Monday, January 28, 2013

I Have A Face For Radio

I made my first movie in Paris, France when I was none of your business years old. On the day of the shoot my mom took this picture of me because I'd spent so much time on my hair I wanted documentation. I’d set it and painstakingly got it to curl and was so proud of the final outcome. I had no idea that when you’re cast in a movie, hairstylists do your hair. Thank God because by the time I arrived at the studio, my curl was on life-support.

I played a nurse and wardrobe put me in a micro-mini skin-tight uniform. I did every take hovering over a sickly man because let’s give a guy on his deathbed something to hasten his departure. I had no lines. I was probably supposed to have lines but once they saw that my hair couldn’t hold a curl, I’m sure they changed their minds.

The day it aired I was so excited. This would surely be the start of me following in the footsteps of the brilliant Simone Signoret or the breathtaking Capucine.

Sidebar: Capucine famously jumped from her 8th floor apartment building in 1990. She was depressed and it was rumored it was because she didn’t like the way she was aging.

Sidebar, Jr.: I can totally relate but only live on the 3rd floor.

My scene came up and I inched closer to the TV, straining my eyes to look at my hair. I needn’t have bothered. While the dying man said his lines the camera focused on my ass. For the entire scene. Hi welcome to France.


One of the first commercials I booked in New York was for Hanes underwear. I sat on the far left of the top level of a two-tiered bleacher. There were 3 people on my level and 3 on the level below us. The star of the commercial was seated in the middle of the level below us and I hope he amounted to nothing. I’m thinking it so I might as well say it out loud.

A *Hanes Inspector* walked up and down the level below us, checking our work, the *factory workers* pasting our *Approved* stickers into each pair of men’s underwear. 

“Quiet on the set.”
“Roll camera."

“Girl with the really straight hair.” The director waved his hand in my direction.
“Me?” I asked just in case there was another girl with really straight hair but we all know there wasn’t.
“What’s your name?”
“OK, Suzy, you have to move a little to your right.”

I moved my chair to the right. Everyone was staring at me like I’d committed some kind of Hanes Underwear Crime Against Humanity.”

“Quiet on the set."
“Roll camera.”

“Uh, Suzy?” Everyone turned to look at me. Again. Clearly I was guilty of being unable to move a chair properly and I hope they all amounted to nothing. I’m thinking it so I might as well say it out loud.
“Could you move your chair a little bit more to the right?”
I again moved my chair to the right.

“Quiet on the set.”
“Roll camera.”


The American Film Conservatory in Los Angeles is one of the top film schools in the world. I’d auditioned for one of their student films and they were so impressed they had me read for another role. After that reading the casting people said they were going to have a hard time deciding which role to give me.

My agent never heard from them again. Hi welcome to Hollywood.

Two weeks later my agent called to say AFI had cast me but it was very last minute and could I rush over there? It was a few blocks from my house and I ran like the wind. Not sure wind can run but if it does, I did too. Wardrobe dressed me in an elaborate 19th century costume. I looked nothing like Keira Knightly in Anna Karenina but for the sake of my fragile ego let's pretend I did.

When I got to the set, the 2nd A.D. placed me in front of a fake house with a fake garden. He told me to stand facing the fake house, with my back to the camera. And that’s how I shot the entire scene, which lasted about one minute. I had no lines.

Back in wardrobe I heard everyone talking about the wrap party that night. No one said a word to me so I asked if the wrap party was that night, in hopes they’d accidentally overlooked me. A girl nodded in my direction and then hurried off.

Whoever was the star of their stupid film obviously wasn’t available to shoot that pickup shot so that’s why I was called in. My back obviously looked like her back. Is that an Oscar category?

And because of all these stories I became a stand-up comic.
Because you have to face the audience.
And people are happy about it.

Friday, January 18, 2013

32 Things To Do After Your Book Is Published

1. Be happy you're friends with authors
2. Stop following people who aren't authors
3. Prepare a pretentious explanation for unfollowing them
4. They'll understand why when their book is published
5. But probably not
6. List your book on Goodreads
7. Get people to follow you on Goodreads
8. Get author friends to explain Goodreads to you
9. No author friends will be able to because they don't understand it either
10. Get Amazon reviews
11. Get Amazon Likes
12. Ask your friends to write reviews for your book on Amazon
13. Remember they don't think it's important because they haven't been published yet
14. Know that one day these same people will be bothering you for reviews
15. And will be annoyed when you say you'll write one and then don't
16. Drunk tweet them IN YOUR FACE SUCKAS
17. Prepare to lose your friends
18. Send your book links to your mailing list
19. Why don't you have a mailing list?
20. Because your lolcat emails have reduced your list to three people
21. But you hate lolcats, what ARE you sending out?
22. Delete emails begging you to resume sending lolcats instead of book links
23. Bother authors whose asses you've kissed I mean adored to host giveaways of your book
24. See #1 and #2
25. Tweet your book out 4 times a day
26. Realize people have blocked you on twitter
27. Assume these people are jealous
28. Talk about your book on Facebook
29. Prepare to be unfriended
30. Be secretly happy because you're sorry you friended them back
31. Start writing second book
32. Up your meds

My friend Jess Riley is doing a giveaway of my book, Celebrity sTalker. I featured Jess on my blog after she published her first book, Riding Sideways, back in 2008. She just released her second book, All The Lonely People, and it's phenomenal.

