Actress | Storyteller | Speaker

Bennett Blog

Little Red Wagon — Part 1

Posted by on December 8, 2016 in My Blog, Uncategorized

For some reason having a red wagon as a little girl was important to me. I wanted one. I’m not really sure why I wanted one but I did. Maybe it was the color red which happens to be my favorite. Maybe it was the font in white on the side of the wagon that appealed to me. Maybe it was the potential cargo space and adventures I imagined with this practical vehicle. Having a red wagon was a high priority for me and something I longed for each Christmas and birthday. Then one birthday it happened I got the red wagon! I don’t remember the age I turned, but I suppose somewhere in the range of 8-10 years old.


I was elated though my dad chose to give me the gift under a cruel hoax, but that is another story. Despite this hoax I was glad for the long awaited red wagon. Adventures were to commence immediately out my front door and down the sidewalk to lands undiscovered. I often brought my dolls, Barbie and Ken along as I became a tour guide with occupants sitting quietly on top of blankets and pillows for their comfort.

In my view, I was fortunate to live with an alley, brick no less, behind the garage. The alley stretched for miles both ways, offering uncharted territory to explore. And I would explore, with my passengers in tow. Sometimes an unlocked gate beside a neighbor’s garage yielded me access to their private sidewalk into their yard and what I deemed as foreign lands. The trip into the foreign land required no passport, didn’t occur to me then, but simply a blanket to place on the ground to allow my passengers respite from the adventure, with imagined conversations and perhaps a snack if had remembered one. Once I felt refreshed (or a dog let out of the back door) was my indication the visit had been long enough.

Passengers loaded, out the gate I continued down the brick alley, imagining miles and miles traveled along this forsaken route or rather at least until dinner time where I would actually walk 25 feet or so back to my sidewalk and gate to park my red wagon and occupants by the steps leading to the back door, up the steps I went to the family dinner table.Sometimes I forgot about my passengers until the next morning; after breakfast I emerged to see them sitting exactly how I’d left everything. No worries they were only dolls, after all.

Sometimes I left them at home and simply traversed alone with nothing but a blanket and my Highlights magazine, searching for the perfect spot of shade and comfort under a tree. Again, miles and miles I traveled that alley, through unlocked gates, down endless sidewalks, only to arrive at a corner in my yard 25 feet from my back door. Lying on the ground reading my Highlights might have inspired my brilliant idea and invention, which required my two most beloved possessions: Peabody, my German shepherd, and the red wagon! Armed with rope I rigged Peabody up to my wagon, hopped in and hollered “MUSH!” He didn’t budge. Maybe he didn’t know what “mush” meant. Undeterred I grabbed a stick, string and dog treat. Back into the wagon I plopped, and, grinning with confidence and ingenuity, I hollered again at Peabody “MUSH!” he turned to look at me as I then employed my idea,cheering him on with great enthusiasm, I dangled the treat out in front of him. For extra encouragement, I scooted myself forward in the wagon giddy up style to demonstrate my desire to move forward. He turned to look at me…..again. And this I’m sure is what did it seeing my incredible bravado, he began to walk forward!

YES, my dog was now pulling me in my wagon! Oh, the adventures I could now go on down the alley. I could be gone for hours if not days! I could travel for miles with less effort! I would be the envy of all the other kids in the neighborhood! Perhaps Peabody didn’t want to be the envy of the neighborhood because he stopped only 5 feet into our adventure or maybe it was the fact I had dressed Peabody in a t-shirt and men’s boxers rotated for his tail to wag freely. I was thoughtful in my approach to his attire and the t-shirt fit him perfectly. Nevertheless, he sat down with all the dignity he could muster through this convoluted ordeal I had thrust upon him. He was, after all, my very intelligent independent German shepherd who could open doors and gates, catch softballs, protect me and curl up with me to sleep. Our eyes met, had I crossed the line with my perfect companion, my beloved dog? Sadly, I untied him and undressed him. Forgiven, he happily continued to escort along side me and the wagon. I was happy having him by my side and so was he. His dignity was intact, our friendship preserved. Only in private would I occasionally dress him up again. He tolerated this. I liked my red wagon. But I loved him.

