MY NAME! Some things I believe are just meant to be. My mother went back and forth on my name…should she make Susanne with the “s”, or with the “z”, as Suzanne. Well, she decided to use the “s” one because the “z” dangled. Then her next problem was should I have a middle name or not. At first she thought not, because she was so tired and hungry from delivering me. So, she named me Susanne Brown, for right then….I was born at 2:10 PM, after many hours of labor.
Well, a few days later, she and my Dad, Billie B. Brown, decided that I really did need a middle name, so they looked at me, and decided on “Spirit,” as I was like an angelic little spirit. Well, as I grew up a bit, all things changed. My mother and my father separated; and both began marrying several other people; and my grandparents who had another name, were raising me. I just felt like I did not really have a name that was mine. Was I a Brown,? A Shepard,? A Fuller,? So, I decided just to use Susanne Spirit, as I felt like my own “Spirit” anyway.
Don’t get me wrong, I had a great life, and so did my Mom and Dad, plus my grandparents who raised me, needed me. Everything was “perfect!” I just wanted a name associated to no particular person! In fact, now is the first time I am willing to carry any last name of anyone’s. I said “yes,” to a marriage proposal this year; for the first time in my life! I am going to become a “Twamley,” when I marry Michael, my fiancé. You can read about him under the “LOVE” section.
My Mom and Dad each had so many different husbands, and wives. I just never had a desire to go there. Even my great grandmother had 13 husbands, divorcing the last one when she was 96 years old. She said “He just isn’t giving me much lovin’, no point in keeping him around.” So, I was not sure I would actually be much different….but Michael made all those ideas go away. Marriage is sacred, and this relationship is right. We plan to have a “huge” wedding with all our family and friends joining us in this celebration. It is so COOL!
Personal statistics! Height: 5’4” and one half! Weight: this one is a secret!!!!! Eyes: Blue! Hair: Blonde, as long as I use “L’Oreal.” I am engaged and I was born on October 18 in “Southern” Minnesota which has to be why I sing “Southern” music. Don’t you think? Sounds reasonable to me!!! I am an air sign!!! And even though I am not really into the “sign” stuff, I can tell you there is truth to it!
I could live outdoors; I love fresh air; I love to fly; and I love to drive in the rain with the top down on the convertible. I just realized though that when it is raining it is probably not a good idea to ride around with the top down since the entire car gets soaked. That is so sad, as it is so fun!
Anyway, I now live in “Southern” California in a beautiful “South (It’s true – it is called “South”) Forty” Country Home with lots of land. And, I am happy! Most of my life I lived in Hollywood, Beverly Hills, and the “city” as I call it, not being able to “get out.” My attitude was if I was in California then I should be in the city, or go back home to Minnesota. I longed for my world as a child, but life kept me out here where as “they” say, “the sun always shines.” Funny thing was I never realized that all I had to do was move to the suburbs of LA and I would be in the same environment as Minnesota, except for the rain and snow, which I actually miss the most.
Anyway circumstances or destiny moved me to Ontario, California recently. The day I moved out of the city with the moving truck, all loaded up, you had to be there! Then I was led to move to Corona, even further “South” of LA, which led me to the love of my life, Michael. But when I moved into Corona; and I was like, “Wow, I am home”. This bedroom community is just like Minnesota, having the roots and family living style I have missed my whole life. I even have a garden like I did as a child! God has a journey for us that I believe!
THE VERY< VERY> BEGINNING: Dancing, singing and twirling in the bar of my grandparent’s supper club! My grandparent’s, Garrettand Ethel, owned a supper club, where we also lived, in “Southern” Minnesota, which is just like living in the hollows of any normal southern state. I lived with them. And, from the time I was very tiny, Grandpa said I just loved to get on top of the bar and dance, sing and twirl for all the customers.
There is a picture of me when I was about two, and I am holding my pretty little dress up to show my leg. It still amazes me that I was posed like that at my age. Recently, I realized this female instinct going on with me, as picture after picture with many years passing in between, I am still holding my dresses up.
But, by about five, my grandparents had bought me a piano with grandma driving me for lessons thru snow and blizzards into Mankato, a big city. We always had food, blankets, books and a fifth of liquor in our car. Traveling was fun! But, Grandpa knew he had a little money maker with me, so my music lessons were number one.
