctors anymore. I mean, it's like, it's a rare dying breed. And so I am really trying to bring a callback to, Hey, let's look at the whole person. Let's treat the whole person. This is not just a mind issue or a body issue. This is a mind body issue. And essentially we are all mind body spirits. Yeah.
Speaker 2: Yeah. Couldn't agree more. So I was always interested, and I remember asking my sort of, she's my manager you know, why does Priyanka wanna come on SelfWork? I mean, why does she wanna come on a mental health podcast? And I, I wanna ask you that question. I was so intrigued that, you know, and it sounds like it's very may maybe tied into this, well, one, of course, you're an example of someone who is saying, don't be, don't be governed by, you know, what other people expect of you. But make sure that you're, you're zoning in and really expressing the parts of yourself that bring you joy and, and that kind of thing. Which I think is wonderful. I didn't know if you had any history with depression or anxiety or anything like that, but it also sounds like maybe it's tied in with more of this holistic view of things.
Speaker 3: Yeah, I think, I think you're hitting the nail on the head. So, so yeah. I, I actually, I've talked about this publicly. I think there was an article in Women's Health Magazine where I actually was very depressed in medical school. In fact, I didn't realize that I had the signs and symptoms of clinical depression until my psychiatry rotation in medical training Oh. . Where I was interviewing people. Yeah. I was interviewing people who were severely clinically depressed. And I was walking away from these interviews with individuals and I was like, there's really no difference between me and this person that like, probably needs to be hospitalized. And you know, I, it was then that I, yeah. So it was then that I realized that, you know, I had severe clinical depression and I needed to be on antidepressants for a period of time in medical training.
And what, what in hindsight coming out of that, what really was going on is that I was in a very difficult situation. The medical system, the medical training system, it's actually a very oppressive system. And I didn't have the best coping skills. I didn't even know what therapy was at the time. And fortunately that's when I learned about treatments, like cognitive behavioral therapy. And I started therapy. I saw a psychiatrist and was able to get the help that I needed. And then when I graduated medical school, my depression symptoms went away and I was able to get off the meds. And I haven't had a relapse of depression to that severity since then.
Speaker 2: So it was probably very situational and that kind of thing. It was
Speaker 3: Absolutely situational. Yeah.
Speaker 2: I have the fancy title of adjunct professor at University of Arkansas Medical School. Mm-Hmm. Medical School of Medical Sciences, I think it's called mm-hmm. . And I laughed and said, I don't even get a parking place with that. So
Speaker 3: . Yeah. Yeah. And
Speaker 2: I, I teach a course that's, you know, an hour and a half in one semester or so, it's very little about psychotherapy to medical students. Mm-Hmm. who are psych psychiatry rotation. And one of my major questions is, what do y'all think therapy is? And they just kind of stare at me. Oh, yeah. Like, what are you talking about? You know, and Oh yeah, well now we've learned that this is what you do with this person and this is, and I said, you know what? You gotta throw all that out. 'cause That's not really true. Mm-Hmm. mm-hmm. . But it, it's fascinating how that the, unfortunately the medical school schools still don't really incorporate a whole lot of mental health knowledge and understanding to physicians.
Speaker 3: You know, I really appreciate you naming this because it's something I talked about. I think on one of the podcast episodes, you know, in medicine we are sort of taught that if you can't objectively identify the cause of someone's issues, like for example, if you can't get lab work Right. That can corroborate or a CAT scan or something like that, you we're, we're literally taught, or at least back when I was in med school, I was taught that you need to conclude that this is a psychosomatic issue. And once you label someone as having a psychosomatic issue, you kind of wash your hands of it and move on. What the deficit in education right now that's happening in the system, I think physicians especially need to be taught the next step. Right. If you're gonna label someone as having a psychosomatic issue, the next training is understanding, okay, well what is the emotion that's linking to that physical symptom?
Speaker 2: Well, the trauma or the Yeah, exactly. The, what's going on? Name what's going on with the patient. I, I love it. I did my dissertation yeah, my dissertation on conversion disorders,
Speaker 3: So, okay. Sure.
Speaker 2: I was, you know, bridging the gap between, for those listeners who don't know what conversion disorders are, they are disorders that are, that are psychologically based, but can can mimic mm-hmm.
Speaker 2: Make true medical problems. And I did mine on Pseudoseizures mm-hmm. , which was someone looks like they're having a seizure, but there's no actual abnormal EEG activity, so, right. Although they can be mixed anyway, enough about that. Mm-Hmm. . Yeah.
