NIDA Mum – Andrea McKim

To celebrate Mother’s Day, we decided to sit down with a few students whose mothers played a huge role in them choosing a performing arts career and/or training here at NIDA.

Our second chat was with second year Bachelor of Fine Arts (Acting) student and Newmarket (Queensland) native, Bridie McKim, and her mother, Andrea McKim.

Photo (L-R): Andrea McKim and Bridie McKim

Describe your mother.

BRIDIE: My mother is one of the most tenacious and courageous people I know. Together with my dad, she raised triplets and also my younger brother, who has the same energy as my brother, sister and I, combined. She is an absolute powerhouse. More recently, she’s gone from being a flight attendant, to being on the cusp of having a degree in Counselling and Coaching. Such determination!

What do you like to do together?

BRIDIE: My mum and I love watching film and TV together. My love of performance stemmed from the two of us analysing performances together. We always get excited about watching work that we admire and which really resonates with us.

When did you first realise Bridie had a talent for acting?

ANDREA: I guess because Bridie is a triplet, play acting was something she did with her brother and sister regularly when growing up. They always had a dress up box and would pretend they were somebody else in a role play, either going to work as Mummy or Daddy or even Uncle Chris (a policeman). We also used to play charades after dinner sometimes (this was primarily an excuse to stay up late as a family). And to keep the game going – and extend our night together ­– we’d have to be really imaginative. It was always lots of fun.

How has your mum encouraged your journey towards becoming an actor?

BRIDIE: She has given me the courage and conviction to pursue what I love. It’s scary admitting that you want to be an actor; there is massive competition for jobs. It feels like everyone wants to act. My mum was the one who pushed me to audition for my first theatre troupe. It was that little nudge that allowed me to back myself and pursue a career as an actor.

What went through your mind when Bridie said she wanted to be an actor?

ANDREA: It came as no surprise when Bridie decided that she wanted to pursue her acting career at NIDA. She really started to get her teeth into acting early on in high school and was then accepted into the Queensland Theatre Company Youth Ensemble in grade 10. Though, interestingly, we saw the beginnings of her enjoyment of the limelight from a much younger age; her strength of spirit and her ability to perform to large crowds came to light when, in grade 5, she spoke for the first time at the Entertainment Centre in front of over 5,000 people, without any visible nerves. That both surprised and amazed us.

In what ways are you like your mother? What habits or quirks have you adopted from her?

BRIDIE: I have the exact same sneeze as my dear mother… loud and scary. One of the best quirks that I have inherited.

One of the biggest things that I admire about my mum, and one that I try to emulate, is her ability to set her mind on something and relentlessly pursue it until she achieves her goal. Because of this mindset, she has achieved so many great things. I think one of the main reasons I study at NIDA is because I have that attitude, too.

What part of yourself do you see in Bridie?

ANDREA: Bridie and I both really enjoy being entertained and therefore really appreciate quality acting and talent when we see it. I also see a very determined, beautiful young lady, full of life and ambition to further her career to a point where she will find purpose and authenticity.

Bridie and I both share a passion for life and like our lives to be balanced between a career, family, friends and what makes us happy, which I believe is an important value.

I know there might be more than one, but name one specific moment during your artistic journey where you felt your mum really had your back.

BRIDIE: My mum always has my back. The most pivotal thing she has ever done is to teach me the best ways to navigate the world. Important things, like treat others with kindness, respect people and they will do the same to you, and how essential it is to think positively and not to make things a problem – just solve them.

What would you like to tell Andrea this Mother’s Day?

BRIDIE: I would tell her that I would love to be with her on Mother’s Day. But, as she lives in Brisbane and I’m in Sydney, it’s a bit too difficult and expensive. I really miss her and appreciate everything she has ever done for me.