Go to her blog, leave a comment and you'll be entered to win an autographed copy of my book.

If you win it, reread this entire list.

Monday, January 14, 2013

I Can Give You My Book For Free Thanks To A Man Whose Name I Don't Know

One of my Twitter followers is buying 5 copies of my book, either the paperback or the Kindle version, so he can give them to you, prisoners of my blog.

All you have to do is email me at suzysoro (at) gmail (dot) com so I will have your email address to forward to the man with no name. I spilled his Twitter handle ON Twitter and he didn't want it mentioned so he wouldn't appear "self-serving." I'm sorry, but that kind of generosity from someone I've never met? NEEDS TO BE MENTIONED.

So if you want a book? Email me!!

I tried to upload a picture of my book but Blogger is being a bitch and won't let me. Very helpful.

Monday, January 07, 2013

How Did I End Up On A Website About Men?

This interview appeared on the website The Man Faq by my friend Tony Castleberry, who is one of their columnists. Where better to end up than on a website dealing with the one thing I know nothing about: men.

TC:   Is “You’re funny” the greatest compliment of them all?

SUZY:   For a comedian, yes. For a mortician, no.

TC:   I read your book in a week. Thoroughly entertaining and insightful. Have you had many (any) celebrity run-ins since the book came out?

SUZY:   No run-ins since the book launched. Instead, friends who’ve read it are letting me know which celebrity encounters I omitted. These are the same people who can’t remember what time to meet me for lunch yet are now suddenly hooked up to sodium pentothal drips. So it appears I left out the incidents with Sharon Stone, Tyra Banks, and Mary Hart. I saw a friend over Christmas and he said, “Why didn’t you write about the time you met Julie Andrews and Blake Edwards? Remember how embarrassed they were after that stupid thing you did?” So I guess there will be a sequel and also, how have I not been arrested?

TC:   Your interactions with stand-up legends like Richard Pryor and George Carlin were particularly interesting to me because I once waited for nearly an hour after a Doug Stanhope show -- without my date, who bailed shortly after Stanhope's set -- for an autograph and a photo, both of which Stanhope happily gave me. Have you found that comedians are more approachable than other entertainers?

SUZY:   I think anyone who is in show business and isn’t famous, which is about 99.9% of us, is approachable and likes the attention, including comedians. I’ve never met a comic, famous or otherwise, who didn’t take the time to talk to someone who approached them. Of course this always ends with one of them telling the comedian a story about their crazy family or their wacky office and how we can “use that if we want to.” Meanwhile, Modern Family and The Office beat them to the punch(line).

Famous entertainers are trickier, as evidenced by my run-ins with Diana Ross and Lucille Ball. I assume they’re tired of people telling them how great they are, or of hearing how big a fan someone is. It’s a shame because without those fans, those celebrities wouldn’t be celebrities. And those stars were lucky, they had longevity. Today the statistics claim a pop star gets roughly three years of fame and a newcomer to TV or film gets less than that. Obviously I’m not talking about reality stars. Those people will haunt us forever. I’m looking at you, Snooki.

My philosophy is that if someone has paid good money - or even bad money - to see me perform, I feel like a timeshare and that they’ve temporarily rented out a piece of me. Not a good piece, like an arm, but maybe an earlobe. I just ask that they laugh in all the right places if they want their deposit back.

TC:   The sidebars and Amazon reviews that appear often in Celebrity sTalker are informative and funny. Since it is obviously a unique way to write, did you ever second-guess those ideas or wonder if they would work?

SUZY:   I’m a big fan of TV shows with judges and lawyers. I love the part when the judge calls the attorneys to the bench and says something that can’t be heard by the rest of the court and is referred to as a sidebar. It’s always slightly relevant to the case but in reality I assume the judge is just asking them if they know a good place to get sushi. I’d been using the word ‘sidebar’ to separate paragraphs in my blog posts for many years even though the sidebar is actually the long column on the side of a blog. So it was a natural progression to put them in my book. The preferred way to mention an interruption between paragraphs in a blog post is to refer to it as a ‘side note.’

Sidebar: I’m very stubborn. Who knows a good place in LA to get sushi?

As to the fake Amazon reviews at the end of each chapter, I wanted to mock the real ones, which are often cruel or stupid or both. It’s always the person calling out another reviewer for having bad grammar who spells grammar with an e. I also hid something in the reviews but so far, no one has figured out what that is. After my sister read the book I asked her if she liked those parts. She demurred and finally admitted she didn’t know me as well as she thought because I was taking the criticisms “really well” and that “people who didn’t even know me were incredibly mean.” I told her the reviews weren’t real and remembered she could deconstruct calculus but couldn’t figure out the reviews were fake? Where are my parents now, when I can point this out to them and make my sister wrong?

I never second-guessed using both the sidebars and the reviews. I’d never seen anything like them in any other books; especially humor ones, so I thought I was pretty clever. This wore off after six weeks of writing and became, “Dear God, why did I ever think I was clever?”

TC:   What kind of feedback have you gotten since the book's release?

SUZY:   The book has been out for three weeks and so far, I’ve received only positive feedback. The only negative comment came from my mother who said, “I think the cover’s too busy,” so I asked her to show me the cover of her book so we could compare.

And that conversation, as they say in Hollywood, was a wrap.