Alexandra Keddie


Alexandra Keddie - Class of 2009

Alexandra is a Foundation Alumna and claims that this in itself is the fulfilment of a dream. Starting with QACI she was indeed part of something special – a member of a unique flock of Geese who navigated the way forward for many to follow. Alexandra graduated in 2009 after completing her IB Certificate and developing a signature creative identity in Theatre.

Alexandra recalls a quote: “How do you make God laugh? Tell him your plans.” and relates it to her idea of where she intended to go after QACI. A five year business plan as such … however now, six years on, not one part of the initial plan has been realised. Alexandra is still aggressively pursuing a career in the performing arts; however, with more experience and wisdom learned in part through her time at QACI, she now knows the value of self-belief, grit, and authenticity. Take a look at Alexandra’s story …

“I went straight from QACI to a full time musical theatre course at Harvest Rain Theatre Company (Brisbane). I didn’t receive an offer from Western Australian Academy for Performing Arts (WAAPA), and I was devastated. I remember so clearly entering Year 12 knowing I was going to audition for WAAPA and how desperately I wanted to go. I foolishly thought that the girl I needed to be was not the one I was and so I consciously and wilfully adjusted my natural tendencies (which I consider messy, clumsy and perhaps a little obnoxious) to become sweeter, more graceful … lovelier. I started writing in pink pen and made my handwriting cursive; I dyed my hair; wore more make-up and went on a ‘health-kick’. I had such a clear idea of who I wanted to be and I embodied that in full. Out of all of this emerged fear. I was so self-conscious and self-aware, caught up in who I was trying to be, that I sacrificed presence.

My time at Harvest Rain was a struggle. I knew that I wanted to do something significant and be impactful but every time I’d get up to perform I was crippled with self-doubt and such deep dissatisfaction. I looked for validation and acceptance elsewhere, not from within, and those early years were difficult. I kept going (grit is real and it works!) and started volunteering in production roles and, with the well-rounded experience I had from studying Theatre at QACI, I began to thrive off-stage and learned so much more about how theatre is devised; the stuff that happens before, during and following performance.

Next: Melbourne. This is where I currently live, work, dream, and create.

A few months after arriving in Melbourne I received a call from my cousin: “Al, we have a girl on Offspring who performs my character’s inner monologue on set, would you like to be that girl?” I remember this day clearly; it was my 21st birthday and I had just been fired from my bartending job so my response was fairly predictable: “Yep, I reckon I’m free.” And thus began my first stint on a professional TV film set. What started during Season 4, continued through Season 5 and into Season 6. My role is very technical and for that I’m thankful; I’ve learned how a scene is shot; how quickly and precise the objectives of the team are executed, not to mention being able to watch highly skilled actors like Deborah Mailman, Kat Stewart, and Patrick Brammall in action.

The months rolled on as did countless emails back and forth to agents; enquiring after roles for this or that; writing, writing, writing. Then a realisation dawned – I would continue to write, however not emails to agents – instead I would write for me. Authentically, and with purpose.

I wrote the first draft of “I see Me and Meryl Streep” in a weekend and it was (truthfully ?) … really bad! At the time I didn’t think that way, but on reflection I now know there was a lot of learning to be mastered. I kept editing, asked for a lot of help from others and over a period of 10 months my writing morphed into a show I have performed at various Cabaret festivals. I feel fulfilled, challenged to keep on keeping on, in control, and above all happy.

I was now on my way to bridging the gap that emerges between not believing you’re good enough to knowing that you’re good enough. I had created something I believed in. I was on my way! And alongside to keep me company were the accumulated experiences of life. Things like performing in musical theatre; TV film training; a memory like an elephant; publicity training; mimicry; and, critical and creative learning at QACI in English and Theatre have all helped me set and reach my goals.

So, right now, I’m in what I call my transitional phase! I’ve reached this point not because I’m a fabulously famous actor (!) and I need a new challenge (!!), it’s because I now know what I can do and what I have to offer. I recently heard a quote that sums up this transitional phase: “Don’t try to know who thou art, long has this idea tormented thee. It is much better to know what you can do, and do it like Hercules.”

I have come a long way from the early years after QACI. I’m trying new things that I formerly rejected in an effort to stick to a plan; opportunities that I had missed, not because I didn’t want them – it was simply because I didn’t see them. I reflect now on the untaught lessons at QACI – those that are intrinsic to being part of its community – the value and importance of staying true to yourself; work hard as opposed to hard work; embrace opportunities; and follow your creative heart.

Last reviewed 27 November 2018
Last updated 27 November 2018