TRANSCRIPT: Mateo Oxley (S2:E2)

ROCHELLE: Hello, and welcome to the Invisible Cabaret Podcast! I’m Ferrero Rochelle

ROS: And I’m Rosie Verbose.

ROCH: And together we run Invisible Cabaret, a performing arts troupe dedicated to opening up the conversation surrounding mental health.

ROS: Join us as we talk to some of the most bodacious burlesque babes, cabaret creatives and inspiring artists about how their creativity and mental health intertwine. Let’s pull back the curtain and strip away stigma!

ROCH: Please note we at Invisible Cabaret are not mental health professionals. If you’re affected by any of the issues raised in this program, we’ve made a list of resources for you on our website: www.invisiblecabaret.org/podcast/resources.

ROCH: Yes, welcome to the Invisible Cabaret Podcast. We are so delighted to have you as always. This week, we are overjoyed to be joined by actor, recording artist, writer, all-round good guy, nicest man ever, the inimitable Mateo Oxley. 

MATEO: Hello. 

ROCH: Welcome, Mateo, it’s wonderful to have you. How are you doing?

MATEO: I’m really good, thank you. Thank you for having me. 

ROS: It’s so nice that you’re here, thank you so much. Should we just dive straight in? Can you give us a little a little flavour of your creative journey, Mateo? I mean, we’ve had the broad brush strokes, but how do you, do you have one discipline that you’re leading in at the moment? Or are you just a smorgasbord? 

MATEO: Yeah, a smorgasbord. What a great word, hey? I sort of describe it nowadays as a creative triangle, because there are three sort of disciplines, I suppose you could say, which I am interested in and have been working on. Acting has always been the sort of point of that triangle and then you’ve got writing and music, singing, and at various points in my career, I suppose I’ve been able to devote more attention to some than others, and you know, I think I have been a bit guilty historically of starving one to feed the other. So I would say that I’m an actor, a singer, and a writer, but at the moment, I mean, to be honest, I’m just really writing. I’m kind of glued to my desk at home and there’s been a bit of an identity shift, because I’m used to doing a lot more stuff. Life, you know, usually has a bit more variety, whereas now it’s kind of like the only thing I can really do is write. And I’ve got all the time in the world to procrastinate, yeah. I’m trying but yeah, in a nutshell, it’s those three things. 

ROS: And what is it that you’re writing about, can we know?

MATEO: Yeah, so I’m writing a novel which I still laugh about, because I thought that was just beyond my ability, and it’s a little cliché to be writing a novel in a pandemic. But do you know what, it’s given me the time and perspective to really think about what I want to do in life and maybe some things which I’ve, as I say, neglected a little bit. So yeah, I put in an application last summer to the Faber Academy, which is an excellent creative school, so I applied not thinking I would really get in, but that I had a pretty good idea for something that’s been swimming around in my head for several years, and pretty much forgot all about it. And very fortunately was offered a place, and now I have to write the damn thing!

ROS: That’s the downside. 

MATEO: Oh yeah. So yeah, so I’m doing it, and it’s a slower process than I had anticipated. I think it’s so much excitement when you first start. You’re like, yeah I’m gonna write 80,000 words by Christmas and have a literary agent by January and it’s just, it’s not like that. It’s a slow process, at least it is for me. I’m very grateful for the structure that it’s been given me in this, you know, strange, amorphous time. It’s, I’ve actually had somewhere, at least virtually, to show up to and the deadlines have sort of been nipping at my heels but it’s given me a nice sense of purpose, you know, in a time where I very often feel like I’m just floating, you know.

ROS: Preach, yeah, absolutely.

MATEO: So I’m really grateful for it.

ROCH: Well, that’s good, hit the grateful section before we’ve even begun the podcast. 

MATEO: Oh, sorry, yeah, that’s like a whole different section, isn’t it?

ROCH: No, not at all. We’d be like, ‘aaand the podcast is done.’

MATEO: ‘Thanks for coming.’

ROCH: Not at all. Is there a particular trick of the trade that you’re using to kind of keep yourself to schedule? Like, is there anything that’s keeping you from procrastinating?

