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  • Writer's pictureSuzannah Samuel

2023... an overview

rest in peace, mousie... 🖤🌈

i gotta say. 2023 sucked big donkey balls. 

started strong in january with the biggest heartbreak of my entire life: my cat mousie, (yes, my cat’s name was mouse), my beautiful sweet angel whom I loved more than anything in the universe, was tragically hit by a car and passed away. my boyfriend woke me up to share the horrific news. we buried her in the backyard. 

she would have been three years old in april. I will spend the rest of my life grieving. 

I’m grateful for my backyard. grateful that I can go visit her whenever I want. I’m grateful for the two too-short years I spent with her. but mostly — I’m heartbroken. RIP mouse. 💔🕊️🖤

I had to say goodbye to another best friend, too: pearl, my silver 2016 toyota tacoma. a mixture of gas prices, parking headaches, and the fact that her catalytic converter was stolen twice in a 3-month period caused me to reluctantly say, "hey, you know what? ... I think it’s time." so I sold her to carmax, and flew to baltimore to adopt my mom’s 2018 honda civic hatchback. I named it hondo. 

my boyfriend and I drove hondo back to LA. hondo has been a reliable friend… but I have to say, a piece of my identity went away with pearl. I was a truck girl for seven years in LA. now, I’m the honda civic girl, just like everyone else.

the rest of 2023 was a very interesting ride. everyone in “the biz” knows that we endured a historic double-strike… and yet, I chose this as the perfect time to sign up for a background casting calling service. (for the layperson: they call me with jobs to work on set as a background actor).

but since we were mid-strikeS… there were no theatrical (film/TV) sets to work on, and the only jobs available were, wait for it: audience work

lemme tell ya about audience work. I spent anywhere between 8 and 14 hours a day as a Paid Seatfiller™️ for game, reality, & competition shows.

for most of 2023, you could find me seated, clapping and cheering maniacally for something or another, whilst being yelled at to be “more energetic” by grumpy PAs (for the layperson: production assistants). often, there was no craft services (for the layperson: snacks on set). and often, we would have to pay for our own lunch. and, I often made around $68 for the whole day. before taxes.

but, I’m extremely grateful for those jobs. the work was easy, sometimes fun, even, and it sure as hell beat putting the apron back on. (I was a waitress for 10 years and hated every second of it. I'll do anything to not go back).

and I met some really amazing creative people on those sets, too. AND - audience work just made actual film & TV work, when it came back, that much more magical...

and hey - it wasn't all bad. some more important highlights of 2023:

⭐️ I converted my office closet into a voiceover studio… come on, audiobooks and voice acting gigs!! 🎤

⭐️ I signed with my very first AGENTS: theatrically and commercially! 🎬

⭐️ I completed the production phase of my first short film, orange like me, written/directed/produced by ME, starring ME. come on, multi-hyphenate queen! come on, post-production!! 🍊

⭐️ I produced and hosted a dazzling magic-and-burlesque show called Mystic Cabaret in Orange County with my creative counterparts Franklin Saint and Scarlette Lady. for those who don't already know, Franklin is my magic boyfriend, and Scarlette is one of my closest friends and a celebrity in the burlesque community. together, we are Saint n Sinners Productions. 🪄

⭐️ I wrote/directed/shot/edited TWO short films, starring Scarlette and myself, which played during Mystic Cabaret as part of the story. I can’t believe how fast I can get things done sometimes, with the right amount of pressure... 🎥 🎥

⭐️ my boyfriend and I went on TWO game shows, and WON on both of them!! 💰💰

⭐️ I was able to take some amazing trips with my dear friends and family. Vegas, Milwaukee, Albuquerque, Vegas again, Isle of Palms, and good ol’ Baltimore, of course. ✈️

⭐️ my bestie Anna helped my boyfriend and I convert our garage into the ULTIMATE game night clubhouse. 🎯

…okay, okay. there was a lot of magic in 2023 (literally) (my boyfriend is a magician) right alongside the heartbreak. I also have to credit 2023 with finally cementing my core friend group here in Los Angeles. I’ve spent a looooong time feeling lost, scared, and alone here… but in 2023, I realized that I have really awesome, creative, and kind people around me. people I will call my friends for the rest of my life. 

let's go, 2024. do it for mousie.


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