This is a real treat! Today we have Susan Lanier, star of The Hills Have Eyes, Red Rooms, and more!
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Susan Lanier – Interview
[00:00:00] Melissa: This is spoiler country and I’m Melissa surcharge today on the show. I’m excited to welcome an actor known for her roles and things like welcome back Kotter and the cult classic film. The Hills have eyes Susan Lane. Your welcome to the show.
Susan Lanier: Thank you. It’s a pleasure to be here.
Melissa: Thanks so much for being here today. How are you
Susan Lanier: doing. Man, I’m doing great. I’ve had my vaccines and the wait time. And I just got back from meeting a dear friend for lunch. We had the best time and I haven’t been socializing too much for the last year. So it really felt very normal. You know, it was great experience.
Melissa: Yeah. It’s nice to do things like that now that we, um, that we remember and before we forget how to do them.
Susan Lanier: Right. Yeah. And, and it’s a beautiful day. It’s um, um, high seventies. So it’s, it’s just like a perfect beautiful day to day. So I’ve, I’ve had a [00:01:00] magnificent day. Awesome,
Melissa: perfect. Southern California weather, right.
Susan Lanier: Oh, yeah. And I’m kind of close to Malibu. So, you know, I love the beach and the mountains and I’m sort of near both, so are in the mountains, but near the beach. So it it’s like paradise actually. Awesome.
Melissa: Well, that sounds amazing.
Susan Lanier: I would imagine paradise to be, I guess. I mean, you know, it’s lovely. It’s not always like that.
You know, it’s sometimes smoggy and. Fires and whatever. So the air can be bad, but it’s great today.
Melissa: Yeah. When it’s good. It’s really good, right? Yeah. Well, I definitely wanted to talk to you about your career. Um, I know you have some new stuff coming up, but I would love to, um, you know, ask you about, you know, in a very iconic role for you, which was the Hills have eyes, you were in the original and, um, you played, um, Brenda Carter.
So, you know, it’s, it’s, I know it’s been a long time, but if [00:02:00] you have anything you’d like to share about your experience on the set, what that was like working, uh, you know, four of us Craven and just being a part of such an iconic cult classic film.
Susan Lanier: Well, I, you know, I guess it was a life-changing experience even though at the time in 1977 or six, late, 1976 or early 77, when we filmed it, I had no idea that it would have any kind of lifespan like it’s had.
I mean, it’s, it’s amazing the, that it’s kind of a gift that keeps on giving. Um, I was offered the role, the lead in the movie, uh, by Wes himself who had seen my work on TV, um, and, uh, was kind of a fan. They were looking for somebody who was young and blondish and, you know, uh, and I, at the time I was young and blonde, so I’m still blonde, but anyway, I just thought he was [00:03:00] lovely and it was a low budget movie and I’d been doing a lot of high end TV.
And my agent didn’t want me to do the Hills advice. Yeah, and, and I kind of fought him on it and I’ve always been a horror fan, um, of the genre, uh, you know, starting with Vincent Price when I was just a little girl and I said, no, I’m doing this movie. And he goes, well, I mean, if it were in your career, then don’t, don’t blame me.
I, uh, took the gamble and not only, um, met my future husband who had seen the movie and, um, Uh, I ran into him the night after he’d seen it and we just had instant chemistry and, um, I had gone to, I clubbed to hear him sing. And so he said, I just saw you in the Hills, have eyes, you know, give me a photograph or I love you and whatever.
And so the rest is history. I mean, we were together on and off for 31 years. So [00:04:00] it not only was a great thing for my career. I still get. Um, a lot of fan mail, uh, from the movie I get con conventions. I get to go to conventions and meet fans of the film and of the genre and have continued to work in the genre a bit as well as what I started off with was comedy.
And actually my first love, I really feel like I’m a comedian. So I did a lot of sit-com and stand up. On CBS, we, Tony Orlando and Dawn, I’d done stand up with George Carlin and, um, Shauna . I did stand up on Shauna. And so, um, I, uh, so comedy is my first love, but, um, you know, I think comedy is the hard, harder, harder.
Type between drama and comedy comedy is harder to do. You have to have a certain sense [00:05:00] of timing for comedy. Of course, drama is easier to do even though neither are easy. The businesses. I love doing the Hills have eyes. I’m still friends with Michael Bearman and Dee Wallace and Martin Spears and Janice blight and the whole cast.