MATEO: Well, if I’m completely honest, usually I am the king of procrastination, the undisputed king. I mean, I’m quite creative with ways that I can procrastinate. 

ROCH: Ooh.

MATEO: You know, I can find all sorts of things to get up to. That sounds a little, sounds a little saucy.

ROCH: I mean, it is a burlesque podcast. A little bit of the tease.

MATEO: We’ll put a link in at the end… But no, yeah, so I do struggle with structure generally. I think structure is very good for me, I just don’t really like it and I try and resist that with every fibre of my being. But I never really, so I don’t really have any tips. It’s more just like, I wanted to use this time wisely. And that’s not to say I wanted to be super busy and productive. I just, I guess I just wanted to look back at this time and feel like I was reflective and I maybe did some stuff that kept me stimulated. And, you know, it’s a very anxious time and I do struggle with anxiety, so I wanted just to, kind of, I guess, channel that energy and see if anything fulfilling could come out of it. So I don’t really have any tips other than kind of show up, really, even if that’s just my living room.

ROS: That’s the key one.

MATEO: You know, just to like try some new things, actually. It’s been really nice because I think with actors in particular, there is a habit or a mindset that we sometimes trick ourselves into which is like, if you’re not ‘just’ acting, if you’re not investing, you know, blood, sweat and tears in acting, then you’re not really a proper actor or like, you’re not honouring the craft or something like that. And all your other kind of passions and interests can sometimes fall away very quickly, which makes you a bit of a boring person, to be honest. Because, you know, we like to be multifaceted, or it’s good to be multifaceted. So it’s been a really interesting time for me to, I guess, examine lifestyle choices and how sustainable they might be, and just, I don’t want to say ‘experiment,’ I sound like some kind of scientist, like I’ve been here in my living room making potions or something. I guess, just recognizing that this is a very unique point in history and we might never have this sort of time again. I mean, in many ways, I hope that we don’t. But yeah, I am generally glass-half-full, so I’ve tried to use this time wisely.

ROS: Sounds very smart to me. Are you missing the, kind of, acting and drama side of things? Are you still managing to scratch that itch?

MATEO: There are elements of it that I really, really miss, and I kind of ache for it sometimes. And then stuff like press nights which I don’t miss. I hate press nights. I hate walking around the room stuff and you know, someone sort of like chatting to you for a bit and then looking over your shoulder slightly because there’s someone more interesting. All of that stuff. I mean, who really enjoys, I don’t know. Personally not a huge fan of that stuff, but I do really miss, like, being in a rehearsal room and just, you know, when you create a little family. It’s so nice when a company really gels and, you know, the going out for drinks together. And obviously being on stage, there’s that, you know, kind of crackle around first preview or first night or whatever. So I do miss it, but then I also feel like I was kind of hurtling around London for so long, at like, breakneck speed. This strange time has given me pause for thought and I think that is a good thing.

ROCH: I was just thinking, it reminded me when you say ‘hurtling around London.’ I have a really vivid memory, Mateo, of bumping into you.

MATEO: Oh dear.

ROCH: In Dalston.

MATEO: Oh, God.

ROCH: On Dalston High Street. I mean, you might not even remember it, but I remember it so vividly. 

MATEO: I do remember it, actually.

ROCH: You were just about to cross the street and I bumped into you and you were running on your way to the Arcola, so I don’t know what year this would be.

MATEO: That’s it, that’s 2016. I think I was doing a play there, yeah.

ROCH: Right, okay, because I remember seeing you and you being like, ‘how are you doing?’ and being like really genuine and nice, even though you were in a rush. And I just remember me babbling at you in like a, ‘oh, I’m going to tell you about all the things I’m doing and I’m going to tell you about all that. I’m doing great, I honestly, I’m doing really great.’ But I was in such a bad place when I saw you and I totally hid it and just like rambled at you, and I just, I seem to remember you kind of like, patting me on the shoulder and being like, ‘wow, this has been really lovely to speak to you.’ And I just have this awful thought, like, you left and I was like, ‘that was horrendous.’

MATEO: No, I’m so sorry that you felt like that.

