An Interview with Certified Badass Suzee Dunn

Photo courtesy of Suzee Dunn.

Photo courtesy of Suzee Dunn.

Hi Suzee! Thank you for taking the time to be interviewed by Girl.Copy. Tell us a little about you and what you do.

Hi, thanks for having me. I started the ‘Act Like a Girl’ blog about four-and-a-half years ago. Later, the blog developed into a podcast and then into a live monthly comedy show for almost two years now. Every month's show is a variety show featuring a diverse group of people who are already doing badass things and making kick-ass art!

I'm a writer, assistant director, and producer; specifically, a comedy writer with an obsession for super heroes, wrongful conviction cases, astrology, and dark stories. I’ve worked on sets as a PA, assistant director, and producer as often as I could. Making stuff is my favorite thing to do.

So, to put it simply: you do it ALL. Why writing/directing/producing? Was moving to LA to pursue a career in entertainment always a dream of yours growing up?

I actually moved to New York City from my small hometown first, but yes, the stage has always called me. I had my eyes set on musicals. As I pursued that, I realized I had a love for television. I moved to Los Angeles and quickly realized I not only had a passion to be in things, I also wanted to help create them. So the dream has grown as I have.

Absolutely. What would you say have been your biggest challenges in being cast/hired?

I think my biggest challenge currently is not having representation. I feel like I haven't been able to make the next big step in my career, and I am working for that to happen. Standup has really helped me with that feeling. I get to be onstage and work on writing jokes and delivering them. Creating a monthly show called 'The Act Like a Girl Show' has been so lovely as well. The show is the fourth Friday of the month at 9:30pm at The Ruby LA on Sunset Blvd. It's a variety show with interviews, standup, musical comedy, and other mediums of comedy.

Those who have seen your work and listened to your podcast know you’re a highly inclusive feminist comedian and writer. Who would you say has been your biggest influence along the way?

My mentor, Natalie Wilson. I met Natalie pretty much exactly ten years ago. We got very lucky and were matched on a voice lesson site and our relationship blossomed from there. She has been there for me through so much. She is an amazing voice teacher who hosts workshops and cabarets for her students. Over time, I started assisting her when she needed and learning everything I could from her. She has loved me up close and from afar. I am so thankful to have had her in my life for this long and over the time I have.

Why is hiring/casting/spotlighting WOC and other marginalized groups such as the LGBTQ+ community so important to you?

For me, there is just so much proof that there is a disconnect between what is available to white cis men and what is available to everyone else; a disconnect between what is available to white people and everyone else…to cis, straight people and everyone else, and so on. But beyond that, I am very aware that there are so many examples of marginalized people who are already doing all of these spectacular things, they just need a place to amplify their work. If I can amplify, then that's all I want to do.  

Gah, you’re amazing. Now what are you currently working on?

I have been working on set a whole bunch, which is how I pay my bills. As I stated above, I host a monthly comedy show called 'The Act Like a Girl Show' and then starting in April, I kick off my next monthly show, 'The Astrology Show'! It’s a monthly comedy show where everyone on the show will be born within that sign. The first show is Thursday, April 4th at 8pm at The Virgil! I also write on a late-night comedy show at Second City called 'Welcome to Hell with Andi Kryst,' created by Joy Mamey.

What is something you wish someone had told you before moving to LA?

Do everything you can in your small market, and meet everyone you can. When you get here, do everything you can to get on set, and keep yourself safe, of course. I mean, PA and do background [work]. Don't be precious about things.  

What advice can you give to aspiring womxn comedians and writers?

Don't stop. Meet other womxn who are doing what you are and doing what you want to be doing. Meet people who are a step above you, because they will need to refill their jobs when they move up.

Yep, they will. That’s probably not something everyone thinks about. Do you have any future projects you’d like to share with us?

Yes! ‘The Horoscope Show,’ if you happen to be in LA Thursday, April 4th. Come see it at 8pm at The Virgil!