We’re still. That’s awesome.
Melissa: What did you, what did you think about their remake? Did you go see it in the theaters when it came out or have you watched it.
Susan Lanier: Yes. Um, I saw, I was invited to the premiere and, uh, my husband was alive at the time, Delaney Bramlett, and we were both invited to the premiere and, um, uh, he had become friends with Peter law, could produce the Hills, have eyes, uh, the first one, and I think Peter and West had some attachment to the remake given the West.
Certainly didn’t direct it. And, um, uh, hung out with Emily D Raven who played Brenda. And, um, she was lovely. And, um, I didn’t care for the film. I thought it was too gimmicky. [00:06:00] I, I thought that the film had been, the remake had lost a little bit of the rawness of what we brought to it. Um, so I. You know, but I would have every reason to be biased.
So I, I think there’s some people that probably prefer, um, the remake and that’s. Great for them. And, and, um, I’m just happy. I did the original. Yeah. Well,
Melissa: and I think to the original, when it came out was very shocking, uh, you know, with the subject matter and the grittiness of it. Whereas nowadays, when a film, like similar to that comes out, people are sort of desensitized to it.
So I’m sure it made a lot bigger splash, you know, when you were in it.
Susan Lanier: Yeah. Well, you know, last night I needed to do some busy work and in the background I had on. The remake of the stars born with lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper. And, you know, I have seen all of the [00:07:00] stars, borns. There’ve been four of them and I loved Streisand’s, um, version allot with Kris Kristofferson and, um, uh, and I’ve seen the original at the moment, the stars aren’t in the.
In my brain, but I really, really did love Streisand and Kris, she’s amazing. He’s amazing. And I just felt, I felt like why remake that if, if Bradley Cooper and lady Gaga wanted to go do another project together, that would be cool. But you know, you just, it’s just hard to beat the original of any film. I, you know, There’s so many writers in Hollywood, in New York and all over the United States with brand new, wonderful stuff.
And why do you need to make a remake? You know,
Melissa: I, yeah, I agree. There’s so many remakes happening now. Um, [00:08:00] or. Or sort of like, uh, it sequels, but they’re not really sequels. They’re just sort of like, let’s take all the original content and kind of mix it up. And I know they’re going to be doing a remake of like dirty dancing and top gun, and I’m just I’m cringing because those are some of my childhood favorites and teenage favorites, then I’m like, I just don’t know if you should mess up a good thing because there’s that nostalgia that you can’t really replicate.
Susan Lanier: And often they fall flat. So I don’t know, I wouldn’t invest in a remake, but, um, I think that, I mean, there’s just so much material to be filmed. And so many news stories, you know, you can walk. To the store and meet anybody walking down the aisle and everybody’s got a story, everybody, that’s a story. And there’s so many wonderful stories out there that need to be told.
Melissa: yeah. Well, speaking of stories I wanted to, um, you know, Husky, what, what is like some of your memorable moments of being [00:09:00] onsite or your most memorable moment of any of the sites that you’ve worked on?
Susan Lanier: Well, I had been a little bit spoiled from TV having my own trailer and makeup artists and things like that.
And, um, it was pretty rugged. I mean, we all the actors crammed into one trailer and, and we had to change in front of each other or whatever. And in the. In the daytime, it was quite hot out there. Brenda had the best lines, uh, you know, we’re going to, um, be French fries, French fries. It was cold. It was freezing in the night and it was hot as hell in the day.
And, um, so. And we did a lot of night shooting and I got scratched up and bruised and you know, I mean, anybody would think to acting is easy. Thank again. It’s physically hard. It’s mentally, you have to be focused and clear, and it’s not an [00:10:00] easy career, but, um, Or we just remember how cold and how cold it was at night, how hot it was in the day.
And that we were all crammed in this trailer. And we became like family though. I mean, everybody got along and, um, West created the environment was such. A dear sweet man. And he just created this loving environment and we all got along very, very well. So, uh, D and I are still friends at Dee Wallace. She lives nearby me.
I talked to Michael about once a week or so we talked. Once a week or once every other week, um, before he moved to Florida, we spent Thanksgivings and Christmases together. So, you know, it was, uh, a real binding. Um, life changing film to do. Yeah.
