Susan Kirby, Actress and Singer
Actor's Equity, SAG-AFTRA
Head Shots, Production Stills and Performance Notes
Susan Kirby returned to acting in 2009 after 20 years as an editor at The New York Times. She is a member of Actors' Equity and SAG-AFTRA. She has a B.A. degree in theater from the University of Colorado and an A.O.S. degree from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She has also trained at HB Studios with Rita Gardner, and with Gene Frankel, David Perry and Lenore Stefanik. She studies singing with Woody Regan and sings in his workshop.
Since 2009, Susan has appeared on stage in Richard III, Casey—30 Years Later, Christmas Rappings and The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve. She has sung in various venues, including Don't Tell Mama at Rian Keating's birthday bash and two Angel Drake shows at Wings Theater. She has performed her cabaret show in tryout at Woody's Workshop and also in a private salon.
Television principal roles include a sanitarium patient in Season 5, Episode 7, of Boardwalk Empire, and a segment of the Onion SportsDome as the Naismith Interpreter, part of Episode 7, which was shown on Comedy Central (watch on the Reels and Clips page). She has also appeared in two New York University Advanced Television pilots: The Saggy Saddle and Shady Pines.
She has been in a number of films, including The Amazing Ray, a short film directed by Isaac Chehebar and starring Josh Mostel and Margaret Reed, the Web series Fully Engaged, directed by Rob Margolies, the feature-length And See All the People, directed by Jon Russell Cring, Murt Ramirez Wants to Kick My Ass, directed by Dan Lee, The Otherworld, directed by Gisela Pereira, and Solomon Grundy, directed by Mattson Tomlin, and the short films The Things I Want to Tell You, directed by Amanda Madden, Puzzle, directed by Antonia Lema, Love Under Glass, directed by Diane Ingino, and La Boite Noir, directed by Eric Marciano.
Svetlana Jovanovic Photo Shoot
Susan did a recent photo shoot with Svetlana Jovanovic. Here are a few of those shots.
Episode 3 of Fully Engaged has the engaged couple's in-laws meeting at Erika's parents' house, with very funny results. The Web series was written by and stars Erika Robel and was directed by Rob Margolies. The series is quite delightful, and I hope it gets picked up for more episodes. I want to go to the wedding!
A short film written and directed by Teresa Mular is finding much success in European festivals. I play the gate agent for Royal Dog Airlines in Now Boarding, a very, very funny spoof on air travel today.
My co-star was a German shepherd.
The film was shot on Long Island.
Humans of New York
In 2014, Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York interviewed me as part of his video series. While I wasn't acting in the interview, I really appreciated the lovely video, called Part of the World, which he released in the fall of 2017. I haven't been able to embed the video here, but try this link.
Another film that has found success in European screenings is When?, a charming film directed by Adrien Roux as part of an ESRA project. My character is Juliette, a dying woman whose husband, played by the remarkable Harold Tarr, at first can't face her condition and then does his best to help her get her dying wish.
From the Duchess of York to a Has-Been Hooker, All My World's a Stage
I had the great good fortune to play the Duchess of York in Boomerang Theatre Company's production of Richard III in Central Park in June and July. You can read more about it on my Richard III blog entry, but I love these shots by Isaiah Tanenbaum.
I also appeared as Patricia Pushover in several performances of Casey—30 Years Later. The little black slip was my costume in Beverly Bonner's comedy show at the Broadway Comedy Club.
A Mysterious Corpse
I don't normally post the background work I do. I love doing background work — it gives me money and keeps my set discipline going. But I had such fun being a corpse on Elementary that I wanted to share a screen grab here. The show aired on April 4, 2014, and I was dead for the opening scene of the episode.
A clip from the show was on YouTube, but has now been "privatized."
Bye Bye, Love
José Val Bal has posted his amazing short film Bye Bye, Love on YouTube, so I am so happy to share it here.
It stars the amazing Jason Altman as John Boyle, Kyla Schoer as Lala and Susan Kirby as Dr. Silvia Williams. It was one of the most intense acting experiences I've ever had, and a truly amazing experience to film.
And yes, it was shot on film.
Reds & Blues
I went to Asbury Park in January 2013 to shoot Reds & Blues, a short film written and directed by Karina Vidal, a student at the School of Visual Arts. I play Dolores, who is concerned about the moral welfare of her niece, Haylie, played by Jennifer Sciarra. It's a very powerful script, and I look forward to seeing the film this spring.