ROCH: No, don’t you be sorry at all! I just, I just think the phrase ‘hurtling around London,’ you were hurtling on your way to a performance or a rehearsal, and I was hurtling around. I had just started acting. That is when that would have been. I was just trying to find my feet, being self-employed and figuring out what all that meant, and then I bumped into you and I feel like I was so desperate to prove to you that I was doing okay and that London was great and that I was succeeding. And I just, I thought I’d bring it up.

MATEO: Yeah, no, that’s, ah, I mean, I just want to give you a big hug, to be honest. Because what’s interesting about that is that, you, you know, you don’t see the other side, do you, where like – I’ve definitely been that person before. Definitely. You know, you’ve bumped into someone and like, there’s like, no time to properly catch up and to connect and so you kind of… We have this tendency to show our best bits, don’t we? It’s the same as social media, like, it’s essentially like a little museum, a curation, almost, of our best bits. 

ROS: The higlights reel.

MATEO: Like, not many people, like, take pictures of themselves ugly-crying. But no, I do remember bumping into you, and actually I remember thinking, ‘Oh God, I wish I had more time, because I feel like I just scratched the surface there.’ And, you know, I had no idea really what was going on in your life at that point, and probably vice versa as well. 

ROCH: I think that’s so right, it’s the highlights reel, isn’t it? And actually, I feel like that brings us on quite nicely to something we really wanted to talk to you about, which was your experience at the National, when you were the understudy in Angels In America. Because it actually wasn’t the Instagram highlights reel that we thought it was. So would you mind telling us a little bit about that? 

MATEO: Yeah, of course. I mean, it’s a really tricky experience, actually. It was sort of incredible and heartbreaking at the same time, in a way. Yeah, I was working in a primary school, actually in the shadow of Grenfell Tower at the time, in Latimer Road, and I’d been there for months. I was only meant to be there for like, a month, and it just kind of rolled on. And I think I’d worked in about 20 different primary schools across Greater London at this point. I was exhausted. I was doing a lot of photocopying. And I was a little bit, a bit down at the time and then I had this opportunity came through from my agent at the time, who said, ‘I don’t know if you’re going to be interested but there’s a role that’s come up, an understudy role that’s come up at the National Theatre, Angels In America. I think you’d be great. They’re very keen to see for it.’ So I was like, thrilled, as you can imagine. And you know, as a queer actor as well, Angels In America is just huge.

ROS: Iconic, isn’t it?

MATEO: It’s a huge opportunity. And like most actors will tell you what, I would expect, you know, you, I didn’t necessarily think I was going to get it, but I was just thrilled to be going in and meeting them. And this part, I mean, Prior Walter in Angels In America is just like, one of the toughest things, I think, in theatre that you can do. And the play is eight hours in total. It’s this beast of a play. So anyway, you know, I went in a couple of times and I was very, very fortunate to get the role. You think, in a way, although you’re the understudy, ‘this is my moment. I have arrived. This is kind of what I’ve been waiting for. I’ve got so much meat on the bone. I can finally get to show what I can do.’

ROCH: Yeah, your acting chops.

MATEO: Yeah, yeah, so it’s a great opportunity. I was understudying Andrew Garfield who obviously is this big Hollywood star. And Denise Gough was in the play, Russell Tovey, Nathan Lane, just some wonderful, wonderful people. And it was pretty intimidating, but I was like, ‘don’t mess this up.’ It promised so much. And in many ways, it was an incredible experience. However, just to kind of zone in on my story, I guess: I had one single shot to go on and understudy the performance. And, you know, you gee yourself up for it. I had some friends and family traveling a fair way to come and see me, and I had worked my arse off like I’ve never worked my arse off before. Very little sleep, the most amount of dialogue I’ll probably ever learn in my career, you know, it’s just extraordinary. And we went on almost an hour late because there was a technical fault with the set, so that did not help the bubbling cauldron of anxiety. And the play, for anyone that is listening that like, doesn’t know or didn’t see it, it’s split into two parts, and as I say, in total, it’s about eight hours long, so it’s pretty epic. But yeah, so I went on, was kind of, obviously very nervous, and I’m not particularly happy that we’ve gone up so late because it does throw you, you know. You’ve really got to be in a certain kind of headspace for that play. 