Melissa: Well, it’d be kind of cool maybe of the future. You could all get together and do some kind of reunion special or [00:11:00] some things,
Susan Lanier: convention reunions.
Um, but not, uh, now I have a music video out because you know, I’m also a musician. I have a music video out called watch what you ask for under my name. About I do music under Susan Lynn, near Bramlett and, um, Michael Behrman that’s S U Z E a L a N I E R dash, Bramlett, B R a M L E T T. And my music video.
Watch, what you ask for is a little bit newer. It’s a few years old now, but Michael Bearman. Ask to be in it. So we just made this kind of homemade music video to a song that I wrote with Ron fan called watch what you asked for you just might get it and turned it into a horror music video. So I love that.
That’s so cool. Yeah. So funny, uh, YouTube.
Melissa: That’s awesome. Well, you know, I do have to ask you, um, you, you mentioned comedy and sitcoms [00:12:00] and, um, I’m sure you’ve been asked this a million times, but I’m just curious for our listeners, you know, I was reading that you were cast for one episode of three’s company.
And then, um, I guess Suzanne Somers came in after it seems to me that show kind of had a lot of issues with casting, that particular character. Um, I’m just curious, what was that experience like for
Susan Lanier: you? Um, I had just. Gotten in from the desert, doing some retakes of, um, the Hills have eyes. I was grocery shopping back then they didn’t have cell phones in 77.
And my agent called me while I was at the supermarket in studio city. I said, get over to ABC. You’re going to test for a pilot. That’s already in rehearsal. They Joyce and John had been in rehearsal for three days or four days and they. Cast another girl as Chrissy and they decided it wasn’t working and I’m a very fast study.
I can still learn lines [00:13:00] fairly quickly. And so, um, uh, they, I said blond grocery shop. He said, I don’t care. Leave the groceries, get over to ABC right now. And I went, okay. So I had dirt in my hair and I, you know, I had no, no makeup from being in the desert. And cause that was on location. I’d just driven in.
And uh, I went over and they. Gave me a shower. They put me in makeup and did my hair and, and gave me big cue cards to read. And, um, I learned the law, I got the part and they, uh, the part of Chrissy and they, um, Shot it in three days. So I only had three days, you know, generally a pilot they’ll shoot it in seven days or something.
So I had already lost half of the rehearsal time. And so I had to learn the part, the whole thing in three days and do it in front of a live audience. And it was really tough. Um, [00:14:00] so I guess they just felt that, um, You never know why you’re rejected. You know, you never know why, uh, rejection is part of having an acting career.
A lot of big movie stars, big names that everybody knows is audition for parts that they didn’t get and are, have done pilots that they were released from. And then these people go on to be household names. And, and so it’s just part of the business and. Uh, for whatever reason, I guess they decided, um, they wanted to another Chrissy, there was some personality conflicts on the set to begin with.
And, um, so, uh, I think that created some tension on the set that. You know, I can’t go into more than that, but, you know, I, cause I don’t want to, you know, these toes, but just that were personality clashes and that’s the truth. And um, [00:15:00] and I think that. And, and my agent quite frankly, had negotiated me a huge salary because they were desperate.
I know they were, had already built the set. They were already shooting footage, so they had to get somebody in there. And I, my agent really negotiated. Uh, a high fee for me and much more than the other two were making. And so I think that also created some problems fight.
Melissa: Yeah. Well, especially, you know, during the time period it was on as well.
I’m guessing that, you know, as a woman being an actor, um, you had, you know, uh, challenges that the women still have today, but not to the same degree. Would you agree with
Susan Lanier: that? Yes, I think it, I think it. It’s changing a little bit slowly, but, um, yeah, it’s a man’s business and I, I think I hope that that will change.
Um, if all you have to do is turn on [00:16:00] TV are even watch. A movie, um, particularly all these new sapphires and, you know, macho things, men work, and it’s hard for women to work. And that’s why, um, I much prefer to, I like to work with women because they like to hire women. And, um, uh, it’s a man it’s still a man’s business,
Yeah, that’s unfortunate. Yeah. I mean, it is definitely there’s big strides when you watch films now. And sometimes I even cringe at some of the films from the past, you know, some of the dialogue and the sexism and misogyny that, you know, that was allowed back then and accepted. And now, like if somebody were to say that, you know, they wouldn’t, you know, there’d be a Twitter raid about it.