People came to our place from all over Minnesota and the Midwest, as my grandma made everything from scratch, with my help, and vegetables from the garden, canned and fresh; and Grandpa knew how to run a bar, plus I was the entertainment! . Well, by about seven, I wanted a Hammond Organ like my teacher. So, with a little coaxing on my sweet part, a beautiful organ was delivered to our place. Grandpa’s favorite songs were The Waltz You Saved for Me, Dark town Stutter’s Ball, The Beer Barrel Polka and Twelfth Street Rag, etc.
So, I played these charmers every night, and had so much fun. My left leg to this day taps when I am singing. Hitting the bass pedals, which I could barely touch, on that organ, just became part of my music. But my childhood was a world of fantasy and wonder, being out there in the country very isolated, three miles from any town, with my days being a world of imaginary friends, and my evenings entertaining real people until I would go to sleep upstairs in my bedroom listening to the noise of the people below.
I grew UP WITHOUT A “TELEVISION”; i grew up in a “bar,” WHICH, I SUPPOSE, LED ME TO BE “A LITTLE” DIFFERENT! With growing up in the supper club, I never watched TV. We had one, and once in awhile in the afternoons or on nights the club was closed, we would turn it on, but our life just did not include TV. All my friends, especially Michael, ask me about different television or films. And, I truly have no clue. The supper club was open six nights a week, and in the daytime we were preparing food and cleaning.
Still to this day, I do not view much television. I have always been just too busy with plays, school, singing, organization work, etc. My philosophy of life stands due to my life: observing has hardly been an option, I am always doing, Michael is like this, too.
Artists need an audience, so thank goodness there are people who just sit back and enjoy entertainment. I love my fans: without them I don’t exist; these differences create together a precious whole. It all works as one in the end. Capturing stories or performances in films, videos, novels, or on television nurtures the soul as one can re-experience generations, thoughts and visions of different historical times and people, just my life has been in “real” environments like bars, plays, etc., a lifestyle that I love! I guess I like a lot of people around from living in a bar probably as a child. Michael has taught me how to be “still,” and for that motion-less to be okay!
It was funny when at UCLA they wanted me to enter the graduate program for “Film Producing.” I was like, wow, I have hardly ever watched TV or any films. I used to smoke, and whatever I do, do, I do a lot of it, so sitting in some theatre without a cigarette did not make much sense to me, plus I was so busy. Oh yes, I know, there were drive-ins, but if I went there, I was too busy socializing to “watch” the movie.
Today I see things differently, thank goodness. One class I took at UCLA with Peter Sellers, the director on “Nixon in China,” and a truly talented artistic man, however, validated “me.” It was interesting his whole perspective on “TV.” I won’t get into a lot of the political issues he brought to life, but I was happy to know, that my life was probably protected in its own way, by not being exposed to the “tube.”
I actually still do refuse to watch the news or even buy a newspaper. Amazingly, things that are important you will find out about by your friends. That task every day would take me away from so many things, like learning how to type to write all these thoughts……Yes!!!!
MY MOM, AND ME: ENDING UP IN HOLLYWOOD FROM ELYSIAN! First, I suppose you are wondering why I lived with my grandparents. Well, Grandpa had run my real Dad off, Billie B., shortly after I was born, as my mother was very young, and it upset Grandpa. But my Mom, who was so beautiful, ended up marrying another guy immediately anyway, a local resort owner’s son. However, she went to a carnival one day, during one of those little town celebrations, this one called “Fun Days,” or something, and she met the guy who ran the tilt-a-whirl, and off went mother. He was good looking, wild, and my Mom was on an adventure. This guy was from Wisconsin, but they headed out to California. It worked out for everyone. I was extremely happy and spoiled at the “club” and Mom was having fun. My Mom ended up living in Hollywood.
Watch out Hollywood, Susanne is on her way! When my grandmother took ill and died, I came to California to live with my Mom. I was not quite fourteen. Wow, was it a shocker to go from Elysian, Minnesota to Hollywood. My music had to be put aside for awhile at that point, but life was interesting. The trip out here was a story in itself. I woke up one sunny morning in Minnesota with my Aunt at my bed, saying, “Susanne, you are leaving for California, wash up, I have your suitcase ready, and your train leaves in about two hours?” “Oh, really,” I thought. I had plans for that night. But no one seemed to care.
