I In 2012, Josh Richards was not a soldier, not a miner, or a Mars bearer of hope. He was Keith, the Anger Management Koala.
The bit was exactly how it sounds. Richards – who describes himself as a "short, disgusting, redheaded Australian" – would dress up as the country's most infamous marsupial and swear to a live audience. A former comedian who joined the military says he is strangely therapeutic.
"It was a way to share stories of which I could never speak," tells Richards Inverse his time in the Royal Marine Commandos. "I was able to talk about things that happened when I was at [other soldiers]where friends of mine almost died, and I had not told anyone about it."
To put on a furry suit and play the ukulele for a crowd to process his most discouraging memories that he could not show as Josh, the outwardly charismatic comedian. On stage he was Keith Richards, an angry koala.
"I was lost, very lost," says Richards, pausing. "I had spent most of my life thinking that I would become a soldier … and then I poured myself into the comedy because I thought that was one of the few things I was good at then I started to stand-up. "
It was still a better option than his last job as a blast specialist working in a West Australian mine. Through all this, Richards could feel the spark slowly drain from his body. With long, brutal hours, Richards had become an unrecognizable, unfulfilled, completely unfulfilled version of himself. (In November 201
Richards, a furious koala between various Edinburgh Starbucks began to wonder if he could leave life on earth for something different and never return. The idea was not just a lark, but a shot to salvation.
Meanwhile, Richards prepared the finishing touches to a one-koala show he'd written about a trip to Mars. Spinning stories about interplanetary escape was easier than living in the stalemate of reality. A one-way ticket seemed a good option, even if it was just a dream; something he deals with his day after the monotonous day.
Until it was not.