Dinner at Desmond's
We shot this Dinner at Desmond's, an amazingly clever film written and directed by Jordan Schursky, in November 2011 in Staten Island. You can see a performance reel on my Reels page, or click here. I play Laura, who is grieving the death of her husband, Desmond. In the shot to the left, I'm ready for my closeup. Below, production shots and film stills with Paul Aftanas, the assistant director, Thomas Wesson, Rit Weaver, Nick Reynolds, and Meagan Lee Farrel. Photos by Robert Scheuerman and Lisa Kirshner.
The film previewed at the Dusty Festival at SVA in May 2012. The movie is astonishingly good (if I do say so myself). I wish it all sorts of success on the festival circuit. It is truly deserving. I loved playing Laura, and was so grateful to be given so many juicy opportunities to stretch my acting skills on a character with so much depth. And I was particularly grateful to work with such a talented cast and professional crew. The movie has a poster and a Facebook page!
I played Mrs. Smith in Michelle, a lovely short film written and directed by Laura Providence (School of Visual Arts). What fun. We filmed on the streets of Brooklyn, and I'm in two scenes at the beginning. David Arkema plays Noah, my neighbor, and he gives an incredible performance (he always does).
Willa is based on a short story by Stephen King. In the film, directed by Christopher Birk, I play Helen Palmer, one of several passengers on a train now stranded at a train station. I age decades in this film, and the special effects photograph is haunting.
David, a young man looking for his fiancée, Willa, is played by Clayton Watson.
Jay Palmieri directed this thriller, in which I portray Aunt Lynda, who is trying to protect her family by fulfilling a prophecy going back more than a century. Aunt Lynda finds the best way to help her family is to use a very sharp knife. This student film premiered at the New York Film Academy.
The performance clip shows me as Aunt Lynda with Stevie Tosh and Anthony Boike. To see my death scene, you'll have to see the movie.
Background Score is a charming little movie by Devrath Sagar, a student at New School. We shot it in Manhattan on 16 mm film. I can't remember how many costume changes there were, but I had on a lot of pajamas. The short was available for a while on Vimeo, but has now been removed. I hope it goes back up at some point so more people can see it.
And See All the People
In November 2010, I filmed And See All the People in Canajoharie, NY. Directed by Jon Russell Cring, the film is a lovely exploration of one week in the life of a pastor in a small Ohio church. I play Margaret Sanderhof, the church organist, who has a bit of a meltdown when she discovers that the organ's sustain pedal is now floppy. That's Margaret at the piano, which she really can't play all that well, and below right, with Maxine Sherman (played by Julie Chapin).
One of the highlights of playing Margaret was getting to play the incredible pipe organ in the Canajoharie United Methodist Church. I play some piano, and had been allowed to play a home organ many years ago. But to turn on this beautiful instrument
and hear that incredible sound was thrilling.
The movie had its New York City premiere at the Anthology Film Archives.You can get a taste of Margaret's big "mad scene" in the excerpts video on the Reels and Clips page.
This is a film worth seeing, with a lovely story and incredibly wonderful actors, especially Paul Mischeshin and Stephen Pelletier, who both appear in my clips.
A Spec Commercial by Lydia Galeno
I loved working with Lydia Galeno on Picture This when she was a student at the New York Film Academy. So when she asked me to appear in a spec commerical, I was so happy to say yes. It will make you laugh, I hope!
The Card, Puzzle, Angle of Refraction
There's an O'Henry quality to Drew Santorello's short film, in which I was privileged to play Pamela Deanly. The clip on the Reels and Clips page shows the scene between Ms. Deanly and Laura, played by Liz Resnak-Arata.
I also had the honor and privilege to be in Puzzle, directed by Antonia Lema. It was an ensemble piece, and a joy to work on. I've seen the finished movie and it is wonderful. I hope the festivals pick it up and it has a long, well-viewed life.
The third photo is Norma in Angle of Refraction, directed by Ari Alizio for a New York University project.
Teach Me How to Be
I had the honor and privilege to appear in a film written and directed by Daniel Jaffe, a student at New York University, called Teach Me How to Be. It stars Christopher Wren, an exceptionally talented actor, as Christian. I play his mother, who Christian fears is "floating away." The photographs here are from the set, in color (the movie is black and white).
It is a short film, haunting, touching and beautiful. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed being in it.
The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony Steve
In 2010, I played Donna Ann in The Unfortunate Honeymoon of Tony and Steve at Wings Theatre. and Donna Ann (below left, in the letter reading scene; right in a publicity shot; and below right with Carol Neiman as Grammy Jean and Linda Hill as Lindy Loo) has stayed on in the Bahamas for a while, it's back to the movies!