For within what felt like seconds, but has lasted a lifetime of a moment that I will never be able to forget, I was on my way to California on a train that I had no clue what city I was to get off at, nor what my mother’s name or address was. Fortunately the train was filled with sailors, who bless their hearts truly entertained little ole me. Then in Glendale California, I saw my mother and her new husband running along side the train, begging the train conductor to stop; and HE DID!!! So it all worked out in the end. However, my Grandpa died shortly thereafter, and my aunt had an auction, and I never saw any of my possessions again, like dolls, records, pictures, underwear, and my valuables. One day I will tell this whole tale, but not right now……keep you coming back, huh? That’s a good thing!!!
LIFE WITH MY MOM, A WOMAN WHO MARRIED EIGHT TIMES!” She died a few years ago and had been married eight times total, usually with a few boyfriends on the side. When the oven got dirty, rather than having to clean it, she used to say, “You might as well get a new husband, that way you get a new stove.”
Her life was not easy, but My Mom was always an angel, her heart was just restless. She was my best friend and even when I would run around in tiny bikinis, she would just tell me how pretty I looked. I miss her. The whole theatre thing Mom just did not understand. She only had a 4th grade education, and I think that the whole situation in her understanding was overwhelming to her, and made her uncomfortable, as proud as she was of me.
Sandy Kovacs fell in love with her, but her lack of education and family status made her to afraid to let him love her. Sad! Mom is responsible for my country music I give to you all today, along with my grandparents of course too. But, no matter what I did, being the lead in a play at UCLA or the JIMMY DOOLITTLE Theatre, she would ask me to come please sing some country tunes out at one of her favorite legion or country music bars near her on my days off.
At least thirty of her friends would show up to hear me. Mom believed my singing and entertaining was the best; I loved it! One time I was playing country Christmas tunes at a mall, and my Mom walked in with this whole group of her pals; I saw the tears flow on her face. She was so happy. With her, she brought a video camera, but she filmed me upside down. Oh well! That day for her was worth all the gold in the world. My heart and my soul find contentment with every country song I sing. As thru this style, my Mom and I communicated. I am lucky; I still get to sing my songs for her. When she died, my music carried and healed me through her death. Music creates magic and memories. I know I am doing the right thing with my life today. I am filled with peace. When I play one of my grandparent’s favorite songs, I feel them. Music is so spiritual!
I MADE IT TO UCLA SCHOOL OF THEATRE, FILM AND TELEVISION, SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS, WITH ONLY AN EIGHTH GRADE CHILDHOOD EDUCATION. I had stop playing my music when I was around twelve years old, as my grandparents were sick, and they closed down the supper club. And, I did not play for many years. I had only able to achieve about an eighth grade education, and life was full of its challenges. But one day, I went to take a GED test. The guy in charge of these examines, came back in after scoring my work. He had tears in his eyes. He looked at me and said, “You are brilliant. You need to go across the street to the junior college and get an education. You can be anything you want.” So I did! I enrolled in a Modern Dance class, a Piano class, and tennis. I failed tennis. The “F” still remains on my record. What a silly game, especially to try and do at 7 AM. I mean who wants to run around a court trying to catch and have to hit a tiny little ball. NOT ME!
I became the lead dancer however, in my dance class, and bought myself a piano again. Life was good. A few years later, with me now being enrolled as a Music major, my counselor said, “Do you realize you could go to a university? You have a 4.0 GPA.” I did not even comprehend what a “university” meant. But I was going!
She told me it would take me two years more, as I had to now take real classes, like math and English……..oh no!!!!, but I was willing as , ah , yes, I had found the theatre department. I was singing, dancing, acting (pretending, and I liked that part), and I had found my soul. Well, two years later, after I received my AA degree with honors in Music, I walked up the famous stairs at UCLA to start my life as a Theatre major in the School of Fine Arts (theatre, film, television, and digital media).
Being accepted into this part of UCLA means I also had to take TWO YEARS of a foreign language. Their requirements are like MEDICAL SCHOOL, TOUGH! But I made it. And I could have stayed on campus for the rest of my life. What a great place to be! I was with my peers. Of course, being in the theatre department means you are special…….trust me……we are “really” special. But I was where I had needed be to flower. What a great life for a kid who had existed on the streets of Hollywood at times.