Light switch

Posted by on October 7, 2014 in My Blog

Seven weeks since the youngest daughter left for college on the East Coast, no less leaving zero option of her coming home for a weekend visit. I am doing fine. I’m making plans, filling my schedule, attending events, having friends over, when all of a sudden it hits me…..sadness comes and the tears begin to flow. What? (more…)

Opening Night

Posted by on August 15, 2014 in My Blog

Ta Da! The day has arrived. It is here. As surreal as it may feel tonight is opening night for my second one woman original show.  I don’t know why nor understand this surreal feeling, but for me it seems to feel a bit like being in Jello.  Not that I have ever actually experienced  being in Jello so this is purely what I imagine it must certainly feel like 🙂  And so despite the Jello feeling I am pursuing my dream I am moving forward I am pushing through. 
This show is happening despite feeling ‘weird’.  Is this what going after ‘what’s in my heart to do’ feels like?  Though I don’t really have any idea what all of this pursuing ones dreams would actually feel like. So I have decided to allow myself to feel any and all the feelings that emerge, excitement, nervous, anticipation, and back to excitement.  Except for FEAR!  Nope THAT one is not staying nor visiting nor camping out.  Fear never did nothing.  I have a show to perform tonight and more. I have a dream in my heart that longs to play out in this life I am living.  And living is what I intend to do.  Join me on the adventure.

Support Your Local Fringe Artist

Posted by on August 4, 2014 in My Blog

With “opening night” advancing quickly this will be a busy week of final rehearsals heading into the equally busy week of dress rehearsal, Fringe preview night , tech rehearsal then SHOWTIME.

All are welcome to preview night August 13 @6:00 pm @ the Athenaeum on Michigan and Alabama.  It will be a fun evening to see snippets of many of the fringe shows.

I am very eager and excited to take the stage this year with my new show Simply…Complicated. This show represents my desire to simply entertain an audience, take some risks and have fun. I hope many of you will come out to the show. I’m excited to meet you and chat with you at the Beer Tent.

This year I am trying something new selling my own “backer buttons” Fringe no longer requires you to purchase their buttons so I came up with my own.  Let me know after the show if you would like one.

 

Paper Dolls $15

Buttons $2

T shirts $20

Aslan

Posted by on March 14, 2014 in My Blog

I am performing in the production The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe at the Athenaeum 407 E Michigan St, Indianapolis, IN 46204 which coincidentally opens tonight March 14 7:30 then 2:00 & 7:30 Saturday March 15 and 4:00 Sunday March 16.  yes I just shamelessly plugged the show.  Most of us
are familiar with the C.S. Lewis Chronicles of Narnia. I was. Going through rehearsal and more rehearsal the lines came out as I walked about the stage landing on the “spots” called blocking, entering and exiting on cue. It was work hammering out the essence of each of our characters that we are to bring to life for our audience and for C.S. Lewis. This is the craft of acting and it is magic when the acting transcends beyond performance where the audience can be profoundly moved. It is rare. It is valuable. It is often fleeting and often missed.

Sometimes this magical moment happens to the actor on stage going through the lines, blocking, exiting and entering. This rare and fleeting moment happened to me in rehearsal in the work when “that” moment grabbed my attention.  Aslan was being confronted by the Captain of the witches army while Peter stood there with his weapon not expecting to fight because Aslan was there.  Despite the jeers and taunts from the captain Aslan could have put a quick end but instead he encouraged Peter to fight this enemy.  And suddenly I realized before my very eyes this is exactly what God does with us with me.  He gives us the encouragement, the strength, the tools and says, “go you can do this I am right here”!  There is no power or strength if Aslan steps in to do for Peter what Aslan had equipped Peter to do. Peter rose to the occasion and defeated what he thought he never could. Bravery, courage, confidence and power replaced fear and weakness. Peter stepped into his new identity because Aslan with all the power to fight this battle FOR Peter did the most powerful act…………Aslan stepped aside and changed Peter’s life forever.  Thank you Aslan.

Last Night…

Posted by on February 25, 2014 in My Blog

Last night, February 24 I had the fabulous opportunity to perform I said NO! Having been INVITED to perform I was thrilled, excited and my heart filled with eager anticipation.  As I put on my black dress, knickers, jewelry, lipstick and fiddled with my hair my mind was at peace running my lines and stage movement. Staring at myself in the mirror ready…I smiled at me………..I’m doing my dream.  

Taking the stage I began a bit nervous but soon settled into the utter joy of performing the show I created. The lines came out different they were deeper.  I felt each word pulling from within me something more was resonating in my own soul. Something different was happening. Last night went beyond acting out a story even though it is a part of my own life story. Those familiar lines merged with the passion in my heart.  Speaking them I felt the full emotion envelop each word as it left my lips. I could feel these words touching hearts.  I felt the power the beautiful power of this story, show…performance.

Last night I stepped into what future possibilities hold for me, this show and the future shows to come. My heart sang, smiling I took my bow.  I got a standing ovation.

  

    

I’m in!