In February 2011 I filmed Devotion, a lovely film written and directed by Claudia Kristiansen, a student at New York Film Academy. We shot it at St. Cecilia's Church in Brooklyn. I played Mother Superior, a nun trying to protect a younger nun from making a huge mistake. It was my first nun role, and I tried to respect the habit and the character's faith. I hope to wear a habit again sometime, perhaps in Sound of Music? I'd love to sing Climb Every Mountain.
Singing in the Movies — La Boite Noir and Solomon Grundy
I also appeared as a torch singer in two films. One as a has-been torch singer in La Boite Noir, by Alix Elias, directed by Eric Marciano. That was so much fun. The picture to the left, on the movie set, shows me with me "backup singers"! This scene won't be in the film, but we had fun with the location pictures. I sang two songs, Hungry for Your Love in Paris and I Can't Find You in the Dark, both very funny original compositions by Alix Elias and Woody Regan. Delightful. You can like the film's page on Facebook.
The other torch singer was Kimberly, who sings in a nightclub in Solomon Grundy: Born on a Monday, directed by Mattson Tomlin. This picture to the right is on the set, with Andrew Fox, the composer of the song I sing, Tipped Your Heart. This is going to be a great, great film! (It also has a Facebook page.) The trailer is awesome.
Background Work in Costume
I had the good fortune to spend three days and nights on a movie set in 1930's clothes and makeup. I was background, and to pretend that I was still an actress, I made up a character, Aunt Agnes, who was having dinner and drinks at this new swanky restaurant with various relatives. My goal: to decide to whom to leave my vast fortune. Here's a picture of Aunt Agnes. You don't see the shoes (quite beautiful, really) because I had removed them by this time to give my poor toes a rest.
I enjoy doing background work and little cameos. It gives me a chance to get paid to dress up, or a chance to help out some young student filmmakers who need extra bodies for their projects.
Following are some additional background and cameo photos: Top left, from The Gallery; top center, from Bless Me; top right, bottom left: from Good Arrangement, a music video, bottom center, from See No Evil, an NYFA short film; bottom right, from an SVA student project.
Murt Ramirez Wants to Kick My Ass
And speaking of aunts. I played a much different aunt in Murt Ramirez Wants to Kick My Ass, a feature-length film directed by Dan Lee. In fact, the character's name was Auntie (left)!
My main dialogue with my "nephew," Morgan: "Kiss, kiss!" I say. "Kiss, kiss! Kiss, kiss!"
Auntie is not a fashion plate, but I sure had fun portraying her!
In May 2010, I traveled to the wilds of Pennsylvania to film my role as Gypsy in The Otherworld, an independent film written and directed by Gisela Pereira.
This picture, shot after the sun had just gone down, forcing the end of our filming for the day (and my part in the production), shows me in my costume near the shoot location site near a waterfall. It was a long day, but an exciting one.
We went back to Pennsylvania to shoot the scene again in September, this time with better light and two new actors. The road trip was so much fun, and we stopped at yard sales on the way.
Love Under Glass
Early the morning after the first Otherworld shoot (May 21), I arrived on the set of Love Under Glass to portray the Bookseller, whom I named Beatrice Grayson. This short independent film is directed by Diane Ingino, and my scene featured Josie Smith as Laurel and Michael Matucci as Cal (you can find their bios, and bios of other cast members, here). The set was a wonderful location on East 78th Street, Choices Bookstore, and the transforming makeup artist was Justyna Augustynska. Her mission was to make me appear very, very eccentric. I think she succeeded.
I really, really, really wanted to be a zombie in a movie. While not necessarily my complete and total life's dream, it was definitely on the bucket list. Recently this dream came true when I appeared in MK-Ultra: A Zombie Apocalypse Rock Opera, written and directed by Paul Viebranz. But the movie was not completed, so I am once again looking for another good zombie movie to be in. If you want a good zombie in your movie (see photo, left, to appreciate the power of green, yellow and red makeup), please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org.
On October 24, 2010, I sang a song at Don't Tell Mama for Rian Keating's Birthday Bash. It was a Neil Diamond song, and it followed so many beautiful songs by my colleagues in Woody's Workshop and other friends of Rian's. I made a rough recording, and you can hear it, too. You may have to crank up the volume, since the recorder was a distance away.
Dirck Halstead Photo Shoot, 1977
In 1977, Time magazine did a cover story on The New York Times and Arthur Ochs Sulzberger and Arthur Sulzberger Jr. I was assigned to escort Dirck Halstead, the photographer assigned to the article, around The Times. After the Times photos were taken, Dirck and his assistant came to my apartment and did some shots of me that I could use for my acting.