I'm always I'm so glad that more, at least there's a movement toward physicians moving there's a movement toward moving ,
Speaker 3:, a lot of movement, a lot
Speaker 2: Of movement, lot of movement toward integrative, or that's kind of this kind of medicine. 'cause I just think it's vital.
Speaker 3: Oh, not only is it vital, Margaret, I I actually am at the point in my career where I am sort of, if anyone's gonna call themselves a physician or even a healer for that matter. Yeah. and they don't have a basic understanding of this type of education. They actually have an incomplete education of how healing actually works in human beings. And so what I would love to see more of is more education for medical students, especially helping them understand how to name emotions and the effects that that has on the human body.
Speaker 2: Sure. Sure. Because isn't there research, in fact, I've read some research that says the brain actually doesn't, can't tell the difference between physical pain and emotional pain.
Speaker 3: That's correct. Actually, yes. When we experience emotional pain, it activates the same receptors of the brain. This is through functional MRI studies, it activates the same receptors of the brain as if we were to experience physical pain. Fascinating. Fascinating. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, all we're naming here again, is this is more and more evidence of how we need to move towards a mind body model, a model in medicine. And I do believe this will be the next paradigm where we start to look at human beings as mind bodies and not just bodies with minds.
Speaker 2: Right, right. Bio psychosocial,
Speaker 3: Spiritual. Yeah. Right. Yeah. Exactly.
Speaker 2: Okay, so let's switch gears. Okay.
Talk about the clown part of you, or the funny part of you, the comedic part of you. You have a wonderful podcast yourself that's very, very popular. It's called, let me see if I can not This Hypo Dry actor Hypo
Hypochondriac. hypochondria. I'm so
Used to saying the word hypori, called it .
Speaker 3: Yeah, totally. We just call it hypo for sure.
Speaker 2: And your partner is, your partner in crime,
Is the lovely Sean Hayes, who you may know from a small show called Will and Grace tiny little show. Yeah.
Speaker 2: In fact, my trainer, I was working out this morning and I was told him who I was, who I was interviewing. He goes it did you say that her co her cohort, you know, her partner is, is Sean Hayes. And I said, yeah. Oh, I can't wait to tell my girlfriend that you're interviewing someone .
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah, Sean's darling. I love working with him. It's, it's been a pleasure. And I don't know when this episode's getting released, but he's currently on Broadway at the moment. So I do, I do miss him because he is, he's very, very busy on Broadway. But it has been just an absolute joy working alongside with him. Oh, great. He brings, you're, oh, thank you. Mm-Hmm. . Yeah.
It's, it's so easy to work with someone who's so lighthearted as Sean, and he brings just a lot of joy and humor and, you know, in on the podcast we're talking about, we can talk about some pretty serious things, pretty heavy things. And, you know, that that lightness that he brings, it allows us to kind of go to places where maybe we wouldn't necessarily be able to go if this was a more serious kind of heavy podcast. Mm-Hmm. , you know, it's so important when you're interviewing celebrities or anyone who's willing to share something vulnerable about creating a safe space so that people feel like they can share. And so I feel really grateful to be working alongside him.
Speaker 2: And you answer questions from listeners about, is it only medical issues that they call in about? Or is it Yes.
Speaker 3: Yeah. So people like to call in and share their medical stories. And it's been also, that has been a very, very humbling experience. You know, the, the callers that call in and the, the depths of their shares, you know, as the show has progressed, the shares have been more and more vulnerable, which we so appreciate. And what I love about the shares is that people will many times call in and say, you know, I thought I was the only person that had blah, blah, blah, but after listening to this episode, I realize I'm not, and I have it too. And this is my experience. And that's, to me is what this is really about. You know, connecting us, reminding us that we're all one people. We're one species. We're human beings, and we, we feel the same things and emotions do connect us. And I think that's so important to remember in this time of such divisiveness
Speaker 2: On SelfWork. I also love to, to answer questions from listeners. It's one of my most favorite things to do. And so it's your right. I just feel like there's so many, you know, there's this, again, research will say that there's this explosion of loneliness, and it's true and right. Staring at our screens instead of talking right to another. And so there's this sense of, I must be the only one feeling this. So, so since, since the pandemic happened, what are you doing with you? You said you went to France and you, you're doing this clowning and that kind of thing. Tell us about that part of you.
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I think in order for me to stay balanced, it is very important that I engage in some kind of play. Yeah. And it can be formal play, like going to study clowning with a renowned clowning expert. But on a day-to-day, like every day, you know, I can't fly to France to study clowning . I do spend a, a significant part of my day. Like, I dance every day. I try and do some kind of movement, you know, especially before I start to see individuals in my private practice. You know, I may put on a song and just move my body and I get really funky and really weird, and I'll growl. I love growling and I love putting my yoga mat out and just like rolling on the floor and just like, moving and arching my back and acting like a total fool.