ROCH: It can throw you to be in a play and go on 10 minutes late, you know, that, every minute that ticks by.

MATEO: I mean, yeah, you know, and you know what we’re like, we’re like, we have these rituals, don’t we? Anything that deviates from that even a little bit can, yeah, can really pull the rug from underneath you. So we went up nearly an hour late and by this point, I’m like, crackling in the wings. I’m like, ‘urgh’, you know, but we’re flying through first act, second act, and then we get to the third act, I think. We are told that we have to come off because the set continues to play up and we just can’t finish. We can’t finish the show. And my sort of like, big kind of climactic moment is at the end of Part One, when the angel flies down and yeah, and we start talking. There’s all these like, cool, almost like special magic theatre effects, and it’s just like the coolest part of that first part of the play. So I came off and I was just devastated. People had come a long way to see that. And it was, yeah, it was really hard. And then I didn’t get to do Part Two. I didn’t get to do Perestroika, and it’s, and that was my favourite part as well. Like, that’s kind of like a really special play. And you know, I was holding it all in my body and obviously in the front of my head, and I felt like I never really got to like, say it. I never really got to do it, never, I never got to kind of expel that, if that makes sense. And so I had a really tough time after that because I still had quite a bit of the run to go. And actually, interestingly, I think it was like a couple of weeks later that I got a call from our stage manager saying, or company manager, saying, ‘Yeah, you might have to go on. We’re not sure how Andrew’s doing this morning, he’s maybe not feeling well.’ And I didn’t go on in the end, but my God, the anxiety, you know. I was living in Brixton at the time in a little flat, and I just remember waking up to that phone call and just being like, filled with dread, but then all still like, excited because like, okay, maybe I get to kind of do the thing, you know, remedy the situation. And it didn’t happen, and then unfortunately I didn’t for the rest of the run get to go on. And actually, Andrew very sweetly after my understudy show that I did do, or some of it, came up and gave me a big hug and said, ‘I’m really sorry, that’s just so shit.’ And of course, you know, he can’t help that he’s really healthy, and I wouldn’t wish ill on anyone.

ROS: Right you’re not gonna All About Eve him, are you?

MATEO: Yeah, you’re right, you know, like, pay someone to put a hex on him! So, and also, you know, to be completely honest with you, we didn’t have a great deal to do with each other. Because it’s such an intense role, you really have to be in a head space for it, and sometimes I would shadow rehearsals with him, but a lot of the time we were kind of kept separate, which may have been a deliberate choice just because it’s a tough role and you don’t really want to pick up on what someone else is doing, you know? I certainly didn’t want to be a carbon copy of whatever he was doing and, you know, I’m sure that maybe at times me being in the room could have been distracting, because you’re kind of like the parallel universe version.

ROS: Right, it’s like Schrodinger’s Prior Walter, right?

MATEO: Exactly, it’s exactly that. Yes. Stick that on a T-shirt. Nice work, Ros. 

ROS: Thanks.

MATEO: No, it’s exactly, it’s exactly that. So you know, all of the understudies are different flavours and have in their own right earned their place there. Yeah, and it was so cool to be with the other understudies and see how they were kind of working differently and their different sort of artistic choices. But yeah, look, it was a really hard one and it took a long time, I’m not gonna lie, it took a long time for me to feel okay about it. And now I look back and I’m like, wow, I’m so much more robust as an actor, and I’ve got thicker skin, and I learned like a ton of technical stuff on that show, and first of all just kind of proved to myself that I can step up to bat and like, do it, you know? When I was rehearsing, I was like, ‘I don’t think I can do this, I don’t actually think I can remember this many lines!’ You know, so to get to a place where I’m now like, that was really valuable and I, the pain that I also felt on that production is now, I don’t want to say justified, but I understand. I understand now. And actually, do you know what, I got to do a gift of a show afterwards. I went from being on one of the bigger stages in London, the Littleton, which is like, impossibly wide and has like, really tough acoustics, to working at the Finborough Theatre in this like, sparkling little three-hander play, an American play where I was in every single scene. So I kind of went from not being on stage and very much like, being like ‘Shadow Prior,’ to really like, you know, being in the whole play, like, the whole time, and it was it was such a gift. And that was the best thing that could have happened after Angels In America because it’s like, I just kind of took everything down, you know, and it was a really detailed, very thoughtful, provocative production. There was no kind of like, expensive set design, you know? There’s a lot of noise and colour that goes with a National Theatre production, and this was just very quiet, I mean, The Busy World Is Hushed. It was a very sensitive piece so I felt quite bolstered, yeah. 

