We were lucky enough to catch up with the extremely inspiring and talented Alexandra Keddie to find out all about her cabaret I See Me and Meryl Streep.
How did you discover your passion for performing?
I think it was just this inherent thing. I am an only child so I just really liked showing off to my parents. I have old home movies from when I was two, of me being a complete idiot. I started dance class when I was four, but when I was twelve I knew I wanted to be an actress. I was very earnest. There really wasn’t anything else, I just knew this was something I wanted to do.
What inspired you to write I See Me and Meryl Streep?
I had been wanting to write a cabaret for a while. I wanted to create something and I had been studying writing, so I decided to do a cabaret because I love to sing. I was listening to a Meryl Streep song and I was wondering where I could sing it, and the idea formed to write a cabaret about her. I knew I couldn’t play her because I’m too young and it would be a bit odd, so then I decided I could be a girl who was obsessed with her. It kind of amplified how I was as a teenager and condensed all of my obsessions that were more broad and about theatre, into just about Meryl.
What has your experience been writing, rehearsing and performing your first cabaret?
It really has been about taking each task and each day as it comes. I didn’t realise how much of an undertaking it would be until people told me it was. It was really great and scary, especially after finishing up with it last year. I didn’t think I’d get as much satisfaction from performing something I had written as I did. I think that just comes from facing your own work.
What was it like meeting Meryl Streep? Weird.
It was weird. I was really tired and it worked in my favour. If I hadn’t have been so tired I would have been far more gushy and gross. I just went to this show her son had done; he’s a musician. I didn’t think she’d be there and, you know, if she was there she’d be in some dark corner hiding. But she was just there and literally standing next to me for like an hour. She was wearing this white jumpsuit and I just touched her on the arm and kind of said, “Hi, I’m Alex. I wrote a show about you.” And she took my hand and said thank you and then gave me a hug and wished me all the best. It was just very weird and more weird because she is just a person.
What would your advice be to anybody wanting to pursue acting as a career?
I think that belief in yourself is so huge. Asher [Keddie, her cousin] said that to me years ago. I was kind of struggling with the notion of being nice and agreeable and just learning that those two things aren’t exclusive of being brave and bold and going, “Okay, I do belong here.” It’s not about being disrespectful or anything but really just about acknowledging your worth. I read something that Mindy Kaling wrote and it spoke about how you earn your confidence through hard work and I really liked that. It’s so cliché but ultimately, believe in yourself. Also don’t get caught up in trying to be everything or what others tell you you should be.
What do you think audiences will take from I See Me and Meryl Streep?
That’s it’s okay to look up to people. That’s it okay to do your own thing and don’t judge yourself for what you like and what you want to do. You’ll find the people that respond to what you do and don’t let the ones that don’t really get you tell you you’re wrong either.
Alexandra is performing as part of the Queensland Cabaret Festival at The Brisbane Powerhouse on the 4th of June.
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Alexandra is also performing at The Space, Prahran in Melbourne on June the 21st and 22nd.
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