Susan Lanier: Yeah. I mean, you know, when I did welcome back Kotter, I, I had my entire mid drift. Uh, exposed. I wouldn’t do that these days, so I wouldn’t even show it to you here. But, uh, [00:17:00] back then, you know, the low cut bell, bottom jeans and a little crop top, and I had all my stomach showing and the network had a fit and, um, they pushed Jimmy Komack, who was the executive producer pushed for me to wear that.
I think I was the first person, um, Even with I dream of Jeannie, which was about four, she was pretty much covered up with mesh on, uh, I was, uh, the first person really to have, um, my entire flesh stomach, you know, I mean, you know, midriff showing and, um, So it’s progressed from there. God knows what they’ll do anything now.
Melissa: There’s no shame. Um, so what do you think was your, your favorite to work on in your career? As far as acting goes? I know you love to do comedy standup and music as well, but as far as acting, what do you think was your most, um, you know, [00:18:00] fun and. You know, special experience to work
Susan Lanier: on? Well, frankly, I started off in theater, even though fans don’t necessarily see your film, your theater projects, my favorite.
Thing that I ever did was starring at the Ahmanson theater in LA, um, in 90 of the Guana with Richard Chamberlain, Dorothy, McGuire, Eleanor, Raymond Massey, and me, I was quite young and that was my first thing I did here. And, um, uh, I worked with Tennessee Williams and so that had been my dream. He’s probably the greatest playwright
Melissa: of our time.
My favorite play, right? Yes. I agree. And
Susan Lanier: I had come from, I had moved here from New York and had done some great theater and I still love the theater the most. But if you’re going to ask me what project I’m the most proud of, I’m certainly most [00:19:00] known for the Hills have eyes. I like to, my work in the Hills have eyes.
I was very young and, um, so far that’s kind of. My favorite, the new projects are fun to do. I have a cabaret show. I have a great band and I write all the music. So if you want to talk about the most fun thing to do ever is to do my cabaret show and play with my band. And nobody’s judging me really, because I get to do the standup comedy along with music.
And, um, there’s some dramatic moments too.
Melissa: So. Well, yeah, I bet that’s really entertaining with your background, because like you said, you have this comedy background and then you’re a performer you can sing. And I’m sure that, you know, it’s a really entertaining show. Now. I know you, you sing the blues and are you referring to you?
Is it called swamp cabaret?
Susan Lanier: Yeah, that’s my, um, Only CD that was officially released. I have a new AP that I keep saying I’m going to release and [00:20:00] I keep forgetting. I need to do it because I’m busy with other projects. Um, and it’s called allergic to Texas and they’re five. To sign that. And I really liked that release too.
Um, um, clubs are closed. So obviously I haven’t been able to perform in a club in a while. I plan to resurrect that if it, if it does open up, I feel that it might by the end of the summer, but I’ve spent the last few years working on a very dark. Uh, book it, I guess, uh, we would officially call it a memoir, but it’s just six months of my life as a young girl moving to New York.
And it’s very, very dark and crazy and funny. And, um, uh, I moved from Texas to New York and, uh, you know, so. Backwoods that I didn’t even know to tip the cab driver. I don’t know, even know if I’ve ever been in a cab. [00:21:00] So, you know, I learned a lot. So I’m writing about that experience and. I’m really enjoying writing.
And I’m also working with an acting group in New York, uh, once a week. And we do scenes. Um, I’m the only person from LA and through some of the people at actor studio, the actor studio. And so I, uh, stay busy. I’m waiting for a sitcom. I did called stripped with Casper van deem, starring Casper, bending Brooklyn, Rick Lewis Bellis.
And, um, I. Play a funny older woman. And, um, and then also I, uh, web is kind of a dark webisode in, uh, it’s called red rooms and I’m waiting, waiting for both of those to be picked up. So if they do them, I’ll be happy and I’ve got it. Yeah.
Melissa: That’s the dream. Right.
Susan Lanier: You can just keep on [00:22:00] going, you know?
Especially now, I mean, it sounds like you’re keeping really busy. I’ve talked to a lot of, you know, different creators about the effects, you know, the pandemic has had, you know, creatively and for some, it has stifled their creativity for others. It’s kind of given them the time and space to really hone in on it.
