Tasmanian Devil on steroids
By Bob Hamill
I have to admit, this is one of the toughest columns I wrote. It’s like trying to write about the Tasmanian Devil on steroids. Trying to catch Susan Rose is like looking for the invisible man.
Susan is one of the busiest persons in show biz I ever met. She has two homes, one here and one in Florida but she hardly spends a night in either one of them. She’s on a plane going some place to either do lights or instruct others on how to do them. Her resume is incredible! She has worked at Disney, Dollywood, theme parks, cruise ships and for the last 12 years has been Ringo Starrs’ lighting director.
“I have had a lot of success but with that success comes a lot of sacrifices. I started out wanting to be a country singer. I still do. When I was 14 I was doing fairly well. I started to get interested in audio and the techs were very nice to me and showed me the ropes. Then along came a new lighting console and since I never worked with lights, this was something new to everybody. I didn’t have any bad habits from the old system so I picked up this new one like it was mine.”
Louise Mandrell had this new system and heard Susan was thee person to program it.Of course she was a big hit. Louis never knew what great lighting could be. Susan was so good, people would come and get lessons from her on lighting design. Susan wrote a book on this console and it became the Bible for lighting techs. It was even translated into other languages. It earned her a spot in the lighting hall of fame. Ringo Starr did a very moving video tribute to Susan.
This is Susan’s 20th year of doing lighting. When she accepted the award her speech was straight forward. “I’m not here to brag about the things that I have done. I’m here to set an example of inspiration and what can be accomplished and I won’t let anything stop me. I’ve worked in a male dominated business all my life. I’ve dealt with sacrifices in relationships. I chose the path I’ve taken and have to take the good with the not so good. Whatever I do be it lights or music, I will go one hundred percent.
At the age of 40 ( I don’t know if I was allowed to say that) Susan has made a large impact in the show biz world. When she shows up for a gig, be it a cruise ship or a concert in an arena, she is the master of light. She has the knack for a subtile pin spot to a huge waterfall of lighting. Many times people don’t even know whats going on around them. If you are lucky, the lights will have been designed by Susan Rose.
To be frank, I feel a little bad about not writing about Susan’s singing career. Keep reading the TN Star Journal and it will be covered soon.