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Susan LaBrecque: “Just ask your questions!”

My movement would be about listening. Really listening to each other! I am truly disheartened by the realities of 2020. When our Black friends are crying out because they don’t feel safe for their children or themselves, why are we not listening and changing what we know is wrong, RIGHT NOW? Stop hanging on to […]

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My movement would be about listening. Really listening to each other! I am truly disheartened by the realities of 2020. When our Black friends are crying out because they don’t feel safe for their children or themselves, why are we not listening and changing what we know is wrong, RIGHT NOW? Stop hanging on to your political party! It is about human rights! Close your eyes… breathe… If you were experiencing this kind of fear, wouldn’t you want a change? Policy… training… mindset? Of course you would! We are hurting each other, our country and our world!


As a part of our interview series with the rising stars in pop culture, I had the pleasure of interviewing Susan LaBrecque.

Susan is an actor, dancer, fitness instructor… wife and mother! She is originally from Abington, MA and now lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast with her fabulous family. Her priority every morning, as she leaves her house, is to impress upon her daughter and class participants that passion, positivity, empathy, laughter, and physical activity are all part of a healthy, happy life!


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

From WAY back, when I was six or seven years old, I fell in love with performing! I started as a color guard member (dancer, flag) in a youth activity called Drum and Bugle Corps. Each Summer, we learned a complex show, traveled all over the country and competed against other groups from the US and around the world! The audiences numbered from the hundreds to the thousands! I vividly remember getting our first standing ovation! There’s nothing more exhilarating than that! I “marched” for 16 years. At my very last performance, there were well over 20,000 people cheering at the top of their lungs! Such a rush!

As a student, I was… let’s say… headstrong. I admit, I was a pain in the ass teenager! I remember one instructor in particular saying to me, “You’re so damned dramatic! You should be an actor!” Hmmm…Okay! So… It was only natural that I go into the performing arts. I was a Theatre Major at UMASS Boston. I LOVED learning about set design, costuming, choreography, lighting and acting in some really, great plays! I got my Degree in 1995, and moved to Los Angeles that same year!

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started this career?

I’ve had many interesting things happen over the years. Some wonderful successes and moments of complete self doubt. I think what’s most interesting to me is that, as I’ve gotten older, I am kinder to myself. Not feeling so much pressure to be “perfect”. I am less concerned with comparing myself with my fellow actresses. For auditions, I do the preparation and then give it my best. No one else is me, so either I fit the bill, or I don’t. I’m always grateful for the opportunity to work, though and I try to convey that sentiment to casting whenever possible!

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

On a film a few years back, I was given a pair of high heels to wear with my wardrobe. They were absolutely beautiful and I received lots of compliments on how great I looked, BUT they were incredibly painful to wear!! One of the shots was me simply walking through the frame. I did it 3 or 4 times, trying to look graceful and cool, but apparently my face told a different story, wincing in sheer pain. Hard to hide. The director was so understanding and kind… he changed the shot so that I could take those shoes off! I walked on through, like I owned the place! So much better! What I learned is that sometimes you have to go with the more comfortable option. You can’t always be fabulous!

What are some of the most interesting or exciting projects you are working on now?

Well, during this time of Covid-19, I’ve taken a bunch of online classes and watched dozens of interviews with casting directors, took part in a couple of monologue/scene challenges and started writing 2 screenplays. I don’t know how far I’ll get on the writing, but I just wanted to dive into learning new skills and give it a shot! Who knows what the outcome might be?

As of a couple of weeks ago, some film projects started pre-production… Yay! I’ve had a few auditions and am keeping my fingers crossed. I am REALLY looking forward to being on set again!

Who are some of the most interesting people you have interacted with? What was that like? Do you have any stories?

I am always so impressed by the triple threat performers! I was lucky enough to work with Lou Diamond Phillips and Aaron Tveit a few years ago, on a film. Both actors are so freakin’ talented! They were also super gracious, rehearsing scenes with me in the green room until we all felt ready to shoot. They also helped me work through some nerves on set with some jokes and a little singing. *swoon*

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

Find a great class with a coach who is smart, skilled and honest about your work. It’ll make you a better actor! My favorite teacher by far, has been Gary Grubbs. He has a long history in the industry and knows the ups and downs of being an actor. His feedback is direct, but never mean. I’ll never understand why you would pay someone to be abusive and hateful to you? How does that make you succeed? I’ve met some incredibly talented and supportive actor friends from that class. A tribe! We help each other out for taped auditions, cheer each other on and are truly happy for everyone’s individual successes! You definitely NEED like-minded people to talk you “off the ledge” when you’re at a low point and just about ready to quit. My husband is all in with me too! He’s a great cheerleader! It helps that both my husband and daughter are creative spirits. They know how important my career is to me!