Would you say that for you it’s had more of like a positive effect on you creatively?
Susan Lanier: I was very upset when it started, because I felt like it was. Putting everybody’s life. Well, first of all, I’m very fortunate that I have so far lived through it. And, um, I have lost five friends from it. And my girlfriend that I had lunch with today lost her parents in it.
And so there’s been a lot of sadness around it, however, I’m not opposed to not driving an LA traffic so much. And, um, I think that. [00:23:00] I really enjoy the way it’s opened up the world. Not just, uh, LA, but are, are just. America. I get the United States. It’s opened up the whole world to participate in projects with people on zoom and be able to have meetings and you can go to work wherever you are.
And, um, I love that aspect of it. I love meeting people, like I said, in, in this acting class, in New York that I’m, I’m working with. I’m the only person from LA everybody’s from New York one, guy’s from Germany and we’re just having a ball, uh, working together. And it’s like being in the room with these people.
So yeah, it’s not the same as getting up and performing in front of them with your entire body. But it’s also a really cool because it opens up a much bigger world and I love that aspect of it, you know? [00:24:00] People coming up, we’re going to have technical. Capabilities that I can’t even dream of right now.
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah. I think, uh, someone I was talking to, um, a month ago made a really good point about how can you imagine if this pandemic could happen 25 years ago, we wouldn’t have had the technology to connect with each other the way we’re doing, you know, there were no iPhones or, you know, zoom or Skype or anything like that.
So in a sense that it has been a blessing that we do have all of it. So even though we’ve been stuck at home, we can still connect to each other.
Susan Lanier: One of the things that’s changed, which was beginning to happen before COVID is that, um, auditions for films have, are from home. Now you self-tape, it’s called self-tape rather than go in and do a live audition in front of a real casting director at the studios.
And, um, sometimes that can take all day. To drive through LA traffic, no matter what [00:25:00] area of LA you live in, because the studios are spread so far apart. And it’s really, it’s really been nice to be able to audition from home and send in your best work or the best take that you can do. And you, you look at it and you go, wow.
Okay. That’s the best I can do. And then you send it in and you’re not nervous or. Sweaty, you know, or tired from driving or go to the bathroom. I mean, you’re on your best chance.
Melissa: Yeah. My sister is an actress and she, she was living in LA, but went to go stay with my mom during the shutdown. So her agent was sending her things like that and she would.
Sort of text them to me and be like, well, what do you think about this take or that day? And I thought, what are you doing? And she’s got the light set up, but you know, in a room and everything. And it was just funny. I know nothing about it. So, um, but it was cute to like kind of see how it was adapting to like those new world.
Susan Lanier: It’s great. [00:26:00] And I have been a photographer for years too, and I’ve had a lovely career as a photographer. So I keep a studio set up and I haven’t did a shoot shoot this week. And, um, so I was all, I was all ready to go when they started doing with this, with the perfect backdrop and why being, and I technically I’ve, um, I learned as much as I can all the time.
About the technical stuff. I’m I know I’m older, I’ve friends that are even younger than me. They go, how do you do that? You know, I keep up with it, babe.
Melissa: You got to, you got to otherwise, you know, we got left behind. I don’t know, I’m learning to, I, I’m not I’m gen X. So the technology stuff started happening.
I would say I was probably my. Late teens, early twenties, you know, when it really started taking over. And so, yeah, it’s been challenging. I was resistant for a long time, like, Oh, I don’t, I don’t want to be on social media, but now of course, you know, we, we all are, but I think it’s really important to [00:27:00] stay on top of everything because you know, that’s how business is conducted now.
It’s not just like a hobby anymore.
Susan Lanier: No, no. Um, you know, it was kind of sad to do your birthday on zoom with your friends, you know, it’s, it’s. Drinking alone is not nearly as much fun as drinking brands. So true. So I, but things are, you know, things are revving back up. So yeah, I do have hope and I just, um, was wondering how theater would ever open back up because the Broadway stage, the Caesar crammed in, they get as many seats in there as they can.
And so I was just curious, like, how’s that ever going to, is that ever going to be another. Option. And, uh, I know some of the theaters in New York, um, are spacing the seats out and they’re trying to reinvent how they’re going to do it. And I love being on stage. So, you know, I would, you know, go to New York and do a play in a minute, but, um, are doing [00:28:00] here.
