Abigail Dixon juggles two incredible careers as a Registered Nurse with St Andrew’s and a professional musical theatre actor. She’s currently performing as the iconic ‘Rizzo’ in Grease at QPAC in November and we caught up with her to find out more.
Nursing and musical theatre are so different! Or are they... We're fascinated! Tell us more about how you go into both.
“I always wanted to study theatre in the UK (where I’m from) but I knew I needed a way to support myself if I was to head over and live in London. So I decided I needed a fulfilling career, that would grant me a universal skill; something I’d enjoy and be able to use in many aspects of life.
“Everyone needs food and healthcare, so I landed on the idea of nursing. I studied at University of Technology Sydney, with the intention to work for a year or two before heading over to the UK. After 18 months of Nursing I decided to audition for the musical theatre courses around Australia. I was given a spot at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music and I didn’t have to blink before I accepted. After three years, I’ve graduated! It’s been a massive life change but worth every minute.”
What's your role at St Andrew's and how do the team support you?
“I am casual Registered Nurse (RN) at St Andrew’s and right from the get go, my Managers have been amazing. They are flexible and accommodating with my ever-changing schedule at uni. I honestly couldn’t think of a better job to support me through my studies! And it’s nice to be part of a team at St Andrew’s.”
We heard you're performing as Rizzo in Grease? How have you put your twist on the legendary Stockhard Channing performance?
“We were fortunate to do a lot of character development work with our Director, Alister Smith, and really got into the nitty gritty of Rizzo and her relationships with the other Pink Ladies and T-Birds. I suppose you could say my interpretation is similar to Channing’s, in that I am in my late 20’s reprising a teenage life, with a lot of ‘baggage’. I like to think my version brings just as much sass! I also think the theme of sex and rebellion runs strong through the veins of this production, which raises the stakes and relates the classic story to a relevant modern audience.”
What do you enjoy most about supporting St Andrews patients?
“I love my job as a Nurse! The thing I love most about it is that I get to help people and if nothing else, brighten their day.”
What do you love most about performing?
“I suppose I could liken my love of performing to nursing; it’s that I get to help people and share stories with them, that may or may not brighten their night, and perhaps change their perceptions and thoughts about the world. As our voice teacher always teaches us, words are worlds and every word spoken has the power to change someone else’s.”
Is that anything else you want to tell us?
“I would love to see some familiar faces in the audience! And please stick around to say hello afterwards! We are so lucky we get to perform in a climate when the rest of Australia cannot and I would love to share this show with you all. It will not disappoint. Also exciting to think we may be one of the only productions of Grease in the entire world right now! Don’t be a stranger around the wards if you see me!”
If you’d like to see Abigail perform as ‘Rizzo’ in Grease November 10-13, visit QPAC for more information.