#1: Get to Know ~ Susannah Collins

I am soo excited to be sharing this new section with you titled (for right now at least) Get to Know. I am beyond thrilled to announce my very special guest and friend, my #1: Get to Know…..

Downers Grove’s own SUSANNAH COLLINS!

I’ve known Susannah since our high school days at Downers Grove North High School. We weren’t in the same group of friends, but we were always friendly. One thing about Susannah, she has always been the nicest gal. She was nice to EVERYONE in high school, which I think is a true testament to her character.

We went separate ways for college, but crossed paths again at 22 once we all came home from college. We would get together for TV and wine nights. 😀 Now that Sooz (as we call her) is so busy traveling we don’t see her very often but anytime she’s in town we all are excited to see her and hear her fab stories about her exciting life.

I am SO honored to know this woman who is kind, compassionate and fun. And when I was suffering from Post Partum Depression she wrote me an amazing letter of encouragement telling me to stay strong and giving me hope. It’s things like that which make this woman so extraordinary! Keep reading to learn more about Susannah Collins and some of Sooz’s own thoughts:

What is your current profession?
I am a reporter/correspondent for Showtime Sports, working specifically on the shows Inside the NFL and Inside NASCAR.

Briefly describe how you got there:
I owe it all to a douchebag, no joke. A buddy of mine started a web-based sports talk show called Sports Nutz and thought I’d make a good host. So myself and another girl, Sam, were the co-hosts and we’d do weekly episodes taking a very sarcastic take on timely sports-related stories. In March of 2010 we did an episode called “Douchebag Nation” about douchebag fans at the Big East basketball tournament at Madison Square Garden. And boy, those douchebag fans did NOT disappoint. One in particular decided to launch himself at me on camera whilst foolishly displaying his wedding ring for all of cyber space to see. Needless to say, it made for quite an entertaining episode. So entertaining, in fact, that a popular online sports blog, Deadspin.com, picked it up, giving us thousands of hits. One of those hits came from the Executive Producer of Inside the NFL. He called me in for an interview and the rest is history. If I could find that douchebag fan and give him that kiss he wanted I actually would….though I don’t know how his wife would feel about it!

Did you always know this was the direction you wanted to take your career in?
Not at all! I actually got my degree in Broadcast Journalism but had no intention of ever using it after graduation. I was a complete musical theater geek, and after I graduated college I went to London for a year to get my post-graduate degree in Musical Theater at Mountview Academy of Theater Arts. When I got back to the states, I performed in a bunch of Chicago productions – including a stint as a performer on the Spirit of Chicago dinner cruise ship – HA! But, as most starving artists will tell you, it’s a brutal industry and it started to take it’s toll on my mental health. I started working in PR but after a few years and a few HORRIBLE bosses I knew I needed to change it up. I’d always been a huge sports fan and started to think I missed my calling by not going into broadcasting. When the Sports Nutz gig came up I thought, “Why not?” Kind of crazy that it’s come full circle like that.

How have you stayed so down to Earth?
It’s the only way I know how to be. I think because I found a bit of success at age 30 rather than age 25 I have a greater appreciation of how the industry works. I know as quickly as success came, it can be taken away, so I don’t take a single moment for granted. I’ve got some life experience behind me that certainly has helped me stay grounded. That and I have the most incredible support system in my family and friends. I’m surrounded by people who would kick my ass if I started to play the diva card!

What is your favorite sport and favorite sports team?
I LOVE baseball. I am a die-hard, life long Chicago Cubs fan…Sigh…

What is your favorite alcoholic drink?
Vino. Red, white, pink, bubbly….I love it all. But lately I’ve also been into Makers.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I honestly have no idea. I try not to get too far ahead of myself. So much has happened in two years so I can’t even speculate! I hope to be happy, living in a nice home with my hubby, perhaps a kiddo or two. My dream job is to work covering the Cubs….Never say never, right?

Who is your favorite shoe designer?
Miu Miu. Their shoes are so beautiful and I love them because they accommodate large feet, which is, unfortunately, what I have. I’m on my feet a ton so comfort is crucial, and Miu Miu’s manage to not kill my tootsies while still looking fierce.

I see that you’re a guy’s girl…i.e., hot, loves football, but you’re also a girl’s girl, i.e., fashionable, many gal pals and also just a nice person in general – are you really the next “America’s Sweetheart?”
Hmmm, not sure if I’m the next “America’s Sweetheart”. But that’s very nice of you to imply! One thing that makes me happy is that I have both male and female fans! I love hanging with the boys, but my girlfriends are my heart & soul. The fact that women enjoy the work I do, especially in a male-dominated environment, makes me very proud.

What is your favorite personality trait about yourself?
I like that I can laugh at myself. You can’t take yourself too seriously in this business otherwise you’ll go crazy. Having a sense of humor is essential.

What is your favorite body part?
I’ve always thought I had nice ears.

How can people follow you? Twitter? FB?
You can follow me on Twitter at @susannahcollins or find my Susannah Collins fan page on facebook. And tell your friends! 🙂

Any words of wisdom for Jlee’s readers??
Don’t be afraid to dream. Laugh a lot. Love your family & friends. And drink wine. 🙂

Sooz at the Super Bowl!!! (Photo courtesy of Inside the NFL)

I’d like to say a very big Thank You to Susannah Collins for giving me the honor of making her my first Get to Know post! I’d also like to encourage you all to take a look at this video clip of Susannah (one of my faves) as a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader for a day! Great piece!! Click here to view.

xx Sooz, and I hope you will all “like” Susannah on FB and follow her on Twitter!