I mean, just like completely just like the, just an animal. But to me, I, it, it's important for me to do that every day. You know, I think we forget that we, human beings, we're animals and we're, we're, so we have to engage in somatic practices, otherwise we'll be very disconnected from our bodies. And in my own healing journey, I've noticed that the more I'm in my body, the more present I am, and the more I can give, the more I can share sort of the gifts that I have. And we all have gifts to share. And I've just noticed that the more I engage in somatic practices, it's easier for me to tap into that and play. I also consider rest to be a really important facet. I mean resting, going slow, taking naps, anything that just, again, keeps the body in flow. Mm-Hmm. . And so yeah, I'm, I'm generally a very silly person. and .
Speaker 2: You know, people always ask me, well, how do you do something so serious all day long? And I think I laugh all the time with people, right?
Speaker 3: Yeah. I mean,
Speaker 2: There's a lot to not, we're not laughing. I'm not laughing at people. I'm laughing with people that I see. We find things too, to laugh about because it's so important for them to laugh. And it's important for me to laugh.
Speaker 3: Oh my gosh. Yeah. And laughing is so, you know, there's studies to show that laughter literally will lower cortisol levels in the blood. It'll lower inflammatory markers. I mean, it's, and it's, it's just a, a really great feeling. And I think that's why while I was a resident working 80 hours a week, sure. I gravitated towards standup comedy and performing comedy. 'cause It was this one thing that I could do solo on my own terms. And it, there's an immediate feedback. You make the audience laugh like you've done it. That's the feedback. And it's spontaneous. You can't fake it. Well, maybe you can fake it, but like a real belly laugh. Mm-Hmm. really hard to fake, you know, that big old belly laugh. For those
Speaker 2: Listeners who are out there going, how do you, how do you get the courage to stand up there for five or eight minutes and try out these jokes? Because I know from, I've heard enough conversations with, with standup comedians that they, they go to hundreds of these clubs and try material and try out material, and sometimes it dies. I was lucky enough to hear Ellen DeGeneres when she was young.
Speaker 3: Oh, nice. Wow.
Speaker 2: And, and I can remember thinking, this lady's going somewhere. You know, I was
Speaker 3: In . Oh, wow.
Speaker 2: And but I know it just must be grueling. And, and I don't know, how did, how did you, how did you rake up or whatever We would say the courage to do it?
Speaker 3: Yeah. Yeah. So, you know, I was a resident and I had just broken up with a long-term relationship. So I was really going through a process where I was really just re trying to figure out who am I at the coming out of this very long relationship. And I, I sort of took some time and I was like, what is it that I really need? What is it that I really want? And I, I, I searched in and the answer was like, I, I want laughter and I want to make people laugh. And, you know, to be completely honest, standup was a morbid fear of mine. You know, it was something that I could have never imagined myself doing, but I sort of wielded it within myself. I was like, you know what, it's just gonna be a one-time thing. It was supposed to be like a bucket list thing.
Like, I'm gonna do standup once, and then that's it. And I'm writing it off. But what happened is, I was in San Francisco training, and I Google searched good place to try standup comedy for the first time in San Francisco. And the first hit that came up on Google was a laundromat slash cafe slash open mic place where people, oh, fun. They have a, they have an open mic and people are like folding their laundry while you're like, telling jokes . And yeah, the website said, this is a good place to try standup comedy for the first time in San Francisco.
So I go to Brainwash Cafe slash laundromat, and I, there were three minute sets, so I wrote three minutes of jokes. They were, I, they, now, in hindsight, they weren't funny at all, but they were all I could do at the time.
Mm-Hmm. and I go to the laundromat, I do a three minute set, it went well. And just, it happened to be that, that afternoon in the audience was a local producer who produced shows locally in the Bay Area. And he came up to me after my set, he is like, you were really funny. Like, do you wanna do my showcase? Which is in a month? No. And I was shocked. And I was like sure. And he is like, I need you to do 10 minutes and it's next month. See you next month. And so I was like, I told him, yeah, absolutely.
But in my mind, I was like, 10 minutes, I don't even have 10 seconds of good material . So, you know, what I ended up doing is I started going to other open mics so I could prep for that one showcase.