A Kodak Moment! My blessings are so many. Some years earlier, I had been hospitalized at UCLA, nearly dead, with a 1% chance that I would live. And when I left the hospital, a social worker had given me twenty-five dollars, as I had no money, and really no where to go. In fact I ended up sitting on Sunset Blvd., with my one suitcase, upon leaving the hospital.
But I have always been protected. And my first day of school at UCLA I parked in Westwood, by mistake, but not by mistake, as I had to walk by the hospital, and also miles to go to where I had to go which was on the other side of the campus, but what the heck. Anyway, I just stood there, looking at the medical center that had saved my physical life, and cried!
My journey from that dark time to this glorious morning was beyond my greatest vision. As I watched all the other students rushing around me, I realized the preciousness of this moment, as no one could have imagined that I would be attending this University as a student. I did not even know they had a school there. That day was definitely a Kodak moment!
I was honored with my Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theatre in 1992 from UCLA’s Fine Arts School of Theatre, Film and Television; and was allowed to continue my graduate work which I had been granted the right to participate in the Graduate Film Producer’s Program while I was doing my undergraduate work. What gifts!!!! I have many dreams to fill and so much to give back in this world!
A UCLA ARTICLE ON SUSANNE
“As a graduate of UCLA in Theatre and Film Producing from the UCLA School of Theatre, Film Television and Digital Media, Susanne Spirit has continued her love for the University with her work as the President of the Inland Empire UCLA Bruins Alumni Chapter. Honors were given to her for the past three years for her volunteer accomplishments. Her liaison stands strong in Hollywood because of her attendance and work in the Graduate UCLA Producer’s Program. These connections established include The UCLA School of Fine Arts, The Geffen Playhouse, The Ahmanson Theatre Group, and many others. The Graduate UCLA Producer’s Program is chaired by Mr. Peter Guber, past Sony Picture’s President, and currently President of Mandalay Pictures. Susanne has kept these associates in her realm by her creation of Greenland Global Entertainment, a US and International Co., producing film, theatre, music and digital media. Her future projects include a Bertolt Brecht play, The Life of Galileo, to be made into a film with new music created by Susanne Spirit. Another work in development is a novel, The Proud Breed, an epic that competes with Gone with the Wind. She also has a CD being released this forthcoming summer of her own music, her music from her heart.”Dreams and Challenges “Her accomplishments are many, her dreams are even more. She has taken many risks to get where she is today, overcoming difficult obstacles. But as she does in so many ways, she takes struggle as a challenge. A few years ago, she began gymnastics. “I decided I had to do something physical that I was completely afraid of trying. I was scared to death to do a somersault. Gymnastics seemed perfect! As a child I had rheumatic fever most of my childhood. I was not allowed to play much outdoors. Well, I can now tumble, stand on my hands, and even jump bars. I am almost like a little monkey. It was so fun! And, everyone was so supportive. One day, while I was trying to do a cartwheel, this little maybe five year old girl, who was instructing me, yes, she said, “Come one, I know you can do it.” And, I did, for her and for me.” What more can anyone say.” (UCLA Point of View Article)
I WANT IT ALL!!!! I want. I want! I want! One Dream of mine, “of many”; to write the next best musical on “Broadway, a new “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas!” To be a dancer was what I actually thought I would end up being. Dancing finds freedom from all the problems of a day! But, then I found acting where I could be other people, and then the art of musical theatre, that includes dancing, which interestingly enough led me back to my music. My insistent urge to sing, lead me to do all the musicals possible. Don’t get me wrong I love a good DRAMA, and doing dramas obsessed me. I was told I had a well to draw from, and would be a great actress.
How one day, or rather one night, changed my whole life!, MY DECISION TO BE A SONGWRITER/ ARTIST / PERFORMER/ AN ENTERTAINER! AND NOT GO TO BROADWAY! After I had just performed in the show of “NUTS, and had cried on stage night after night, so many times, I realized that I had cried enough in my real life, I never wanted to cry again on stage. I knew my heart, my songs, my words, my thoughts, only wanted to entertain and give people a good time, like my grandpa. As in the movie, Fools Rush In, I was given my “signs.” My decision was made. I had to return to my love of performing my music, my country music. I was away from this passion for awhile, but my heart left me no choice other than doing what I am. And, I guess why I like this country genre allows the truths of life to be expressed while having fun. I want to entertain people. This past Thanksgiving I was performing at a truck stop and this hard-working, older man I saw crying while I was singing. Then after the set, he came up to me, and told me how grateful he was to me for being there on this most difficult day for him. I knew I was right where I should be.