So, but no theaters are open up here. Theaters. Aren’t open up here with actors on stage, at least yet.
Melissa: Yeah, I haven’t heard of any, um, in my area either being open. I think it’s just part of that last tier or that last stage. I feel like it falls into that concert venue, um, convention seating, you know, level of being open, which we’re getting there.
I think hopefully by the end of this year, that’ll start. And if they do, if they start taking the seats out and spacing them out more, that will definitely help. Um, people feel more comfortable and safe.
Susan Lanier: It’ll help a lot. Yeah. I miss the live music. I really, you know, nothing’s more fun than going to a sleazy nightclub and listening to wonderful musicians, do their thing.
And, um, even if I’m not. Working myself. I love going in hearing the vast amount of [00:29:00] talented, legendary musicians to play in the clubs around here. And so, um, that that’s a bummer. You no, it’s not quite the same as watching them for me. It’s not quite the same as watching them live and get that full feeling.
You can feel the bass at a nightclub.
Melissa: I agree. Yeah. There’s something special about going into like, inside a dirty dingy, you know, dark cloth, maybe it’s smoky and you’ve got yourself a whiskey or something. And um, you get to just discover new artists. Too, you know, when you wander into a random club, you hear some good music from the street and all of a sudden, you know, you’re, you’ve got like a new favorite artists that you’re into, and I’m sure I’ve got like performing as well for you.
That’s you, you live, you feed off the crowd. So I guess you probably miss that
Susan Lanier: aspect. Yeah, I do miss that and, and, um, and you know, Getting a hug, you know, even my girlfriend and I, you know, we finished lunch and we hugged each other goodbye and it, [00:30:00] and it was just great to be able to connect that way.
She’s had her vaccines as well. And, um, so, uh, I just hope that there, it will keep us as safe as they say, and that will continue to science will continue to be on top of the virus, you know, and these people are wrong about, well, there’ll be another one. Oh no, I know they’re going to be variations, but I, you know, I just pray and hope that, um, we get it under control.
Melissa: I know. And hopefully it’ll get to the point where, you know, it it’s, I mean, it’s like the flu, for example, and the flu can be also very deadly for certain groups of people. Um, but for the majority of people, we go, Oh, it’s flu season. Now we have to go get our flu shot and, you know, maybe. Some of the population gets sick, maybe some doesn’t.
And I think hopefully it will be something where, you know, not something that becomes a regular, but [00:31:00] we might have to get regular vaccines every year, you know, get the COVID shot or whatever. And if that’s what it takes to keep us all healthy, then you know, so be it
Susan Lanier: right. Yeah. I think that’s what it will be.
I think, I think that we probably will have to get a vaccine every year as they mutate as the virus mutates. So, but I’m willing to do that. Um, I think that, um, I, after I got mine out of the blue, they sent me some scan for my phone to prove that I have a scan in my wallet, in my iPhone that says it gives all the information.
So God knows what information it’s got, but, um, At any rate? I think, uh, now they’re opening up European travel as long as you’ve been vaccinated. So I have my scanner and my bone saying, you got shot up. The proof is here. Yeah. Uh, if that’s what it takes, that that’s what it takes. You know, the one cool thing about it is that pre [00:32:00] COVID, um, I would travel a lot.
I was on an airplane all the time and, um, I would have a lot of Coles or flu or pick up bronchitis, particularly in the winter. And, um, and usually you have it a couple of times a year. And I guess I didn’t realize that it was probably my fault for not, you know, washing my hands enough or putting my hands on a grocery cart maybe and touching my face.
And, and I have been so well. Knock on wood and I’m not bragging. I know that’s not for a lot of people, but just from not picking up germs and I have become so aware of how easily you can pick up germs, even if it’s just a cold. Right. And so I know that going forward, I probably won’t go to a grocery store without a little face covering and loves, um, All those people touching the same milk carton to read the label and then [00:33:00] put it back a hundred
I’ve I’ve literally just said the same bank to some of my friends. Um, you know, I’m getting my second shot this week and, um, I know it takes a couple of weeks for it to kick in and all that stuff, but I just don’t feel comfortable going out without a mask on, you know, at least. I don’t know how long that’ll be, but for the foreseeable future, I still plan on wearing a mask when I go out and gloves and keeping distance.
