One of the highlights of creating the Artists In Action program was doing an interview series with some truly amazing people in the arts and entertainment world, and it's my privilege to be able to share one of those interviews with you right here. I had a wonderful conversation with Suzan Bymel, a founding partner of Management 360 whose clients include Anne Hathaway, Kiefer Sutherland, and Michelle Pfieffer, amongst many others. Suzan helped shape the careers of such award-winning actresses as Reese Witherspoon, Meg Ryan, Julianne Moore, and Marisa Tomei. She's been named to Variety's Women Impact List, as well as The Hollywood Reporter's 100 Most Powerful Women in Entertainment list, and she currently serves on the advisory board of the Global Creative Forum. You can listen to the interview below:
Suzan is a savvy, powerful, and well-respected figure in the industry, and she’s a source of inspiration for anyone with ambitious goals. What started as a small outfit in her dining room eventually became one of the major management companies in Hollywood, which Suzan built from a combination of persistence, adaptability, and a strong understanding of the industry and its needs. Her main message to anyone looking for success is to remain forever curious and to welcome change with open arms. Those words of advice are, of course, music to my ears!
I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed our conversation, not only because Suzan was such a delight and had some fantastic stories to tell, but also because she had some wonderfully insightful things to share with all of you actors out there — among them were that managers and agents are interested in working with people who are in it for the long haul (artists looking for careers, not instant success), which takes time, dedication, and patience. Also, that you’re defined by what you say “No” to just as much as by what you say “Yes” to; in other words, just because a gig is offered to you doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the right choice for your career.
The biggest piece of advice that Suzan has for actors is to be brave. Take risks and push yourself out of your comfort zone. That’s the key to greatness and it’ll set you apart from those who play it safe. Of course, at Capes Coaching, we’re all about fierce courage, so anyone who knows me knows that I couldn’t agree more.
There’s so much more to take from our conversation — from maintaining passion to the importance of balancing your career with outside interests — so I hope you listen and find as much inspiration as I did!