MY BEGINNING SONGWRITER CAREER MOMENT!! I gave my first three songs I wrote and recorded on a “Boom Box” to Johnny Cash!!! The first time I recorded some songs was actually back when I had first started going to school and I took the piano class. I had three songs written, that I wanted to record, but didn’t know how to write it all out. So, I approached this kid in the class, who I figured out knew his stuff, and asked him what he would charge me to write out some charts for my songs and help me record them. He said, “Fifty dollars!” I said, “Cool!” And with that worked out we went to his house, I know, and made my music.
He played the piano, I sang and we recorded them on a little boom box. I then joined the newspaper at this junior college because I found out that way if I was a reporter that I could get back passes to concerts. I had this feeling that if Johnny Cash, whom I thought had actually been in prison, and was sort of wild, could just hear my songs; he would help me with my career. Well, I got in the “VIP” section at his concert at the LA Fair, I handed him my cassette, and he took it! The letter he sent me was precious, I still have it. He encouraged me, gave me the name of his publisher, and was very nice. Made my day!!!
THE SECOND STEP I TOOK TOWARD THIS CAREER: I gave my next three songs I wrote and now recorded in a recording studio at UCLA by taking a “recording class’ to the President of the William Morris Agency, which is as Hollywood as it gets! The President of the William Morris Agency that represents all the top talent in LA had approached me to represent me after him seeing my work in a play at UCLA. I did over seventeen lead roles on the main stage and some first-class productions. But it was during that time when emotionally I needed to express my music, and was beginning to hate crying on stage.
I wrote several plays to express my thoughts while attending school. But just before I met this agent, I had taken a recording class at school so I could actually record three country songs that were haunting my head. So, when I met him, I had just completed the class and had this cassette of my three songs my hand that night.
So, anyway, I said to the agent that night he approached me, “Oh, yes I would love to call you. But, listen, I just recorded three songs that I have written, which are country-blues style, and I would love to have you hear them as they are from my heart, and it is a piece of me.” Well, the next day he phoned me, and said, “Well our agency has a huge office in Nashville. I think you should send a copy to the head guy over there, and tell him, I referred you. Your music is great”
MY UCLA SECRET SOCIETY: for homegrown, back porch music! I almost had to create a secret society to get “country music” recorded at school. I told the instructor the music was for my film. It was funny trying to record this genre at UCLA. People love this hillbilly kind of music; they just don’t want to admit it.
The girl I had play strings was a classically trained violinist…and wow at first we had did encounter troubles. But how can you play a violin if you can’t play it as a fiddle. Finally, this girl, and the rest of the players and engineers, just took their shoes and socks off. The violinist re- named her instrument to a FIDDLE, and then we all made some home-grown music. By the end of our recording, a new appreciation for this back porch style of sounds became evident from these friends, giving them a moment to remember forever. We laughed so hard, we cried. It was a growing experience for all of us.
ANOTHER TURNING POINT!! TO ACT OR NOT TO ACT? The next thing that happened that evening led me to know, one more time, I had to continue my journey with this music that fills me. This President of William Morris asked me if I would like to go on an audition for Disney that forthcoming week. I said, “Yes.” And I did go! But there were fifty girls there who all looked just like me. I left!!! I knew that experience was not something I ever cared to be put through again. II was done with the whole acting scene. Besides I was not out of school yet, and UCLA demands you don’t go out professionally until you have graduated. But that moment was a turning point. I just knew, there was something else for me.
President of the Nashville William Morris Agency Telephones “ME” at my house who turns out to be best friends with my best friend’s Dad!!! The President from the Nashville office phoned me after he had listened to my music. We spoke for almost an hour. It turned out that I was best friends with the daughter of his best friend from Vietnam days. But he gave me the phone number to Albert Lee, one of country music’s greatest guitar players, and this man told me that I should start playing with real country musicians. He never said it, but I guess he realized my creative team, were not really “country-hearted.” He told me, again, he thought my songs were great and I just needed to horn my skills in this arena. So, I did. One day I will have to phone this man again, and thank him.
