"I have loved being part of Gig Buddies”

Throughout September you've heard from a number of buddies, all of whom have shared their own Gig Buddies’ story.

Over the past three weeks Nicole and Vivienne, Matt and Jenna, and Ricky and Simon have taken part in our ‘month of buddies’ series - and today it’s the turn of Rae and Emma (below, L - R).

Matthew: How long have you been paired together?

Emma: Can you remember, Rae?

Rae: Yes, I do remember - since the beginning of the year.

Emma: Yes, so about nine months now.

Matthew: So when you were paired, was that inside or outside our first Covid lockdown?

Emma: I think we were lucky to be paired before lockdown, so we were able to meet each other in person and have a few in-person catch ups.

Matthew: Please tell us about some of your in-person catch ups.

Emma: So we started off catching up at Holey Moley, and that was really fun.

Rae: Yes, that one was actually my favourite.

Emma: Yes, we took some really funny pictures (see below).

Emma: We also went to a comedy show.

Rae: Yes, that one was good, too. I loved that, that was at Moore Park (at the Comedy Store).

Emma: And we saw the Priscilla, Queen of the Desert musical.

Rae: Yes, that one was also good - I really liked that. I also liked it when we did the tenpin bowling.

Matthew: Considering we’ve been in lockdown for half the year, and you’ve been paired up for nine months, you’ve both done a lot together.

Emma: Yes, we got straight into it!

Matthew: So what’s the best thing you’ve done together?

Rae: So the best thing I’ve done with Emma…. I’ve liked all our outings we’ve done, even though I would say my favourite was Holey Moley.

Emma: And that was our first one, so I think it was pretty exciting getting to meet each other.

Matthew: Were you nervous when you met each other at that first gig?

Rae: No, I wasn’t nervous, I was just having so much fun.

Emma: No, I wasn’t nervous either because we had already met before at Rae’s house and we knew that we got along well, so we were just both excited to be there.

Matthew: So you’re relatively new to the project, Emma, whereas Rae you’ve been with us for a long time and you’ve had a couple of buddies. Can you tell us about some of your other Gig Buddies’ experiences?

Rae: I have had two other buddies. We did have fun together and then I moved on and got Emma, so I’m really excited for that!

Matthew: So you’ve had three buddies Rae, have you been to any of our group events, Emma?

Emma: I haven’t yet. I was so looking forward to the Retro Mania Disco (at Ryde-Eastwood Leagues Club in June). We had tickets and we were so excited!

Rae: Yes.

Emma: And then unfortunately Covid happened so we were unable to go. But I am really looking forward to going to some events after lockdown.


"…I really wanted to get involved, give back to my community and, most importantly, make some new friends”

Matthew: And you’ve been to some of our group events, haven’t you Rae?

Rae: I liked the Gig Buddies 4th birthday (at the Vanguard, Newtown).

Matthew: That’s right, we hired the balcony for an 80s event.

Rae: That was another favourite.

Matthew: So would you say you’ve made new friends from your involvement with Gig Buddies?

Rae: Yes I have. I’ve made plenty of new friends - many of my friends also do Gig Buddies. Many of those friends are amazing, and I’ve been telling others about Gig Buddies.

Matthew: And have you had a chance to meet anyone else, Emma, apart from Rae?

Emma: Unfortunately I haven't. I did meet another volunteer during the training, which was nice. But apart from Rae I haven't met anyone else yet because I haven't gone to any of the big Gig Buddies get-togethers. But I am keen to meet others in the future.

Matthew: We are getting requests from buddies and volunteers about what we’re going to be doing post-lockdown. We get asked ‘are we having a Christmas party?’ a lot, and in an ideal world we will do something big. It would be amazing to cram in one big gathering before the end of year, but we have to live within the government guidelines - whatever they may be.

Matthew: So Emma, why do you volunteer with Gig Buddies?

Emma: I chose to volunteer with Gig Buddies because I found I was experiencing more social isolation during last year’s lockdown, and it made me reflect on people who may feel socially isolated more than me or all of the time - so I really wanted to get involved, give back to my community and, most importantly, make some new friends.

Matthew: We are hearing that more than ever from volunteers, that social isolation impacts all and lockdown has amplified that for everyone.


"This list keeps getting bigger!”

Matthew: And how about you Rae, why did you become part of Gig Buddies?

Rae: I would definitely say to make new friends - and I have done that along the way.

Matthew: And have you been to new places having been part of Gig Buddies, Rae?

Rae: I went the comedy for the first time and saw Nick Cody’s show.

Matthew: Was that the comedy gig that you went to together?

Emma: Yes.

Matthew: Nick Cody is hilarious! Who’s idea was that?

Emma: I think I we both chose together.

Rae: Yes we did, we chose at one of our sushi picnic outings. That was really fun - and then we discussed going to see Nick Cody at the Comedy Festival and Moore Park.

Matthew: Was the sushi picnic something you did with just the two of you?

Rae: Yes, and I may have forgotten to add that on my list as that was another thing we did.

Matthew: This list keeps getting bigger! Would you go back to comedy again, Rae?

Rae: Yes, I would consider it - I love comedy.

Matthew: Pre lockdown we used to go to loads of Sydney Comedy Festival events - and they were brilliant. We found that so many buddies had a love for comedy but had never been to a stand up gig, and it got a bit awkward at times because nobody sits in the front row of a comedy gig because you’re going to get heckled, but when we went as a group everyone wanted to sit at the front! And people inevitably got heckled.

Matthew: We’re new on the Central Coast - what would you say to people based in the area who were thinking of joining Gig Buddies?

Emma: I say definitely get involved, it’s so much fun and you can definitely make some new friends.

Rae: For me, I would say if you’re new to Gig Buddies I would definitely recommend giving it a try.

Matthew: Why do you feel the Gig Buddies program is needed?

Emma: I think it’s needed for people who might be feeling a little bit lonely and might want to reach out and make some new friends. Or for people who want to try new experiences.

Rae: I have to agree with Emma’a comment.

Matthew: I think it’s a valid point that Emma has made and I can understand why you would agree: it’s all about meeting new friends, trying new things - and I think Emma answered that question brilliantly.

Matthew: How have you been communicating during the lockdown period?

Rae: By texting each other.