This is what Susie Singer Carter emailed to me when I asked her to tell me a bit about herself:
“If you asked five-year-old Susie what she wanted to be when she grew up, she’d have placed her hands on either side of her pink tutu and proclaimed, “Everything. Duh!”, and been one hundred per cent right”.
As well as learning ballet, Susie spent her childhood as a gymnast, an entrepreneur (selling toys door-to-door), debate champion, party planner, flag twirler, and cheerleader, while surviving her parents’ divorce and her father’s untimely death in a plane crash.
While studying journalism at UCLA, she hosted a radio show, modelled, married, and sang in a pop-group produced by Chuck Lorre. (That Chuck Lorre.) After college, she had a baby, back surgery, opened a handmade jewellery store, acted in TV and film and then decided she wanted to create the projects instead. She worked in development, launched her production company, divorced, remarried, had another baby, wrote and produced two CBS tween shows.
Following that chapter, Susie became her mother’s caregiver, a spokesperson for Alzheimer’s, wrote a screenplay for Lionsgate, and co-produced a feature for Sony. She divorced again. Took up hip-hop, signed a deal with Fox, wrote, produced and directed a pilot pilot with Bryan Cranston, that is THE Bryan Cranston of mega TV hit series Breaking Bad. As well as becoming her mother Norma’s caregiver when she developed Alzheimer’s, Susie launched the award-winning podcast Love Conquers Alz. She wrote and directed an Oscar-qualified short film about Norma’s dementia called My Mom and the Girl, starring the late Valerie Harper (aka Rhoda of Mary Tyler Moore fame) in her last, poignant, wonderful performance. For those of us old enough to remember the Mary Tyler Moore show, believe me, this is BIG.
My Mom and the Girl is funny, moving, profound. I see it as a 20 minute celluloid love story from a daughter to her mum and strongly encourage everyone to watch it.