ROCH: I bet. You kind of went from being part of many people’s anxiety dreams of waking up to a phone call that you’re going on stage and you’re dreading it, to remembering why you love the craft and remembering why you’re there, and why you’ve been showing up to rehearsals. Like, oh, I’m so glad you got to do that.

MATEO: Yeah, it was a really nice one. It was just, it was like, it was pretty, it was quite a pure job and we weren’t getting paid a lot of money, you know. It was peanuts, and we were rehearsing in middle of nowhere, somewhere in North London. I can’t even remember now, it was some kind of office block. There were no frills, you know, it wasn’t, there were no frills attached. And so it was also probably good for the ego, you know, just to come back down and be like, why do you do this job again? Because you’re not doing it for the money, let’s be honest, and you know, you’re not doing it for the fame, because fame is kind of terrifying and completely arbitrary as well. So yeah, I look back at that fondly.

ROS: What a rollercoaster. Do you therapy, Mateo? You talk like someone who has therapied.

MATEO: That’s really funny. Yes, well, first of all, my mum was a nurse for 25 years in the NHS, so she always spoke and speaks very highly of any kind of therapy or counselling and recommends it to anyone, even if you don’t seemingly have problems in your life. So I had a very positive relationship to it, and I had a very good experience and I learned a lot of tools and, I suppose, coping mechanisms. I’m really, I was, because, I’m very grateful for it. Another little bit.

ROS: That’s alright, you’re allowed. It’s foreshadowing, it’s fine. 

MATEO: Oh my goodness But yeah, so I have been in therapy, and I’m not any more and I feel like it’s given me good strategies to cope with the kind of slings and arrows of everyday life. But that doesn’t mean that, obviously, I don’t have my wobbles, because boy, I do.

ROCH: And you mentioned your mum just then. You’re very close to your mum and your family, aren’t you? You’ve got a tight-knit relationship.

MATEO: Yeah, we are quite tight, actually, yeah. We weren’t, it wasn’t always like that, actually. We had like, quite fractious relationships for a very long time and we’ve like managed to figure it all out. Not me and my mum specifically necessarily, but I’m the youngest of five siblings and we all kind of live in different places and we’re all different ages. Like, I’m youngest, so my eldest siblings are in their 50s, in their early 50s, so it’s a big age gap, yeah. But a few years ago, my mum got very ill and had to have several brain surgeries, and we didn’t know she was going to be around anymore. And she had what’s called hydrocephalus, which is water on the brain, and, but she’s one tough cookie, and she was very well looked after by her doctors. And I mean, she had to teach herself to walk and talk again. She’s kind of incredible. We call her Bionic Bev because at the time, she had to have like, metal plates inserted into her head to sort of, yeah, redistribute the flow, essentially. And so yeah, she’s quite a remarkable woman, and very inspiring, and we’re just really lucky to have her still around. And you know, I feel very, very positively towards the NHS because of my mum’s career and also what they did for my mum in particular. And also, she is just like, any time I’m in a play, she’s on the front row. Like, she would make an LED sign and hold it up if she could, you know. She calls it the Sad Mother’s Seat, which is really funny. And then Angels In America, really funny, just going back to that, so when she came to see that, when I was on as Prior, there’s this scene where, it’s, we called it like, colloquially, in rehearsal, ‘shitting blood.’ It’s the scene where Prior is very sick and has Kaposi’s sarcoma and anyway, one of the side effects is that, yes, is bloody diarrhoea. I just remember like catching my mum’s eye on the front row, and this is a woman who’s worked in the NHS for 25 years, as I say, but she was just like, ‘eurgh!’ 

ROS: Oh no.

MATEO: As much as she like, she tries, it’s still like Mateo up there, like, her son, you know.