You have been blessed with success in a career path that can be challenging. Do you have any words of advice for others who may want to embark on this career path, but seem daunted by the prospect of failure?

You can fail in any career, BUT you can also succeed! Why not follow your passion? Go in with the mindset that it takes work to get work! You have to be ready to succeed… Take classes, make sure your pictures are the most effective for your brand, your resume is up to date, your self-tape skills are on point and you believe in yourself!

Can you share with our readers any self care routines, practices or treatments that you do to help your body, mind or heart to thrive? Kindly share a story or an example for each.

I am currently a Yoga and Pilates instructor and teach Jazz and Lyrical dance classes, to students from 10yrs old and up! I have always been active. Keeps my stress level down! I get the fun of performing in that part of my life, too! Sharing jokes and stories, after class is a lot of fun and keeps us all connected. One of my biggest joys in life has been teaching dance to my daughter and her friends. I’ve created recital pieces so that we can all dance together on stage, and those memories are absolutely precious to me! I’m so proud of the strong young women they are becoming! Caring, curious… talkative and opinionated, but isn’t that what you ultimately want in our future leaders?

Honestly, I am not the best eater. Meaning… if I want a glass of wine and a brownie, I have it! I believe in moderation. Could I weigh a little less? Sure, but obsessing over food to me seems like a waste of time. Life is to be tasted and enjoyed!

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. You’re enough! Don’t try to be like someone else. Don’t try to be younger or older. Be aware of what the advantages are of your current age and go with it!
  2. Be genuine! Again, being something you’re not is a waste! If you present yourself with the passion and love that you have for your craft, you will stand out!
  3. Just ask your questions! No matter what they are. Will you represent me? Do you have any notes for me? Would you like me to do it another way? If the answer is no, then it’s no… for now. It’s okay. There will be a lot of “no’s”!
  4. Go places and meet people! Your character choices will expand, the more you know about different parts of the globe.
  5. Don’t be afraid of succeeding! What if I get the part and can’t get the time off from work? Who’s going to bring my child to school? These are the types of questions that are weighing you down! You’ll see. If you’re friends and family know what your goals are, what makes your spirit soar, then it’ll all work out! Help is there for you, if you ask for it!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

This is going to sound crazy, but one of my favorite sayings is, “When the horse is dead, get off…” I don’t know where it came from, but it’s funny and poignant. I’ve applied this thinking for many circumstances in my life. Mostly, when it came to my happiness and what was best for me, at the time. I have ended bad relationships, quit jobs and finished pointless conversations with this phrase in mind! You have to take care of your mental stability! You can go into a situation wholeheartedly, hoping for the best, but if it’s not a healthy one then you have to move on!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

Although she has passed on, my Mom was always my biggest supporter! Through her words and actions, I never doubted my ability to succeed! Currently, I am extremely grateful for my agent, Angie Moncrief. Even though we are virtually the same age, she is like my Mom in many ways. She will let you know when you’re slacking and need to get your act together, but she will also fight for you! I KNOW that she works tirelessly, for all of us in her agency!

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

My movement would be about listening. Really listening to each other! I am truly disheartened by the realities of 2020. When our Black friends are crying out because they don’t feel safe for their children or themselves, why are we not listening and changing what we know is wrong, RIGHT NOW? Stop hanging on to your political party! It is about human rights! Close your eyes… breathe… If you were experiencing this kind of fear, wouldn’t you want a change? Policy… training… mindset? Of course you would! We are hurting each other, our country and our world!

We are very blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might see this. 🙂

Wow! I don’t know… That’s a huge list of people! I am a big fan of Aaron Sorkin! His writing is incredible and it would be an absolute dream job to work on one of his projects! That’s one… I’m going to say, Tom Hanks too! I’d love to dig into that seemingly down to earth, loving brain of his. I would love to know how he picked projects early in his career? If he had any pearls of wisdom for someone like myself… an “older” actor. How do I get in front of the right folks, to expand and grow my acting career? And, If I can add one more? Ava Duvernay!! My goodness! Where does her fire come from? That endless glass of talent, wisdom… perseverance? Ha-ha… that’s all. (There’s so many more!)

How can our readers follow you online?

I am of course, on Facebook and Instagram. I’ve been teaching classes on Instagram Live, 3 times a week since mid-March. It started as a way to keep all of my people moving and healthy, since the gyms weren’t open. It’s nice to have the energy of people taking class still, even though I can’t see them. Hopefully, they’re not just sipping coffee and secretly just watching to see my pets! I would understand, though. The fur babies are pretty cute!

Thank you so much for joining us. This was very inspirational!

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