Susan Blackwell is an alumna of Muse Machine “on a mission to free people’s creativity and self expression.” So far, in pursuit of her mission, she’s appeared in film and on network television, hosted a talk show, conducted workshops for aspiring artists and created and starred in a Broadway musical as a fictionalized version of herself. She’s also slayed more than a few vampires.
Susan was an active member of Bethel High School’s Muse club in its early days. “I took advantage of everything Muse Machine had to offer: in-school presentations, discounted tickets to all the shows and the Muse Machine musical (Carousel),” she says. “Muse Machine permitted me to tap into the vibrant arts scene that was available in Dayton, Ohio. It showed me that there was another path available to me, that I could become an artist!”
Years later, Susan continues to follow her own diverse and often quirky creative path.
She’s appeared on Law and Order and the films P.S. I Love You and Birdman, and she anchors “Side by Side by Susan Blackwell,” a web series on broadway.com.
The show features Susan interviewing Broadway talent, the likes of Josh Gad, Joanna Gleason and Sutton Foster (and often licking their faces in an episode’s final moments).
Susan collaborated on the creation of Title of Show, nominated for a Tony Award in 2008 from its early stages.
“My besties Hunter Bell and Jeff Bowen asked me if I wanted to work with them on a new musical they were writing. We just kept working on it and performing it in front of consecutively larger audiences. The show changed a lot (new songs here, cut scenes there), but the spirit of it remained the same—it was all about friendship, and making stuff you love with people you love, and how fun that can be, and how challenging that can be.”
Susan also conducts workshops to help people of all ages identify communication blocks and “slay the vampires” that hold them back from creative expression.
Her advice to those who’d like to follow her example and chart their own creative course: “Say, ‘Yes!’ to as many opportunities as possible… Absorb culture, nature and life. Work hard at making work you love with people you love.”