And, you know, not just, you just like use that, being more aware of the germs that we weren’t always, I think aware of, you know, beforehand.
Susan Lanier: I know. So maybe something good came out of it for me personally, from that aspect. And as when. It gets a little older. You want to be careful not to, you know, get a cold or bronchitis or whatever.
So I’ve been getting all my vaccines, my pneumonia vaccine, and I COVID vaccines and soon shingles and all that [00:34:00] crap that you have to get. But, you know, um, but I am, I have become much more aware washing my hands in germs and doors that I touch and, you know, yeah.
Melissa: Have to be because, you know, we just, we have to, um, protect our space and, um, and just, yeah, I’ve been sick in the past with flus and things like that.
And it’s awful, you know, and if we can just do simple little things nothing’s full-proof of course, but just those little things to prevent, um, you know, like, as you said, as you get older, you don’t. Bounce back from things like that as quickly as when you’re 22. So, um, you know, it, it definitely helps to just be more aware of like your surroundings too.
And like who’s around you. If someone’s coughing up a storm in an airport, like move to a different seat, you know,
Susan Lanier: Yeah. I mean, I was in St. Louis when COVID started. The, my last time on a airplane was, uh, around the 1st of March. And, uh, I was with Cleo King doing a [00:35:00] project in St. Louis for black history month.
And I was the end of February. And, um, I got really sick in St. Louis and, you know, I hope it wasn’t, COVID on, I’ve been, I tested when I got back, but the tests were brand new and so it said I was negative and I’m sure it was just a, you know, cold bug of some sort or a flu bug. But, um, that was the last time I was felt anything like that.
So I guess I’m kind of grateful about that aspect of it.
Melissa: Yeah, absolutely. Now, um, you said you been, you know, you want to get back to doing music and you have some EPS, are those available on iTunes?
Susan Lanier: Um, Swan cabaret is definitely available and you know, I don’t think I ever officially, um, told CD baby that to put allergic detects is out yet.
I’ve got to check, but I am going to be selling both of them on, uh, I’m [00:36:00] going to set up a, a merchant. Paige, you know, you can buy either either of them on my Facebook fan page. Um, and that’s under Sue’s linear Bramlett. Um, I act under Susan linear, uh, these days and I do music under Susan, near Bramlett. I don’t know why.
I mean, I just, I had changed my name to Susan linear in the eighties. Um, cause I had a country band and I feel like. Susan Lee. I thought at that Susan linear sounded a little bit too formal for a country band. Yeah,
I was Susan and, um, my agents weren’t pleased that I was acting under Sue, so I changed it back to Susan
Melissa: multiple stage names.
Susan Lanier: Yeah. I don’t think anybody. Pays attention.
Melissa: Yeah, not too much. I don’t think, um, I mean, if people can find you, you know, online now, it’s when you type in one name, the other one pops up.
Susan Lanier: cause it’s multifaceted. So it, you [00:37:00] know, you can find me if you want to Twitter and Facebook and Instagram, all under Susan linear and Sue’s linear Bramlett and our Sue’s linear, just Sue’s linear. And so it all pops up together. So, um,
Melissa: and then, um, So you’ve got the music. You said you’re working on a book.
Are you planning on self-publishing that book or are you going to shop it around to traditional publishers?
Susan Lanier: Luckily, I’ve had a couple of very big people ask to read it. That publishers that have asked to read it for, I guess, the ability to say yes, they want it or no, they don’t want it. I’m going to have to do a little bit more research about that because, uh, I’m not giving away.
The film rights. So, um, I, uh, I’ve been told that a writer can make more money now by self publishing in music, [00:38:00] Leon Russell. If you know who he is. One of my favorite all time musicians had started releasing his own music, cut out the record company, cut out the middleman and started making all the money himself, you know, and, um, And I have a couple of writer, friends that have been published with pub real big publishers.
I’d have made very little money on their books. So I figured I’d rather, I don’t know. I will have to finish the book and then see what I’m offered. But. I would, I’m not opposed at all to self publishing. I think it’s a fabulous thing. I, I already have the cover in mind. And so I don’t want to go fight with somebody about that.