Posted by on January 23, 2014 in My Blog

Go ahead and mark your calendars I am in!!! Indy Fringe Festival August 14-24, 2014!!  The creative process has begun or shall I say “my creative process” has begun. Creating a new show is the plan. Creating a humorous perhaps even laughable show for my audience is my goal.:)
Despite having successfully created and performed my first show, “I said NO” I find this beginning process a challenge.  My mind is already at the finished product.  I just need to fill in the start and finish parts. Which brings me to the “writing” process.  You see I don’t really technically “write” a show. Writing out word for word is way to laborious for me. Besides what if I forget my line?  Problem solved I write my ideas, thoughts, talking points on post-it notes. Colored post-it notes based on topics. My heart is where the script lies. Once I know the topic the words flow. Isn’t this brilliant?  I think so. It works for me and relieves me of the burden of intense dialog script writing.  My director Tim Taylor arranges these post-it notes on a poster board and there will be the order of my show.

Hmmmmm………..what will I title this show?  


 

The Gift Within

Posted by on October 16, 2013 in My Blog

I recently performed my show I said NO for a private event.  This event presented several “firsts” for me: invited to perform based on seeing my show at Indy Fringe Festival; was a private event eager to have me perform; a paying gig. While these were fantastic external effects of my show it was the internal aspect that meant the most to me.

 For the first time in my life I felt I had something deep within me to offer others.  I had created my first one woman show.  I was there for a purpose.  I was there because someone saw something in me they wanted, not to take from me but to receive from me. They wanted my talent to shine.  I was wanted.  I had been sought after. They wanted the gift within me to be shared and presented for others to benefit from. I could feel the pull on the gift within me. I could feel the tangible electricity fill the room as I stood there about to begin.  My heart swelled as I realized I was doing exactly what I felt I was created to do, stand before an audience giving out of my heart to inspire, encourage and offer hope.  

I began. The show began. The performance began. The audience came alive. They gasped. They laughed. They wept. They cheered. They applauded. They hugged me. They told me I was bold, courageous, funny, inspiring, amazing, strong and gifted.  They told me about their stories and how I caused them to think deeply about their own lives.  They told me they couldn’t stop talking about my show to their wives and now wanted to be a better man, husband and father.  They told me it was thought provoking, profound, compelling and for some speechless. 

I drank in their words and their hugs.  I was pleased to have given and exceptionally pleased they had received.  I had experienced in this performance what I had longed for for years……….to profoundly touch another life. For me this wasn’t about a show or a performance those were simply the avenues in which I must do in order for me to come fully alive. I was simply being Susan sharing a story from the heart. I was simply Susan sharing the gift within.  And I sure had the time of my life.

“the impact was amazing I highly recommend “I said NO”……..it speaks to a variety of deep issues of the heart in a profoundly winsome way”  Dave Noel, CEO at ISSM

 

“the review”

Posted by on August 21, 2013 in My Blog

In all the excitement of doing my first 3 shows I neglected to share this review  http://missionintrigueindy.com/say-yes-to-i-said-no-fringe13/  I’m pleased and again humbled by this experience of performing my first solo performance.
What I learn and further develop from this experience I find exciting and fascinating.  Full of emotions to say the least.  Excited for the next 3 shows and equally excited to stand back to reflect of what to change, keep, adjust and improve. With much eagerness I look forward to what is to come.

Smiles,
Susan

What if? and So what!

Posted by on August 12, 2013 in My Blog

3 days…………..then opening night.  How do I express this feeling within my heart and soul of something I have wanted for such a very long time is about to come to pass.  I can tell you that “surreal” feeling is long gone in fact I don’t think I have even had that feeling.  I kept waiting for the “surreal” feeling to come but it never did.  Strange, & odd, I kept thinking.  Shouldn’t I be feeling “that”? 
What I have felt was an amazing sense of peace.  That peace that passes all understanding!  Silly to even think I should be scared, nervous, overwhelmed……………..and I’m not, though at a few moments these feelings have tried to sneak in. Entertaining these culprits is not an option. I cast them aside. Then quickly, sheer determination, & focus break through. I will climb this mountain.  I will make it to the summit.  Living my life with purpose is highly motivating.  My life does matter despite being one of billions.  One voice can make a difference in the lives of others.

With days away to opening night I don’t have time to be afraid any longer.  Fear never accomplished anything. There is too much at stake to be afraid.   Oh yeah, I’ve thought about what if I forget my lines?  What if I make a mistake? What if nobody likes my show?  What if……………what if………………what if……………………….?  

And the revolutionary transformation that has taken place within my heart is……………..so what!  So what if I forget lines or my blocking!  So what if nobody likes my show! My confidence isn’t in my ability but in the One who made me.  I am performing for an audience of one. Never before have I entered into such a place that I find myself.  It feels as if I have entered the correct highway and now is the time to shift into 6th gear and press on the pedal. My destination awaits. Enjoy the ride!