ROS: Of course, her baby!

MATEO: So I think she was just gonna, she was like, almost on the stage like, kind of like, ‘No, no, let me mop that up! I don’t mind!’ You know, it’s just like, I just saw the look on her face. Those are weird moments when you, I mean, you shouldn’t really be looking into the audience, but I just happened to be lying down collapsed, yeah, and I caught her eye. 

ROS: Oh man, I don’t know if that’s fortunate or unfortunate.

MATEO: Probably unfortunate.

ROS: I really appreciate as well, Mateo, that you just sort of said the quiet part out loud about how, you know, it’s a relationship, all these relationships that you’ve worked at, because again, I guess this is all the sort of what we’re talking about, the highlights reel. You don’t know that, do you, necessarily, and when you look at other people’s presentations of family or work.

MATEO: I don’t think you can. I mean, you certainly don’t get it from mine. Like, you know, I put my hands up, like, it’s, my Instagram is not representative of my life. It’s very much like, selections, but i mean who’s is? But I do enjoy it, actually, as a platform, compared to, say, Twitter or Facebook, because I feel like it’s more creative. I know there can be a very toxic side to Instagram, but I’ve, I feel like I’ve largely filtered that out. Filtered, ha, no pun intended.

ROS: That’s great. 

MATEO: Yeah, I feel like I am, anything that like, pisses me off or like, “triggers” me or makes me feel crap or whatever, I just unfollow, mute, gracefully, without any kind of drama. Nothing personal.

ROS: That’s the energy.

ROCH: That’s very therapy.

ROS: Very therapy. 

ROCH: And such a healthy way to view social media. I think we have got to a point in our podcast where, I mean, you’ve mentioned it about five times, right? 

ROS: The foreshadowing’s too strong now.

MATEO: So much foreshadowing. Can you tell that I’m on a writing course at the moment?

ROCH: But yes, we have come to the point in our podcast where we’re talking about what we’re grateful for. It’s time to get grateful. So Mateo, would you like to kick us off with what you’re grateful for this week? 

MATEO: How many things?

ROCH: You can have as many things as you like.

ROS: Top three.

ROCH: But let’s stick to three.

MATEO: Okay, top three. Number One, I’m very fortunate to have an incredibly patient boyfriend who has just been so lovely and supportive whilst my career has essentially been on ice for a year, so shout out to Tom for that. Number Two, they won’t be happy about it, but it’s my cats, Nimbus and Rouxfio, who bring me so much joy, and that’s all you’ll see on my Instagram at the moment. It’s just so many photos.

ROS: They’re ery aesthetic cats, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with it. You should be sharing it.

MATEO: They’re beautiful. And they’re just, like, they’ve got such big personalities. I mean, you know I do love cats but some cats can be really boring or scratchy or kind of mean or don’t really do anything but sleep, and I feel quite lucky that my cats are dynamic little souls. Such a proud Dad. And Number Three, I’ve been very lucky actually, because I have managed to stay quite busy and creatively stimulated throughout this time, and I’ve done some really cool, like, online digital projects. And I think most of them have been like, no payment or anything. I’ve just been like, delighted to be involved and like, connected. 

ROS: Oh, how lovely.

MATEO: I’ve done stuff with people that are all like, dotted around the country, even overseas. I’m doing something tomorrow with someone who’s in Paris, so I’ve been really grateful for that. 

ROS: Also, I guess the world just feels a little bit, I know it feels bigger because of the Internet but I’m starting to see, I think, probably I’m able to see now there’s a sense of it lifting, even if it’s slowly, that like, actually the world’s got a bit bigger in the last year because everyone’s been like, ‘oh yeah, we need each other. Funny, that!’ So like, having those sort of international links and being like, ‘yes, let’s art together,’ because I need somebody to art with, you know. It’s really beautiful.

MATEO: And also it’s something that’s not for like, necessarily commercial value as well, just for like, the love of it. I do feel like culturally we’ve lost a little bit of that, kind of doing something artistic for the sake of it, for joy rather than sort of ‘how much am I going to get paid for this?’ 

ROS: Big thing. What about you, Ferrero Rochelle? What are you grateful for this week?

