Susan Louise O’Connor (BFA ‘97) was selected as the College of the Arts’ Outstanding Young Alumni in 2010. She graduated from the School of Theatre + Dance with a 4.0 and has since continued her career as an actor on Broadway, Off-Broadway, in regional theatres across the U.S., on television in Orange is the New Black, Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Nate the Great, in various commercials and more.
Q: What would you consider to be your greatest achievement in theater?
A: My greatest achievement in the theater so far is performing in the Broadway production and National Tour of Blithe Spirit starring Angela Lansbury. It was a fantastic experience and taught me that I was capable of performing 8 times a week for a long run. It’s an artistic and physical workout! But the best kind of workout. I was also fortunate to play Annette in God of Carnage in a coproduction between Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and St. Louis Rep that was directed by Ed Stern. That play is an actor’s dream and I pleasure of working on that role for over 3 months. What a treat to have that amount of time to find the nuance and texture in character and relationship. I’m very proud of the show we created.
Q: What projects are you working on now?
A: Now that I am currently living in LA, I’m primarily working on film and television projects. I recently finished a pilot called TIGHT that I can’t wait to be released. I don’t want to give too much away, but it takes place in a porn shop and although it’s hilarious, it’s also a very touching look at the different forms a family can take. I’m also finishing up a short film that was 100% improvisation. Improv is a great love of mine and I’m enjoying exploring how it can work within the technical restraints of film production. It’s been really exciting so far!
Q: What message/advice would you like to pass along to current UF theatre students?
A: One of the most important lessons I learned in my time at UF is ‘make your own work.’ Create the project that you want to be in; don’t wait for someone else to provide you an opportunity. Being an actor that’s also a writer, that’s also a producer, that’s also a publicist, is not a bad thing. If you’re excited enough about a project, you have the energy and the wherewithal to figure out how to make it well and get it out to the world. (Oh, and always give UF alumni right of first refusal on acting roles, if their name is Susan ☺ )
For more information on Susan Louise O’Connor and to view her acting reel, visit her website.