On the Couch with Queenie van de Zandt

AAR-Queenie-van-de-Zandt-photo-by-Lloyd-HarveyWho is Queenie van de Zandt?
I am an entertainer, educator and serenader. I laugh, talk and sing and help others do the same.

What would you do differently from what you do now?
I’ve had a 30-year struggle with exercise. It just doesn’t come naturally to me.

Who inspires you and why?
Jacinda Ardern, Justin Trudeau, Angela Merkel and Anthony Albanese – because they are all incredible leaders who lead with heart and positivity. I dream of having a leader like this leading our country – which came true on 21 May this year.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I found this poem by Confucius in my 20’s and have lived by it ever since:

“If there is righteousness in the heart, there will be beauty in the character.

If there is beauty in the character, there will be harmony in the home.

If there is harmony in the home, there will be order in the nations.

When there is order in the nations, there will peace in the world.”

Favourite holiday destination and why?
Holland – as I get to see all my relatives, walk around and see people who look like me, and get to practice speaking Dutch.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I always take them to my favourite café – The Galleon on Carlisle St, St Kilda, and then I find out what shows are on in town and take them to the theatre. Melbourne has the most extraordinary theatre scene and theatres.

What are you currently reading?
Zorro by one of my favourite authors – Isabel Allende, and two books by Barbara Sher called Wishcraft and Refuse to Choose, which are both books about ‘Scanners’ – people like me, who have so many different ideas and interests and want to do them all, but often end up getting overwhelmed. The exercises in both books have been so helpful!

What are you currently listening to?
I’m currently touring Australia with my band performing my show BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell, so we are driving between cities and towns, and we’re listening to a lot of podcasts. Currently we’re listening to Dolly Parton’s America.

Happiness is?
Being of service to others and sharing what you have. I’ve found the more you use your gifts, whatever they may be, in service of those around you, the happier you are.

What does the future hold for you?
In the immediate future more performing – we are touring throughout June and July with BLUE and I’m also going to be performing in the tribute to Sondheim concert, Moments in the Woods, at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. It’s such as treat, after two years of cancellations and lockdowns – to be on the road and bringing music to audiences again.

Queenie will present BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell at the West Gippsland Arts Centre (17 June); before playing the Clocktower Centre, Moonee Ponds (3 July); Chapel Off Chapel (15 & 16 July); and the Hayes Theatre, Sydney (19 – 24 July).

Image: Queenie van de Zandt – photo by Lloyd Harvey