New Jersey to Arizona and Back to New Jersey?
Susan is originally from New Jersey and did not make her way to the west coast before first stopping in the desert for graduate studies at Arizona State University in Speech-language Pathology. Focusing elective course work on her passion for the arts, serious pursuit of acting did not manifest because of the time and financial demands of school. Suddenly, friends encouraged her to participate in the Miss Arizona contest at the university; a contest that took her back to Atlantic City to represent her school state in the Miss America Pageant. Happily, this gave her the means to fund her graduate studies. She received her Masters from ASU and found work at the Phoenix Day School for the Deaf. Learning American Sign Language became a special skill that would help her land future rolls on television, and inspire theatrical performances.
From Phoenix to Los Angeles
Artistically, she also began to pursue work theatrically to become an accomplished director, choreographer, and recording artist, keeping busy in productions across the United States.
She became successful in Phoenix with film, commercials, and theatre and came to Los Angeles immediately working in day-time and situation comedies, as well as equity theatre.
Passion for the Elderly
All along her artistic journey in coming to LA, she continued part-time work in Speech-language Pathology and found she had a strong compassion for working with the elderly. Her experience working in the trenches with elderly persons suffering from dementia such as Alzheimer’s, inspired her to write a book on the subject. She is the author of How to Communicate with Alzheimer’s, a practical guide and workbook for families, and took time away from her acting pursuits to travel the country promoting and lecturing to family and professional caregivers on creating human connectedness through communication. Her large repertoire of music, she found, worked to her advantage, providing her with one of the many ways of connecting to persons with Alzheimer’s, for there is always a way to reach someone through music.
Creative Appetite for Everything!
Now, along with her promotional work with her book, she has managed time to focus efforts with her acting to appear on episodic television and day-time drama, such as The Practice, Family Law and Passions and LA theatre productions. She is featured in film works Intermission and Starved. Directing credits also include an original one-man show at the Larry Moss Studios, in Santa Monica and she originally directed and choreographed the Celebration U.S... Oh! Susan has released two jazz CDs: My Favorite Gentlemen - honoring the music of greats such as Porter, Gershwin and Arlen, to go along with her very popular compilation of standards; and Cocktail Napkins - a tribute to jazz standards . In addition to her contributions to the contemporary vocal group Licensed to Sing, Susan also performs solo revues of international and Broadway cabaret shows, and has also had the pleasure of performing with Gary Tole’s Legends of Swing Band, "Keeping Tradition Alive," featuring the work of exceptional composers and musicians. She recently launched her latest revue, Sultry Style, the music of Peggy Lee, a musical homage spanning over 6 decades of Miss Lee’s artistry.
The Colors of the Artist's Palette
"Each one of these artistic endeavors contributes to the many colors of my creative palette," she remarks, "even working with the elderly has brought inspiration to other projects, helping to express the potential of the human spirit."
The Journey Continues...