Born in Manhattan, Susannah was raised by artistic parents — photographer Richard Blinkoff and composer-lyricist Carol Hall — who both moved to New York City to pursue their creative dreams and always encouraged their kids to do the same.
Susannah’s childhood was filled with music and theatre. Her mother recorded two albums for Electra Records in the ’70s, toured with Kris Kristofferson and Don McLean, wrote songs for the children’s classic FREE TO BE YOU AND ME and for the hit Broadway show THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS. Susannah hung out backstage at the 46th Street Theatre all through high school (now the Richard Rogers Theatre where HAMILTON plays). She grew up surrounded by many successful writers and musicians and found it both inspiring and sometimes a little intimidating. At parties, family friends like Lesley Gore and Martin Charnin (ANNIE) as well as Susannah’s childhood friend Adam Guettel (FLOYD COLLINS, LIGHT IN THE PIAZZA) played their songs in the living room while Susannah just listened. She never imagined she would someday end up writing songs, too…instead, she focused on acting.
For elementary and middle school, Susannah attended the famously liberal Little Red School House in Greenwich Village where the atmosphere was artistic, progressive, and politically charged. Many of the teachers and parents had marched in the civil rights protests of the ‘60’s. The school played a huge role in shaping who Susannah is today. It’s also where her love of African-American spirituals was born.
Susannah made her Off-Broadway debut when she was a freshman in high school, but then chose a regular education over becoming a professional child actress. At Brown University, she acted in over 20 plays alongside fellow students Laura Linney, Richard Topol, Tim Blake Nelson, Todd Haynes, and Pulitzer-winning playwright Lynn Nottage, among others.
Susannah co-wrote the film BELLYFRUIT and wrote the opening title song with composer/producer Stephen Bray (Madonna, THE COLOR PURPLE). Multiple songs from her album LET’S PRETEND made the Billboard charts in Hawaii, Nebraska, and North Carolina. Other career highlights include singing in the Williamstown Theatre Festival cabaret with Christopher Reeve, studying with members of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and working on Broadway as a “pit singer,” providing vocal support from the orchestra pit while leggy chorus girls danced above her head. She recently performed her one-woman show DAUGHTER OF to sold-out crowds at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and appeared in the film GIRL FLU with Jeremy Sisto.
Susannah is also an educator and activist who believes in the deep, healing power of music. She is committed to helping those who are often invisible in our society find their voices. To that end, she has taught acting and writing to homeless teens and teen moms in Hollywood and East L.A. She has been a foster mom and still volunteers with foster youth. And she leads a singing class every week for incarcerated and recently paroled men in South Los Angeles.
Susannah lives with her son, husband, and a white fluffy dog in Silver Lake (L.A.).