A friendship begins with one of the most famous guitar players alive, Albert Lee!!! This awesome guitarist and keyboard player and his lovely wife, Karen, helped me so much. When I first made the call to Albert Lee at the recommendation of the Nashville Agent, I actually thought I would be giving this musician a job. I went and met him. I was playing my songs to him, like I was really somebody. He just took it all in, and complimented me on my creativity.
With Albert Lee’s friendship, giving me musicians to call who would play in clubs with me, I began my professional career, playing out all over in clubs, casinos, rodeos, etc., for a long time. But, one day, I knew I had to focus on my songwriting, not playing the covers, but my work, my music, as an artist. So, I started playing only where I could sing my own work, and of course, cover tunes that I love. I found myself playing at truck stops, with everyone really loving my music, and have just day by day continued with this journey.
I have a funny story to share about Albert Lee. My first year was rough. And, some so called hot-shot guitar players in the LA scene, who did not know I knew Albert, were almost rude to me when I would ask them to play a gig with me. Well, Albert Lee invited me to a birthday party as his guest. I walked in, with the place packed with musicians. Albert was on stage, and he said over the loud speaker, “Susanne Spirit, Hello! We are sitting over in there in that corner. Please go sit down and have a drink on me. You folks are going to get to hear this girl sing in just awhile.”
Well, the mouths of all these “happening” folks who were at the party, but sure weren’t sitting with Albert, suddenly really, really wanted to be my friend. I went to go to the ladies room, and they are now handing me their business cards. I threw them away. It was so fun that evening. I also got to meet Wanda Jackson and Rosie Flores, two truly talented women. What an experience! I owe a lot to Albert. We are actually trying to put together something right now to tour the truck stops together. He has been very good to me. He has a new CD out of his own music, and what an honor it would be to be on tour with him. He has played with Peter Frampton, Emmylou Harris, Everly Brothers, Eric Clapton, Crickets, Joe Cocker, Eddie Van Halen, Bill Wyman, ex-Stone, etc., etc. Visit his site at www.albertlee.com.
MY INSPIRATIONS WHEN I WRITE A SONG! It seems like my head fills with a thought, and each day I have more to write on that thought until every word is out. It is not something I can stop. Many novelists say they have felt like that. It is like I have something to express, and I just have to let it flow. Some are easy, while others tend to take nurturing. The music and words usually for me come together. But it is a process that changes. If you go to my song page you can see what has inspired each song on my new CD, and the process of each one. My friend from UCLA, an awesome rock singer, Ali Handal, check out her site at www.alihandal.com, encouraged me to tell the story of how each song we perform comes about at gigs. Songwriting is storytelling. And, I heard once, don’t try to be a star, just make one fan at a time. I hope at best that my music touches my audience’s hearts that is all.
OH ME!!! OH MY!!! HOW THIS CD, “ LOVE MY TRUCK DRIV’IN MAN” WAS MADE. And HOW MICHAEL RICHARD TWAMLEY MADE IT ALL “HAPPEN.”Michael, my fiancée actually is the one who put everything together to make this CD become a reality. I would have probably just kept on singing out. But, he said, “You need to make a CD, one that will allow you to share your music with the world.” So here we are on this beautiful and exciting new journey, where I write and Michael will produce the work. As far as which songs we have chosen to put in this first real CD, well I am too close to the songs. Michael and I decided that it is better if he selected the songs and their order from the ones we recorded. I get to be the artist and he handles all the other affairs. It works wonderfully!
Well, maybe once he saw me in dress. His thoughts were that maybe these were my only clothes. He said he would always think, “One day I am going to buy her lots of pretty things.” (And, he has!) But, one Sunday at our local church, I saw him standing in a pew, alone, with his hands raised high, singing with the choir. I thought what a neat guy. He saw me in the communion line, with my prettiest high heels on that I owned.
Anyway, it all began there, as he asked me to have dinner with him that evening. We talked at the restaurant for hours that night. Yesterday, June 08, 2004, was actually our one year anniversary from that night at dinner. We plan to marry next year with a big celebration. We just had our two sons meet, and they instantly became best friends. What a memorable moment for us. We have a family!!!
