Reporter, writer, actor, producer, anchor…Suzanne Sena has worn many hats during her storied career, and all of them fit. A native of Dearborn, she first caught the show business bug while doing theater at Edsel Ford High School. From there she went on to study communications at Michigan State University, where she got involved with the campus radio station and discovered that she might have a future doing voiceovers and broadcasting. Since then she has built an amazing career both on and off screen.
Suzanne first broke into the national media as an entertainment reporter for the E! Channel, where she went on to create her own show, Out-to-Lunch
and earned an Emmy-nomination for her work as host of the network’s popular series Celebrity Homes
. That led to a recurring opportunity to co-host Live with Regis Philbin, during his search for a new permanent partner. Suzanne has appeared in other well known shows like the original Beverly Hills 90210 and the Drew Carey Show, before settling in to do straight news for a while. She worked as a news anchor for the CBS affiliate in Dallas and then on a national level as an anchor for the Fox News Channel. Now, even with a bevy of television and hosting projects of her own in the works, Suzanne is helping others to develop the skills and industry knowledge necessary to pursue their dreams. Readers of Backstage
(The Actor’s Resource) recently voted her ongoing workshops as L.A.’s “Best Hosting Class.”
BMN: How do you think having grown up in Michigan has impacted your life?
SUZANNE: Great values, strong education, a basic trust in people and good, mid-western roots! I'm always proud to announce it - as I put my hand up in the mitten shape - I'M FROM MICHIGAN!
BMN: What was your M.S.U. experience like and how has it impacted your career?
SUZANNE: Attending Michigan State was life-changing. The campus was beautiful and the people were wonderful. Some of those people are still my closest friends today. As far as my career goes, it had tremendous impact. I had my first clue that I might have a voice suited for voice-overs when I had to record a radio commercial for one of my classes, and the instructor commented that I could "do that for a living." I don't think I even realized until then that it was an option for a career!
BMN: What aspects of Michigan do you miss most now that your career has taken you elsewhere to live?
SUZANNE: I miss the cherries. I miss the Fall. And I miss the extremely affordable housing - the cost of living in NY and LA are astronomical. And, of course - I miss my family and friends.
BMN: How often do you make it back to the state and what are some of your favorite places?
SUZANNE: Not as often as I'd like - about once or twice a year. I spent many of my summers at Camp Dearborn, out near Milford - that place and the surrounding area - Kensington, for example - will always hold a special place in my heart. Same goes for Mio, where my family still has a cabin.
BMN: What foods & beverages do you look forward to partaking in, while in the Great Lakes state?
SUZANNE: My family has a tradition of going to a restaurant I can never remember the real name of, because we always call it, "The Italian Place." Wait! I just remembered its official name - Roman Village. I swear a family of 8 can eat there for less than $100! And the bread! Oh, the bread!
BMN: Michigan has a booming entertainment industry right now. What advice do you have for Michigan kids who want a career in the arts?
SUZANNE: Don't let anyone tell you that it isn't attainable. It is. Do everything you can to get experience - study. Practice. Perform. For detailed books on any aspect of the industry you are interested in, look up a bookstore called Samuel French. If you want to learn how to be a screenwriter, they'll have a book on it. If you want to be an actor, they'll have a book on it. If you want to be an assistant to an actor or a screenwriter - they'll have a book on it. It's an amazing resource for the arts! Then go to your local bookstore or Borders and order what you want, of course.
BMN: You’ve been a big proponent of the Buy Michigan Now campaign. Why do you think it’s important for people to take the pledge and get involved?
SUZANNE: Talk is cheap, that's why. Action matters. A simple act of taking the pledge makes a person instantly more vested in the success of the campaign, and thus, more active in making a difference in the Michigan economy. Why WOULDN'T someone take the pledge????
BMN: What projects are you currently working on that we can look forward to?
I'm not at liberty to say at the time of this writing - so please update this when we can formally announce - but I have two big projects coming up. One is an online show on a major website - and the other is a television series. Check my website at www.suzannesena.com
BMN: What Shout Out do you have for your friends and fans in Michigan?
SUZANNE: During the football season, "GO GREEN!" During the basketball season, "GO PISTONS!" and during this time of difficult economy, I say "Re-invention is the key - find your passion and go for it!"