Meet Alexandra Hudson, a name you probably haven’t heard before,
but one you should absolutely remember.
An up-and-comer in the comedy scene, by almost accident, Alexandra is finding a way to share her story, more publicly than she could have ever imagined. After spending a mere couple of hours with her it was clear that she is a woman who has a story to tell, is going to tell it unapologetically, and will no doubt inspire, educate and empower so many people along the way with her radiant presence and strength of character.
During our time together we talked about she first came to comedy, her work as a sole trade support worker and peer mentor, and how she is determined to challenge people’s and society’s preconceived ideas of disability. How through sharing her own story, and who she is, she hopes to bring to light a fresh narrative and show how we cannot and should not put people in a box or define them based on one aspect of themselves, such as having a disability.
Through her work as a support worker and as a disabled woman herself (Alexandra has cerebral palsy), she has witnessed and lived the disempowerment that can so often be experienced by disabled people. I expressed how valuable it must be to her clients and their families that Alexandra is able to connect to them on a peer level through a shared experience and understanding. Alexandra loves the perspective on the world her work with her clients gives her, because the way they experience and connect with the world is so unique, like it is for all of us even if we forget it from time to time.
She has no idea where this new journey into the comedy world is leading but is along for the ride wherever it takes her.
Get to know Alexandra a little more below...
I’m Alexandra Hudson, I am a newcomer comedian and full time disabled woman based in East Ballina.
I grew up in Temora in the Riverina in southern N.S.W. I moved to the Northern Rivers in 2010 to study when I was 22. I had no intention of staying long but realised pretty quickly it was a neat spot to be.
I love live music, socialising with friends, marvelling at trees in nature, cold beers, spicy margaritas, cups of tea, writing and painting shitty watercolours.
I like to take my time, figure stuff out. And the Northern Rivers was a place I felt I could do that. And slowly but surely, I built this small, sometimes challenging, wonderful, and just the right amount of weird little life for myself here.
I created a job I love- working in my community, with my people. Working as a sole-trade support worker. Working directly with my clients, and their families alongside fellow sole trade support workers to achieve my clients’ NDIS goals. I have formed the best friendships, akin to family here.
I have experienced things I had never even imagined, which is especially true for this absurd comedy sitch I have found myself in from 2020. I was always looking for a space to talk about disability but I never thought I would be performing on stage and I now I love performing comedy all around the Northern Rivers and now beyond.
What do you most love about comedy? And the experience of being on stage?
What I love most about comedy is that I can tell my stories and share my experiences on my own terms. In the real world I am constantly confronted with others’ projections of who they think I am, especially through the lens of disability.
I first thought being on stage would push me so far outside my comfort zone, but it is actually the space I have felt more comfortable than in my real life because on stage I am in control of my narrative.
The feeling of being on stage is like being in a little boat, bobbing in the sea. I am buoyed by each bit of laughter and applaud. It is the most enjoyable, fun and nerve-wracking experience. Every audience is different, but once they warm up to you, gain an understanding about you, they are right there with you, laughing with you, wanting you to do well- it is such a buzz.
What drew you to comedy?
I had never thought about doing comedy, it is a happy accident. I was encouraged by a couple of best friends, they suggested I do Mandy Nolan’s comedy course. My only goal after the course at end of 2019 was to see if my jokes were actually funny without my friends in the audience. I did my first proper set in June 2020.
You have such an interesting story to tell. What is the message you hope to share through your comedy?
I wish to tip things on their head. To really challenge the wider community’s conceptions about what disability is, and what it means to be disabled. Each disabled experience and our relationships with our disabled experience is individual. My experience and what I perform on stage is my own. I like to give a real and honest first-person insight into what my disabled experience is, through entertaining little musings and story-telling.
I like poking fun at the mostly foreign non-disabled world I live in. Having the mostly non-disabled audiences really laughing at themselves is the thing I find most enjoyable about performing stand-up comedy.
How do you manage any anxiety you experience before a performance?
I am still figuring it out, I get very nervous. First and foremost, it is preparation- For me is writing out individual set-lists for each gig or open mic, listening back to performances and refining bits and taking the time in the days beforehand to make sure I know the order of jokes and have the punchlines nailed.
And then it is the support, encouragement I get from my friends and family, especially my epic roommate Frankie. They are always reminding me that I am funny- they get me through the freak outs.
Who are the women who inspire you?
Tell us a bit about your tattoos? What do they mean?
I think I have six or seven tattoos, two professionally done. And the rest are hand-pokes by one of my best friends. And then one backyard job for good measure.
I got my first tattoo as a small act of reclaiming my body from medicalised trauma and societal ideals of normality I have experienced throughout my life. The first one is a small tattoo of Bart Simpson leaning on his skateboard on the inside of my right ankle. It is reminder to not take my body so seriously, it functions perfectly in its own way. I have spent over half my life making really big decisions about my body, trying to fix it, in some way or another so I wanted to look at something silly and not care that much about it.
My tattoos are also small markers for experiences, people I love or how I want to remember myself and my life when I am old. My most recent one was done by Brodie Jackson during COVID19 lockdown in August 2020. It is a self- portrait of sorts- as I am right now, in my early thirties. It is a tattoo of a topless chick with a pink mullet, riding an ibis, because again it’s kind of absurd and mostly meaningless, but I also admire and identify with the resilience of ibis birds.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
To be kind to myself, you were experiencing things bigger than you.
Words you live by?
You get proud by practicing - Laura Hershey
Music you are loving right now?
Right now I am genuinely listening to and loving a lot of ABC classical radio. I find it really calming for the solo drives to and from Brisbane and the Gold Coast for comedy spots. Other than it is anything from Stella Donelly, Sampa the Great, Warren Zevon, Mac Miller and Drop Legs.
Anything you’d like to share?
I am very new to the comedy scene, as of June 2020. I have had ideas about my little disabled experience rattling around in my brain for a long, long time. It is exciting to have such a cool space to share these thoughts and observations, especially here in the Northern Rivers.
We have a great comedy community here. It is the Northern Rivers comedy community that gave me a start and have continued to hold space for me. I am just a small part of the weird and very wonderful, funny Northern Rivers comedy community- rooms like Neurological Misfires, Cavalier Comedy and Larry Laughs Loud in Lismore and Comedy Commune in Lennox Head. There are so many great Northern Rivers’ established and emerging comedians.
To find more about Alexandra’s upcoming shows you can head to her Instagram
Images by Karissa Sparke