LIVING LIFE IN “LOVE” IS THE “BEST!” I met the love of my life here in Corona, Michael Twamley. Who would have thought!!! We are engaged and plan to marry in one year. As I said in one of my song, I Have Experience, “I have known and loved many a good man,” but Michael can handle me. I am a full plate. He is the greatest man I have ever known. We bring to each other all the qualities that the other doesn’t have. It’s sp spiritual and beautiful! I’m a late bloomer with “love,” and so was he. We both feel so blessed. Neither of us was looking; nor did we care to look. He is the man I wrote about before I knew him. In my song, I Be Good, that guy is BAD, and GOOD. That fantasy man came from the same place as I have been, and that turned out to be Michael.
Another song, Give Me Some Mashed Potatoes, which will be on my third CD, the bridge says, “Give me a man who loves his lawn mower, who plays ball with his doggies, and hugs his kids. He can build a fence, paint a house, maybe even lay some cement. And, instead of hollering he’ll give me a kiss.” And guess what???? Those words described Michael. He built homes with his Dad from the time he was seven years old. He and I would walk for hours in this park here, just telling our little life adventures, some very painful. We have no lies between us, no secrets, which was not our norm, but it was safe for both of us to share and become one.
But my fantasies in my songs came true when Michael appeared for me, as I did for him. Suddenly there we were in each other’s life. . . running into each other everywhere we would go. (It is a small community) But we both realized that this love was a God thing. For weeks, in the beginning, he and I would walk for hours in this park here, just telling our little life adventures, some very painful, but telling each other it all. We have no lies between us, no secrets, which was not our norm, but it was safe for both of us to share, and we needed that connection, to truly become one.
We now have the family life that we both desired for so long, and that neither of us had ever had. Our love is a precious gift. I have been a gun shy when it comes to “love,” but I look forward to carrying Michael’s name. It is a first love kind of love. Uh-Oh!!! I think I have the title to a new song. Don’t you think?
FAMILY IS SO IMPORTANT! Oh, my. I am so blessed. My Mom has put her spirit in Michael’s mother. She loves my music just like my Mom did. I love this woman so much. And his father is the greatest. His love is so generous. Then Michael has sisters, and a brother-in-law, and nieces and nephews that well, let’s say this family is “almost” perfect.
We have had the best holidays together since I was a little girl. And, then of course, his son, and my son, well those two are our angels. And, now they have each other. Life can give you some wonderful moments when you least expect them. And, the love between Michael and me has brought peace in all the “family” affairs. It is so nice to have people who love you and you love them.
MY PASTTIMES AND HOBBIES!!! Now, now, I can’t tell you EVERYTHING!!! Just playing!!!! I am President of the Inland Empire UCLA Bruins Alumni Chapter. (Just type in: www.uclalumni.net/chaptersandclubs/ and you will get the link to the UCLA site.) I have held this office for three years, and won honorable awards for my achievements. My volunteer work with this group has given me so many rewards, and especially friends, dear, dear friends.
Since I graduated I have always served on various committees, including Sponsorship, Professional Achievement Awards, Homecoming Affairs, and many others; dancing with Michael (He is the best dancer); Grass root theatre projects with Gingerland Theatre Company in Corona; working on music for potential theatre or film pieces; being with family; and even just sitting still, watching TV, my new fascination, or seeing a film. You never know in life who God may take tomorrow, so I cherish every moment I have with people that I love and who love me!
THOUGHTS ON LEGITIMATE THEATRE BY SUSANNE! As you already know, I love plays and hope to write a Tony-winning, Broadway musical play. As for my favorite play is probably is The Life Of Galileo by Bertolt Brecht. . I have written new songs for the work, based on the original Hans Isler score, and hope one day I will be able to make it into a movie, as well as do a first-class stage production. Both Bertolt Brecht and Galileo who lived many, many years ago, thought differently, much like I have my whole life. Galileo and Brecht have inspired me to keep going with my own thoughts and dreams, and not let others get in the way. Another play I adore is Marat Sade……..it is about an asylum where the actual audience watching the crazy people were the ones that were crazy……..does that remind you of most situations in this life? And I have one more, Waiting For Godot. Check it out….sometime. And when ever you find yourself being able to attend a play or a ballet or opera, take advantage of the opportunity. Those events can be life changing.