But then what happened is that at those other open mics, other comedians who had shows, they would see me and they were like, Hey, I want you to do my show. And so by the time I had that showcase a month out, I actually had all these other showcases lined up, and the next thing I knew I was, I was in it. I was deep in it. And, and the, the, it really just transformed. And then I, I was like, this is a lot of fun. I'm not gonna stop. And so I just kept doing it. And then years passed and then more opportunities arose, and then I started doing commercials. And that, you know, it turned into this whole other world. But it really originated for me wanting to face this small fear and just like seeing what would happen. I hope,
Speaker 2: I hope my listeners are listening to this because, you know, one of the things that I, that I say probably, I mean too many, too many times, is it doesn't matter where you go, it matters that you go, oh
Speaker 3: Yes.
Speaker 2: It sounds like you just said this is a fear of mine. I wanna confront it. You didn't have plans necessarily to become, you know, a standup comedian, but you just went where, you know, you went, you went in intersection and three minutes
Speaker 3: . Yes. And those three minutes literally changed my life. Yeah. And, you know, over the years, my relationship with fear has evolved. You know, it's, it's only years later that I realized, you know, when we experienced fear, and I'm not talking about the, the, the real fear. Like, if there's a tiger about to mall you or you know, a car gonna hit you or something like that, forget about that sort of fear, like actual real fear, but just sort of the existential fear that everyday fear to me. Now, when I experienced that in relation to a specific situation, I actually view that as a sign that I'm getting close to some area of transformation. Fear is a sign that you probably are doing something right.
Speaker 2: It's a flare from your unconscious mind going, pay attention, pay attention,
Speaker 3: Pay attention. Yeah. And so now when I experience fear, my relationship with it is such that I'm like, oh, it seems like this might be an opportunity for transformation.
Speaker 2: I Just love your story..
Speaker 3: Oh, thank you.
Speaker 2: What's the next?
Speaker 3: You know, yeah. So there's a coup, there's a couple of things in the pipeline. I mean I, I just wanna name to, to piggyback off of what you're saying, you know, again, when I first started doing standup, I never thought it would pivot to doing more social justice activism about better treatment for physicians treat. I never thought it would lead to educating the general public about complex medical issues in the form of a podcast that mixes comedy and medicine. You know standup really are, is kind of the trunk of the tree, but the branches led to other things. And for that, I'm very grateful. And so at this point, you know the, the podcast is taking up quite a bit of time. And we do have, it does butt
Speaker 3: it's a lot of work. It's a lot of work. And like I said earlier, I am working on a show with parody songs and singing. So I love that you sing because singing has, has also been, it's another way of performing that really uses your whole body. And so I, I'm working on that as well. And then a couple of other projects that I can't really talk about yet, but I, I'm excited to release soon.
Speaker 2:Oh, that's nice. Well, again, we'll have the link to your podcast, but say it one, because I'll probably crucify again. So ,
It's, it's HypochondriActor episodes are released every Wednesday on all of the channels Spotify, iTunes audible, you name it.
Speaker 2:Yeah. Okay. And way any other ways people can reach out to you. Yeah,
Speaker 3: Sure. You know, I'm available on social media, Instagram. You can find me at Wali Priyanka. That's w a l i, Priyanka, P R I Y Y A N K A.
Speaker 2: Okay. Well, I, I, like I said, I was up about five 30 this morning and I started, you know, and you made me laugh and you made me laugh hard.
Speaker 3: Oh, good. .
Speaker 2:That was really a fun way to start my morning. And I have loved our conversation. Likewise.
Speaker 2: If You ever wanna have a mental health professional on, just keep me in mind,
. Yeah. Yeah. I'd love to stay in touch. Well,
It's lovely to meet you. Likewise.
Dr. Margaret Outro
I hope you enjoyed that. I could not have been more pleased that Priyanka wanted to be on the episode. In fact, we had quite a bit of schedules and reschedules and reschedules before we could get things planned. I really enjoyed talking with her. I hope I get to meet her in LA one time when I go out to see my son.
As of this recording, my TEDx has now had 112,000 views. Please go listen to it or watch it and like it if you do, I'm falling a little short on likes, 'cause I really want those to show that people are agreeing with the idea that we don't have to keep secrets. That we can be transparent even about things that are very, very hard to talk about. I hope that's what SelfWork is showing you, that I and other people can talk about things like depression, anxiety, sexual abuse, anything that happens to you with clarity so that we can act as beacons for each other.
So just go to YouTube, TEDx Dr. Margaret Rutherford, and it'll be there. You could watch it, listen to it, and if you do like it or even comment, that's even better. Thanks for being here, guys. It's always a pleasure. Take very good care of yourself, your family, and your community. I'm Margaret, and this has been.