Comedy Queen, Queenie van de Zandt, enlists her alter-ego – Jan van de Stool – to help us through COVID-19 with her CORONAVLOG WITH VAN DE STOOL series.
Like her many colleagues in the arts and entertainment industry, COVID-19 hit Australian stage and screen star Queenie van de Zandt hard. Within one week every gig and show she was booked to do for 2020 was cancelled. The worst of these being her American tour of her show BLUE: The Songs of Joni Mitchell. Van de Zandt, with her Australian producer Neil Gooding, as well as numerous producers in America, had invested thousands in the tour as well as over a year of their time in getting it organised. She was 5 days away from getting on a plane to start the tour when the travel bans hit. Van de Zandt was gutted.
But van de Zandt has never been one to wait for the phone to ring. And so quickly her thoughts moved to thinking about how she could use her ‘bag of tricks’ to recreate herself online.
“Artists are actually well-trained in knowing how to turn nothing into something. That is what the creative process is all about. We are used to shows closing early, TV shows being axed overnight – I’ve had both those things happen to me several times in my life, so although it’s not fun, I do have a muscle memory of what to do when the rug gets pulled from under you”, van de Zandt said.
Her first thoughts were about what people need in times of crisis, isolation and despair – to feel connected and have a laugh. Luckily Queenie’s work is known to invoke both those experiences – and so she began with her writing partner Peter J. Casey, to put pen to paper to write a short form series on Vimeo on Demand called Coronavlog with van de Stool – presented by Queenie’s comedy alter-ego – Jan van de Stool.
Since first unleashing alter-ego Jan van de Stool at the Brisbane Cabaret Festival in 2004, Queenie’s Dutch-born “musical therapist” has become one of the greatest cult comedy acts in Australia, touring festivals nationally, reaching the semi-finals on television juggernaut Australia’s Got Talent and even co-hosting the Helpmann Awards twice on ABC/Foxtel.
In Coronavlog with van de Stool, Jan van de Stool, using her psychological insight, musical therapy exercises and psychic powers, unwraps the weekly #Coronavirus news, in an attempt to help tens of people around the world through this difficult period.
Viewers can watch Jan’s 8-part vlog series on Vimeo on Demand. New episodes drop at the end of each week and each episode costs AU$1.89 to watch or the entire series can be purchased for AU$15. The direct link to the series is www.vimeo.com/ondemand/coronavlog