On the Couch with Queenie van de Zandt

Queenie van de Zandt oncWho is Queenie van de Zandt?
Well presently I’m The Witch in Into the Woods at Victorian Opera 6 hours a day, sometimes the host body for Jan van de Stool (my comedy character who posts regular YouTube videos deconstructing The Voice) and in my downtime – a person who is desperately trying to catch up on her series-linked recordings from Foxtel.

What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would exercise more, eat less and be better with my money.

Who inspires you and why?
People who think uniquely, who don’t run with the pack, who follow their dreams and in doing so live interesting, colourful and magical lives of their own making.

What would you do to make a difference in the world?
I try each day to be present, to be the best person I can be that day, and at the end of the day I take a moment to reflect on where I went right and where I went wrong and then let that guide me the next day, when it all starts again.

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 and brag about how well we are doing in the World Cup.

When friends come to town, what attraction would you take then to, and why?
I always take them to my favourite café – The Galleon on Carlisle St, St Kilda and then I leave them to it – sightseeing always reminds me of going on school excursions as a kid, which I loathed.

What are you currently reading?
Maya’s Notebook by my favourite author Isabelle Allende and a book on Mindfulness.

What are you currently listening to?
iTunes Radio – I love it – my favourite station is Folk Singer/Songwriter Radio.

Happiness is?
Fleeting. I think rather than chasing happiness there is more value in learning to be ‘present’ – happiness is a by product of being able to show up to life, on life’s terms and to be present with whatever is happening – right now.

What does the future hold for you?
Who knows? I’m in the present!

Queenie van de Zandt is an award winning actress and known as one of Australia’s most versatile performers. She is also a sought after teacher and speaker and has held lecturing positions at NIDA, the University of Ballarat Arts Academy, VCA and she regularly teaches workshops in auditioning for musical theatre, song performance and cabaret

Her extensive work in music theatre includes: Oliver!, The Full Monty, Anything Goes, Cabaret, Hair, The Boy from Oz, and wowed audiences with her performance as The Bearded Lady in the multi-award winning Smoke & Mirrors. Recently, she received critical praise for her role as Cassandra in King Kong.

In theatre she has worked for many of Australia’s major theatre companies including STC, The Malthouse, QTC, The Ensemble, La Boite, and The Street Theatre,  in plays as diverse as Women of Troy, Abigail’s Party, Secret Bridesmaids’ Business, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Her film and television credits include: Scooby Doo, Salem’s Lot, Girl Clock, City Homicide, Dance Academy and Da Kath & Kim Code.

In the cabaret realm, Queenie has written, performed and produced shows such as CABARET – in 12 Easy Steps, The Best (and Worst) of Queenie van de Zandt, and Amazon Womam and Other Stories. She is also fast becoming known as her comedic alter-ego ‘Jan van de Stool’ and her critically acclaimed show I Get the Music In You.

Along the way, she’s been nominated for 10 major theatre awards, including a Helpmann Award, and multiple Green Room and Sydney Theatre Awards, winning 3 times.

Queenie will be appearing in Victorian Opera’s Into the Woods at Arts Centre Melbourne 19 – 26 July 2014. For more information, visit: www.victorianopera.com.au for details.

Image: Queenie van de Zandt