“LEGALLY BLONDE” IS MY FAVORITE MOVIE! “Legally Blonde” That girl in that movie is my idol!!! I am serious! She actually reminded me of myself while I was attending UCLA. Ask classmates who hung out in the “hall” with me.
YOU ASK, “AM I OBSESSED WITH “PINK?”” I love pink! Yes!!! My cousin Kristy, who died when she was fourteen, and I was a few years younger, her favorite color was pink. (Maybe this color is a girl thing. That’s OK! I’m a girl! Kristy was a girl!) But I did not realize this strange connection about the color until many years later. She died so young. Her death was difficult for me, even though I know God needed a special angel that day. Anyway, years later, her mother came to visit me in California from Minnesota, after not seeing her for years. My home was white eyelet and baby pink. When she walked in my house, she began to cry. I had three things; a pot, a lamp, and a statue I had bought in my travels sitting out that she told me were identical to ones that were in Kristy’s room. In fact, my aunt had brought to me a flower pot identical to one I had on display. That day was a strange reality, as it was explained to me that my home looked like Kristy’s room. I had forgotten. And pink was her favorite color. I realized that Kristy’s spirit was with me, and still is.
MY LIST OF SUGGESTED BOOKS TO READ: “The Life of Clara Bow” stands as one of my favorites as it reminds me of some of mine, and my mother’s life. It depicts the tale of so many young girls and boys who come to Hollywood. And, The Proud Breed, a wonderful novel that I am optioning written by Celeste De Blasis, is as close to “Gone With the Wind” as possible. The love story told is “almost” as wonderful as Michael and I. But its history of the forming of California as a state, racism, wars, love, and the love that a man and woman share for an entire life could not be expressed in any greater story. I highly recommend taking the journey to read this book.
RECIPE SECTION: FOOD!!! AN OBSESSION! MICHAEL AND I GROW OUR OWN VEGETABLES, AND I MAKE ALMOST ALL OUR BREAD HOMEMADE. Food????? Other than fruit and ice cream which now Michael and I have started making our own vanilla ice cream version which we learned from his Dad, we both prefer to eat food freshly prepared and if possible homemade or home grown. Whatever vegetables Michael and I don’t grow, we buy the others at a local Mexican market where we find everything to be so fresh. We are going to do a food section on this site: favorite recipes. Please send me any that you readers may have for any kind of chow-chow! I just learned how to make flour tortillas with olive oil. I am so excited. I will have to share this delight when we get our food section. At least once a week I make homemade bread or tortillas.
FAVORITE RESTAURANTS!!! The OUTPOST CAFÉ,for travelers running the 15 Freeway. At the 395 Highway near Hesperia, CA, has such great food, and great service. I go sing there because we all love to eat at the café. And you can hear my CD on the jukebox as well. As you know, I lived in Beverly Hills, and have eaten at most of the finest restaurants around, but this café is the ultimate. Of course, I still love thePolo Lounge at the BEVERLY HILLS HOTEL. Years ago I used to have an answering service that was before the cell phone days, and live people took your calls. Well, I would have them page me in the POLO LOUNGE. It worked. Within just a few months people knew me. Sitting in one of their booths, with a phone at your side, and the best service in the world, it is one of those true Hollywood moments of fame. And, then they serve a salmon pate with fresh avocado dip that is mind twirling. I like to celebrate events there probably because they use a lot of the color pink everywhere in the hotel. So I love it. Michael took us there for one of our anniversaries….we celebrate everything…..from the day we met, our first date, and on and on……gives us a reason to take time out and enjoy our history.
MY advice to others interested in pursuing a career as a country music artist or any dream that seems as they say, “outside the box!”
Check in often for more of . . . SUSANNE’S TALES Well, I have so many stories to tell you, but for now this is all. . . .Keep posted as I will be writing more “details” as we all go on this new journey together of my songs and music, to share with all of you. And, I want you to know that whatever your dream may be, you should just do it. Don’t let anything stop you. I am living proof, that if you just follow YOUR heart, you will find happiness and your own path. So, with that idea in mind, YOU all have a wonderful day, and do not forget to SMILE!!!