Homegrown Heroes – Madeleine McKenzie from Cabaret on Call

Meet Madeleine McKenzie, founder of Cabaret on Call and 2021 Startup Gippsland program participant.

Cabaret on Call provides virtual cabaret performances for the aged care and corporate sectors, delivered anywhere in the world from Madeleine’s Gippsland farmhouse. 

“I’ve had a passion for singing for as long as I can remember, and I love watching my audiences find happiness and joy through my music.” 


Keep reading to learn more about Madeleine and her business story. 


Homegrown Heroes Madeleine McKenzie

Tell us a little about your startup, and what you do.

Cabaret on Call was inspired after finding myself unable to perform in person at aged care sites during Covid-19, so I had to pivot to online delivery. Some nursing homes don’t offer live entertainment due to visitor restrictions, so I perform for residents through the screen, singing songs they love and request. I bring life back to old songs from previous decades, by dressing in the style of the era or genre. 


What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship and bring your idea to life?

Entrepreneurship seemed the logical way to do something differently as an entertainer. But what excites me the most is that there are so many possibilities for Cabaret on Call, and I now have a scalable business that allows me to reach people from all over the world. 


What’s the best thing about being a founder in Gippsland?

Gippsland offers the ability to live in a regional town and still produce content and create change at a global level, through ideas that start small, and can grow with the right platforms and support. Change is the new black, so we need to adapt and find ways to solve problems by thinking outside the square. My business model allows me to stay close to my mum who lives alone at 87, and see her reap the benefits of my performances if she ever needs to go into care.


What is your vision for the future of your startup? What do you hope to achieve?

I am looking to create more interactive experiences with Zoom “’Meet and Greets” pre-show to ensure that I can prepare a performance that my audiences would look forward to, and come out of their rooms to attend. My vision is always the same – making music that brings happiness, memories, and an enjoyable experience that can be presented on a regular basis.


What advice would you give to a Gippslander looking to build a startup?

Just start with a good idea and let others support you in how you move forward with it. This may change along the way, but you have the power to make a difference with something you are passionate about.

Cabaret on Call website

Would you like to learn more about our Homegrown Hero, Madeleine, and her business, Cabaret on Call? Take a look at the website here: https://www.cabaretoncall.com.au/  

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