Susan Marie Snyder was the second of three actresses to play the part of Laken Lockridge on Santa Barbara. Although Laken was rather unappealing at the time (she broke up Ted and Hayley's marriage), Susan was good in the role and frequently showed the vulnerable side of her character. In November 2010, Susan, now known as Suzenne Marie Seradwyn, agreed to an exclusive interview about her time on the show.
Capridge.Com: Can you tell us where you were born and raised?
SMS: Born in Lewison, Idaho. We moved to Milwaukie, a suburb of Portland, then Dundee, Oregon where I lived on a Hazelnut farm until age 18 when I moved to New York City.
Capridge.Com: Did you always want to be an actress?
SMS: My first "big break" was playing Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz in the 4rth Grade. I guess I was hooked after that. As the youngest of ten children, I discovered that acting was a great way to get attention.
Capridge.Com: Can you tell us a little bit about your early career and the movies you've done?
SMS: I moved to NYC at age 18 and signed immediately with a talent agency named Cuzzins Management. (Young Ben Stiller was also represented by them at that time, as were his parents, Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara.)
I began to audition for jobs right away and booked some TV commercials and extra work (Background) in soap operas. This led to my landing a terrific role as Candy Barnett in a TV After School Special called The Alfred G. Graebner Book of Rules and Regualtions. In the years that followed, I did a TV movie of the Week called Betrayed by Innocence. I played Barry Bostwick's daughter, Andrea DeLeon.
I played bit parts on Another World, Ryan's Hope, and had three roles in feature films: Remo Williams, Ruthless People and Sleepaway Camp 2: Unhappy Campers.
Capridge.Com: In 1987, you were hired to play Laken Lockridge on Santa Barbara. How did the show come about for you?
SMS: I read for Laken after moving out to LA from NYC. It was just the right timing and I was the right fit for this character.
Capridge.Com: Was it difficult stepping into a role that had been played by another actress?
SMS: No. I'd never seen Julie Ronnie's portrayal of Laken. Also, they wrote that she'd returned back to Santa Barbara very changed from the way she'd been prior to that.
Capridge.Com: What was it like working with the cast and crew?
SMS: It was like working in any company. Mixed personalities. On the whole, everyone got along well and they were easygoing and supportive. Of course, there was some socializing outside of work and that was fun. I became very close with Jane Sibbett [Jane] and we remain good friends to this day.
Capridge.Com: Do you remember your story?
Mostly I was there to screw up Ted's life. I partied a lot and had aspirations of being an actress. There was TJ, the ski bum, Jake's Lair (I was the hostess), Ted's wine cooler business...
Capridge.Com: What are some of the memories that come to you during this time?
SMS: Big hair and bad fashion! It was the mid 80's, afterall. I remember working very hard at my craft. Being very serious about doing the best work I was capable of doing. They had a coach on the set for anyone who wanted to work with him. That was helpful. Memorizing dialogue quickly can be very challenging especially for someone as new as I was. I guess that was the hardest part. Todd McKee [Ted] was very easygoing and fun to work with as was Stacy Edwards [Hayley] and Nicolas Coster [Lionel].
Capridge.Com: What led to your leaving Santa Barbara?
SMS: They just told me one day that they were phasing out the character and that was the end of that.
Capridge.Com: You went on to play Julie Wendall on As the World Turns. What was that experience like?
SMS: Playing Julie was one of the richest experiences of my life on so many levels; as if that role was wrapped up into the very fabric of my personal destiny. My two best friends in real life, one in NYC, Jennifer Ashe, and one in LA, Babette Props, were hired for the roles of Snyder sisters Meg and Ellie. When I came on, I married "Caleb" and became their sister-in-law.
My birthname is Susan Marie Snyder. My real father's name is Joe Wendall Snyder. My character was Julie Wendall Snyder.
I started dating actor Peter Boynton (Tonio Reyes) before I'd even auditioned for the soap. Then, I was asked to audition, got the part and six months later I was marrying Peter in real life and Tonio and Julie started having an affair on the show. When Julie got pregnant, Susan got pregnant.
The writer, the late Douglas Marland, called his mother, Bea Snyder. My mother's name is Bebe Snyder. Douglas's birthday was May 5th. My mother's birthday is May 5th. Anyway, there was more but you get the idea...
My co-star, Michael David Morrison, died from an overdose. They replaced him the next day. That was pretty traumatic. The part of me who made Julie real was deeply in love with the part of Michael who played Caleb. It was very difficult to seperate that out.
Capridge.Com: What have you been doing since leaving ATWT?
SMS: I decided that I wanted my daughter to have a normal life outside of LA, NYC and show business. Her dad, Peter, and I had split up and he was living in Vermont full-time. We agreed that Vermont was a spectacular place to raise a child so we did. I quit show business, legally changed my name and re-invented myself. I became the Communications Coordinator for an International Development Consulting Firm in Burlington. I stayed for 7 years before moving out to Albuquerque, New Mexico one year ago.
Presently, I am working for a Biotechnology Company, writing grants and doing research. I have been holding a Sunday DanceChurch and Laughter Yoga Club since last January 2010. We are currently on hiatus until we can move into our new space.
Capridge.Com: How's your life nowadays?
SMS: Life is fairly quiet these days. My daughter is in her second year of college and she loves it. I'm extremely grateful to be healthy, happy and in love with my beloved husband. I still love to laugh, dance, sing, skate and bicycle.
Capridge.Com: Any final words you want the readers to know about you?
SMS: My true passion is to be an active participant in the evolution of human consciousness. This I practice every day.