Melissa: Yeah, no, it’s, it’s um, there’s pros and cons to both I I’m, uh, traditionally published and I also self publish. And what you’ve said is pretty much right on the nose with, um, You know, self-publishing, you can definitely make more [00:39:00] money and you have more control of your content and everything. So, um, but you have to do a lot more work because you’re basically, you know, you’re, you’re your own boss, but when you’re with a traditional publisher, your royalties are less, but you know, they take care of a lot of stuff for you.
So if you just want to concentrate on writing and that’s all you have to do. So yeah, there’s definitely like pros and cons to both. It’s definitely worth like doing the research and exploring it and seeing like what. Fits best for your book too. You know, what market everything
Susan Lanier: well, when we don’t have an audience, uh, I might want to pick your brain about that a little bit.
Melissa: absolutely. I would love to
Susan Lanier: hear your real take on it. It’s always good to talk to other writers, uh, is that, uh, part of my career is new for me. And, um, I can’t tell you how much I enjoy it. I really love. Telling stories. And I’ve been telling stories my whole life, but, um, uh, particularly through [00:40:00] my music and, um, acting, but I, but to be able to sit down at your leisure and tell your story, it’s just great fun, you know?
Melissa: Yeah. Yeah, it’s a lot of work, but yeah, it’s also really rewarding too. And especially, you know, I do fiction, but if you’re writing, you know, your own story, your, your memoir, uh, that’s gotta be really fun too. Just taking trips down memory lane and recalling
Susan Lanier: things, you know? Yeah. So, yeah, and, and I think my bands in the horror genre will love the book.
It’s, it’s pretty damn dark. So yeah.
Melissa: I love that. And you’re so that you mentioned spread rooms that you’re waiting for it to be picked up. Um, has that, have you filmed all of the episodes or just the pilot?
Susan Lanier: Uh, we had filmed the first season episodes of Rick Lewis. Bellis has, is the producer. And, [00:41:00] uh, she’s known in the horror world is kind of miss vampy.
Um, but she also has a following in the genre and, uh,
aye, I’ve done projects with her in the past. She’s great fun to work with and an amazing creative force. And um, so. Um, we did it during COVID we self filmed in our spaces. Um, Noah Blake is in it and other people that are known and, um, and I think the original plan is that we do this season and. Once it gets picked up, we’ll all create a different character and do another season.
So that’s, I hope that’s the way it goes down. Yeah.
Melissa: I read the, the synopsis on it and it, it sounds pretty terrifying.
Susan Lanier: It’s terrifying, but I love the idea that we’re able [00:42:00] to create other characters because I love to create, you know, bizarre characters, a pretty conservative, I play a pretty conservative Senator.
In this, um, which I’m not conservative in any, yeah. I’m just not going to conservative person, but, uh, I love to get to do really gritty kind of roles and, um, uh, so, you know, we’ll see what happens. I mean, th the production team will definitely listen to our input. Yeah.
Melissa: Would you ever like to play, um, like a villain in a horror movie?
Susan Lanier: I just did. I just did a horror movie. Um, Oh, my gosh inverted. Okay. And, um, I play a, um, Charles female, Charles Manson. Oh, wow. And, uh, but a more mature older female Charles Manson character. And I love to play the bad.
[00:43:00] Melissa: Yes. I that seems like it’d be more fun. If here as an
Susan Lanier: actor, there’s a lot more fun to be bad than it is to be good,
Yeah. All around that. That sounds good. Definitely. Well, you are, you have so much going on. Um, so you’ve got your music, you’ve got the shows possibly coming out there’s classic films, um, that people can watch, um, that you’re in. And hopefully you can do some standup comedy, you know, when everything. Opens up again as well.
Um, thanks so much for being on today. This has been a blast.
Susan Lanier: Well, thank you for having me. I’ve had a blast. Um, maybe, uh, we can do it again after my book comes out. Oh, I would love
Melissa: that. Yeah, that would be awesome. Well, um, everyone, you know, keep your eye out for Susan linear. Cause she’s got lots of stuff coming up and check out her band on iTunes.
We’ve got the swamp cabaret and yeah. Facebook and Instagram and all the places you can find her work.
Susan Lanier: Twitter [00:44:00] reach out on cameo too. So, Oh, nice. Special private greeting. Go to cameo and ask for Sue’s linear Bremerton. Oh,
Melissa: that’s awesome. Yay. Well, um, thank you so
Susan Lanier: much.