7 QUESTIONS WITH ACTRESS SUZETTE BANZO
First, what are your favorite things to do in your free time?
Now, when I watch TV and movies it’s not just for entertainment, but more like doing research. I do it to pick up on acting mannerisms and see what type of roles and which series would be suitable for me. I also like to socialize with my friends and I especially enjoy one-on-one time. I feel that giving your undivided attention is one of the most valuable gifts you can give in friendship.
What made you want to be an actress? How did you get your start in the business?
I was working in a corporate job for many years and had become increasingly unhappy during the last three years that I was there. When the market crashed, and I lost my job, I started looking into what else could I do with an open mind. Modeling came up first, with an opportunity to do runway for Full Figured Fashion Week. My interest piqued, and I began to seek print work as well. As I looked for my own modeling gigs, I also started researching and exploring ways to showcase my personality. One day I read a casting notice that was looking for an actress to play a Latino mom for a short film; through that audition I realized that acting is exactly what I wanted to pursue.
What is your favorite role or character that you have been? Is there a character that you would love to play but haven’t been able to yet?
My favorite role was in off-Broadway theater, where I played a therapist. I liked it because it didn’t fit any stereotype; it was satisfying to have the opportunity to play a role written by a Latino for a Latina, where the female was a strong, equally educated counterpart to the male lead. I would love to play someone like her again on a grander level, such as on television or film. I’m also naturally comedic, so although I love drama, I would love to play someone who is funny and provocative, like Samantha in Sex and the City. She’s smart, witty, a good business woman who oozes sex appeal and is a great friend. She had some of the best lines on that series.
What advice would you give to girls trying to get into the business? Looking back what advice would you give yourself when you first started?
I would give the same advice as I received when I got into modeling, which was “learn your niche”. You have to be realistic in what you can do and strive for those goals. Looking back, I have honestly changed so much from having my corporate job to working in this industry. The stability of a bi-weekly paycheck is gone and I found something that I didn’t even know I had in me to do. I found a passion and despite the instability of an irregular income, there is so much potential for growth and success. There is no reward without risk!
ou have to be okay with rejection and you have to just put yourself out there and be okay with being judged. There are going to be different reasons why you are picked for a particular role or opportunity, and if it’s for you, it’s for you. Don’t be so hard on yourself. No matter what, someone is always going to praise you or criticize you.
What clothing best represents your style? What are your go to pieces for a night out?
At the risk of sounding lame…I just wear jeans as much as possible. I am a jeans girl and I love colored jeans as well. Now I can wear them in different materials such as velvet or treated to look like leather. They are great because you can dress them up or dress them down. Then in the summertime it’s all about dresses and looking very lady like, pairing them with espadrilles and sandals. Over all I feel like I was born at the wrong time. I love the 1950’s glamourous dresses Elizabeth Taylor and Lucille Ball wore.
What are your aspirations for the future? Where do you see yourself in ten years?
What I was forced to learn when I started doing this is that I don’t believe in that question anymore, because ten years ago I wouldn’t have imagined doing what I’m doing now. I now try to focus on different opportunities and remain open because I never know what experience I will gain. I feel that each venture will grow into something larger, but right now I’m focused with being in the present and going somewhere positive. It just isn’t for me to know everything yet. One thing I do aspire to, is having a print and national tv campaign for a grooming or skincare product.
Finally, who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
There are a few women who inspire me…for one, my Puerto Rican Grandmother because she came from poverty and instilled the values into her children to want to achieve more and each were successful in their own way. Justice Sonya Sotomayor also came from humble background and now she holds one of the most prestigious positions in the country on the Supreme Court. Jennifer Lopez came from a similar working middle-class background as I did. She has worked hard for everything she has accomplished and despite her success she is constantly questioned while her talent and her love life are often scrutinized. She keeps pushing forward and it doesn’t matter what anyone says about her, she’s making it happen! All of my friends inspire me one way or another. It’s important to have inspiration in different forms, not only ones who are on your same career path. These inspirations build your character with multi-dimensions and that is something that everyone should strive for.
CLAIRE BRIGHT is a current student at the University of Arizona. She is studying Retail and Consumer Sciences with a minor in Art History and eventually hopes to eventually pursue working as a costume designer for films. Since she was little she has always loved fashion, art, and anyway to express creativity. She has always believed in being true to yourself, and not letting other people's opinions have an effect on you. Claire is a huge fan of any kind of cute animal videos, flannels, and going to the beach as much as possible.