Susan tells us what it was like being on Starting Over and what she has been up to since she has been off.
How did you find out about Starting Over and what did you have to do to apply?
I saw a story on the show in the Louisville Kentucky newspaper. The Starting Over producers were going to come to Louisville for a casting call. I went to the casting call, filled out paperwork, told my story to the producers, filled out more paperwork and had a on-camera interview the next day.
What was your 1st impression of the other women when you 1st came into the house?
I thought the women were very open, friendly, honest and supportive. I did feel like a freshman coming into a sorority house, ha. Everyone knowing each other and I was the new kid on the block.
Did you watch yourself on TV?
No, I didn't watch myself. I saw the first show and I did catch one of the shows that aired during the "Special Summer Series". I just can't watch myself--I also don't like hearing my voice! ha
Do you feel that it accurately showed who you were?
Yes, I feel that the producers were pretty accurate on my part of the show. At the beginning of the show, I was a bit shy and quiet. I am NOT a cryer, but I did cry quite the bit (ha)and I know the show used
that in the segments. I wished the show's producers would have shown some of the goofy times we had on the show, but I guess drama won out.
Do you still talk to Rhonda?
Yes, I email Rhonda and have talked with her.
Who do you keep up with from the show?
I keep up with Rain, Hailey, Lynnell, and Amy. After the show I met Brenda, Karen, and Hannah--great women!
Are you glad you went on Starting Over?
Oh, gosh yes! Don't get me wrong, the show was the hardest thing that I have ever had to do and there were days I wanted to run back home, but I knew this was my biggest and best chance of finding my father.
Would you do the show again if given the opportunity?
Yes, I would do the show again, but hopefully the location would be in a WARMER place than Chicago in the dead of winter (and a warmer house)!!! Haha
What is your favorite memory being in the house?
My favorite memory was meeting my stepdad and my father. My stepdad hadn't seen me in many, many years. He and his wife brought so many gifts for me that included pictures of my mom, wedding bands, dog tags, etc...I wouldn't have ever gotten without meeting him...I am so grateful. Meeting my father was a dream come true. I had hoped for so many years and tried unsuccessfully so many times that I figured meeting him was never going to happen. Seeing, talking and hugging him released the hurt/pain I had felt for so many years.
What is your least favorite memory being in the house?
My least favorite memory was just having to deal with the past that I never talked about, crying/getting out the sadness/pain of my past, being on a constant emotional roller coaster---it was very, very hard for me. So many times during the show, I was emotionally and physically exhausted.
Is there anything that you would change about your experience on the show?
I really don't think I would change anything from my experiences...I couldn't have done it without the Starting Over show. I would have liked the show to have furnished Kleenex's for us in the house because whenever I needed one we were OUT!! haha
Are you back at your old job in Kentucky?
Yes, I am back as an Elementary School Counselor. I have over 430 students that I serve as our school's counselor. I am one very busy person! ha
Have you met any more of her family out west? any new family members?
I haven't met the rest of my Santa Cruz family yet. I am hoping to get out to Arizona this year to meet everyone. I have met and see my step-parents and one of my step-brothers in Kentucky.
Are you dating anyone now?
Right at the moment, I am not dating anyone. I have been on a few dates, but I am still hoping George Clooney will come banging on my door any day now...haha.
Are your parents OK with your decisions you have made?
My grandparents are better with everything now than before and during the show. I don't think they fully understood what I was doing and why. Now, they understand that I needed answers and have some time to make peace with my past to go forward with my life.
Are you watching the new season of Starting Over?
I saw one episode of the show.
Will you visit the new house in California or did you when filmed the Summer Series?
I would love to visit the new house--it looks great! When we filmed the Summer Series, we were taken to the Bunim-Murray Studios before the new series started being filmed.
What kind of plans do you have for the future?
I am working on a "mini-book"--I don't think it will be a full book/novel...The book will talk about my life before, during and after the show...I hope it will help others to find answers or give hope to people. I am also going to start a Motherless Daughters group in my area. I want to help other women/people to empower themselves. I have gotten so much email from Lynnell's site (TheLChain.com) that I will probably get my own site.