ROCH: I am grateful for my bike. I’ve not been out very much recently. Like, literally the past month, past two months, I haven’t left the house other than to go to the shop. And today I went on a super secret, super exciting Invisible Cabaret mystery on my bike, which took an hour, and it was so nice. It was really busy and there’s lots of cars. My mum won’t be very happy to hear that. I was fine, Mum! Yeah, it was really, really busy but it was so nice just to get out and I’m really grateful that I have a bike that I can just jump on and go off on little adventures with. Rosie V, what are you grateful for?

ROS: This week, I am grateful, it’s quite specific but, so, as anyone who’s listened to more of the podcast will know that I, because I harp on about it a lot, I deal with chronic pain, and I’ve been a bit flarey recently. And I was due a catch up with someone from uni who I haven’t spoken to in months, and we do tend to catch up every few months, but it’s not more frequent than that. And I was really looking forward to having a chat with him, and it got to five minutes before and I was just like, ‘I can’t do it,’ and I had to text and do that well-practised text that I’ve got now of, ‘I’m really sorry to let you down. I promise it’s my body and not me. Just please let’s do next week, but I love you and it’s not personal, I just can’t.’ And I’m really grateful for his response which was just – I never have a problem with friends, I’m really lucky. I don’t have anyone who’s antsy or yucky about it when I have to do this, and I know that’s not the case for everybody. But this friend thanked me for telling him, like, ‘I would hate to make you feel any worse. Thank you so much for being honest with me and letting me know.’ I didn’t cry, but I thought about it. 

MATEO: That’s really lovely.

ROCH: I’m surprised you didn’t cry.

MATEO: That’s really lovely.

ROS: Isn’t it lovely?

ROCH: Are you gonna cry now?

ROS: Maybe. No, I’m fine. Yeah, so I’m grateful for lovely friends who are just empathetic and gorgeous. 

MATEO: Good on him. Great friend. That’s the ideal response.

ROS: Good friend award. Right? That’s what I thought. 

ROCH: Top level friendship. 

ROS: Yes, we’ve had one from Andrew, from lovely Andrew in San Francisco, who is just, he’s becoming quite the regular.

ROCH: Our American friend. 

MATEO: Hey, Andrew.

ROS: Andrew’s grateful for spring and then he’s put some emoji of flowers, and also the colourful little birds because previously he said that he was grateful for the birds that come to visit on his porch.

ROCH: Oh, well, thank you, Andrew, so much for sending that in. And if any of our listeners would like to send in what they’re grateful for, you can contact us on all of our socials or via email. And thinking of socials, Mateo, if anybody would like to see what you’re up to, where can they find you?

MATEO: So I’m on Twitter and Instagram and that’s where I post as @mateooxley. That’s where I tend to post kind of updates on that stuff. There’s a lot of cat content, I have warned you. And if you want to listen to some of my music, which is mainly just nice, slightly saccharine, slushy acoustic covers, they’re on Spotify and Apple Music, if you’d like to wind down in the evening. 

ROCH: Do you have anything coming up that you’d like to plug, promote? 

MATEO: Nothing that I think I’m actually allowed to talk about. That sounds incredibly mysterious. But I think, I don’t know, I might be able to, but I’m also exactly the kind of person to put my foot in it. So I’m gonna say there are a couple of things, and if you can endure my pictures of cats and stuff, then you might get the occasional update, as well. 

ROS: Love that. Man of mystery. 

ROCH: Thank you so much, Mateo, for joining us, it’s been an absolute pleasure.

MATEO: Pleasure. So nice to see you both. Thank you for having me on, it’s been really fun. Thank you.

ROCH: Not at all. And thank you so much to our listeners for joining us as well, as ever, it’s been a pleasure to speak to you also. We’ll be back in two weeks’ time with one more amazing guest. Until then, be safe, be well, and be kind to yourselves. Bye!

This has been the Invisible Cabaret Podcast, and thank you for listening. If you’ve enjoyed this episode, please reach out to us on one of our many socials. You can find us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Youtube. Just search ‘invisible cabaret.’ We’d also be grateful if you could rate and review the podcast and share it with a friend, so we can continue stripping away stigma together.

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