Interview with the multi-talented Suzanne Dudley-Schon


Actress, writer and life coach. Suzanne is the epitome of an artist working for a cause. She tells BroadwaySelect about pouring her heart and soul into her work as well as about her upcoming book.

 Q:You were recently in Love Alone at the Bridge Theater, can you tell us a little bit about that experience? 

A: It was a great experience!  From the wonderful director, Richard Waterhouse, to the funky space that brings people from faraway corners to enjoy theater, to the other super actors and stage manager, to how it made me stretch as an actress and a person. Like most people, I prefer not to feel lost, angry, afraid, undone, untethered, devastated…  and inhabiting the character was not an easy place to “go.” I learned a lot about myself and the human condition.Not to be totally flip, but a happy byproduct of doing the role was that by contrast– it made me feel like I, Suzanne, am wicked together and have an easy life!!  I do hope anyone reading this is chuckling.

 Q: Would you say you have a mission statement, something above all else, that you would like to achieve or work towards with your work? If so what is it? 

A: With whatever I do… acting, writing, coaching, I suppose most succinctly, my goal is to “lighten”… help and heal others. Lighten a burden, enlighten, bring joy, greater understanding. To reflect the inherent goodness of another and basically… to love.

Q:You are not only an actress but a writer as well. What is it that inspired you to start writing poetry?

A: I can be a bit shy when speaking, somewhat nervous and unsure of what I want to say.  Writing means that my listener, the blank page, is endlessly patient in waiting for me to formulate my thoughts. I often use writing to figure out what I think and feel. My writing poetry evolved from a lack of time and an appreciation for how much can be expressed in so few lines.

Q: Congratulations on the upcoming publishing of your book. Can you tell us more about it?

A: Thank you!  I am still in the pinch me phase… Basically the book is a memoir of sorts—vignettes with poems interspersed throughout.  The intent of the book is to share my messy internal landscape to help others…  I guess the more pithy tag might be:  the book is for anyone who grew up trying to be “good”– high achieving and competent –and then who found themselves boxed in, slowly eroded, broken, and struggling.  It will provide readers with a living map of how one such woman made it out, re-writing her life from the inside out.

Q: What was your journey to becoming a life coach with the center for integrated health? 

A: Ahh, you’ll have to read the book!  Well, for you…  shortest version is that life coaching was the best answer I came to after assessing my strengths as a person, education, and what I care about most.  I wanted to have gratifying work and still be fully present and available to raise my children. As for how I got to the Center for Integrated Health?  I have a background as a massage therapist and reiki practitioner as well as my training as a life coach, so I really believe in addressing someone wholly… the mind, body, spirit thing.  It was a combination of serendipity, generous belief in me on the part of others, and a dash of courage on my part to ask the director if I could be part of the Center. I’m incredibly fortunate and grateful to work amongst a group of thoughtful, committed, loving, and very brilliant professionals.  They all have their unique approach to health and healing – including various kinds of yoga, massage, and therapies.  It’s a special place.

Q: Do you have a favorite poem that you wrote? If so please share it with us.  

A: That’s a tough question—If you’ll indulge my indecision…Here are two. The first is perhaps a little dense, but is ultimately meant to be empowering. The second it on the lighter side, my poem, “The Moon in Therapy.”  (see below for both poems)

Two Halves of the Acorn

The mourning dove at dawn wakes her.
She hears loneliness and leaves her bed.Rain soaks the new lettuce.
She feels the droplets pin anguish to her blue coat.

The tiny wild strawberries peek
from the fretwork of brown and green grass.
She smells the ashes from yesterday’s fire.

The warm tea opens the gate in the conversation.
She stands at the door and tastes the chilly air.

Angels dance on the walls.
She watches the shadows in the ballad.

His arms enfold her in a tender canopy,
and she pries at her tight heart

until finally, finally she begs and asks
the shine of the wet black crow as it flies
to turn her
the way he banks and slides between the clouds.

With the crack of an egg and a trickle of sunlight,
she finds the song in the slice of mango.

~Suzanne Dudley


The Moon in Therapy

Do you like being called Diana?
Do you like the wolf’s serenade?

How does it feel to be eclipsed?
When you eclipse, do you laugh?

Tell me about your phases–
Do you mind living in constant change?

Are you ashamed of your dark side?
Are you jealous of the sun?

Are you lonely for the robins?
Do you yearn for boldness?

I realize you lead,
but when you dance with the ocean,
is it love?

Last night as you swirled
in the spring wind, did you notice
the old oak leaf doing a jig?

~Suzanne Dudley