Rising star Susie Abromeit began her early career as the number one junior tennis player out of Florida and was recruited to play at Duke University. After hurting her back, she turned to her other passion in life – acting and singing. She has starred in TV shows such as Burn Notice, One Tree Hill, and As the World Turns, as well as movies like Battle: Los Angeles. More impressive than her resume is her passion for life. Not only her own ambitions, but also for other lives and the lives of animals. BellaDOG sat down with Susie in New York to talk about her experiences.
BellaDOG: How did you get your start in show business?
Susie Abromeit: I actually started off as a tennis player. I moved down to Florida when I was 13 to train at a tennis academy by myself. Told my parents what I wanted to do and they were incredibly supportive. Then when I was 18 I ended hurting my back [couldn’t turn pro], and did a lot of soul searching on what I wanted to do. I was coaching this guys daughter in tennis, and I went out for a shot and he was like, “ma’am you’re very vocal, do you sing?” And I said, “Um, yes I sing the national anthem for my school’s basketball games.” He said, “Well that’s impressive, let me hear you sing now.”
BellaDOG: And he liked what he heard?
Susie Abromeit: Yes! We started working together in the studio and six months later one of our songs started being played on the radio in Miami! Record labels started calling and wanted me to work with their producers.
BellaDOG: How did you balance that with your tennis life?
Susie Abromeit: I actually had to go to Duke on a tennis scholarship and my mom certainly wasn’t going to let me go off on another dream. My sophomore year I ended being pulled in different directions, and really found out that I wanted to do acting and singing. I ended up giving up my scholarship at Duke and finally pursuing it, and ended up working with Atlantic Records on a song. It ended up being a summer hit on the radio, and so I took time off from school to work on my album.
BellaDOG: Then you became a movie star! What movie influenced you the most?
Susie Abromeit: In 2003, Angelina Jolie did Beyond Borders, about this person that comes from money and she’s doing charities and thinking that she is apart of that whole scene. But then she is face-to-face with poverty and with the real issues of life and seeing it first hand by going to Africa – it really affected me profoundly. It just made me think about the world a little differently.
BellaDOG: How do you want to give back like Angelina and her character did?
Susie Abromeit: My childhood dream since I was 7 has to give back in a really big way. I saw these kids and animals on TV and they were crying “please help us!” And I remember going to my mom and saying, “Mom, we need to do something!!” So I made a promise to myself that when I make it really, really big, that I would build a five-star animal rescue. Every time you go to these shelters, it’s just depressing and so run down. As much as they are trying to take care of it and the animals, it just feels depressing. I want everything at your disposal, a happier environment, and where people would feel “wow this not only a spectacular place, but it’s run the right way.” If you go to a five-star doggie hotel, they really pay attention to details. Now dogs don’t need to be watching TV – that would be kind of excessive! But things that just really make sense, and the people that I would assemble – I would want them to really care 110%.
BellaDOG: Did you rescue animals of your own?
Susie Abromeit: I would pretty much take in all sorts of animals growing up! I had two cats, a dog, a turtle, birds, hamsters… of course against my parents wishes (laughs). Even insects. Honestly there’s been a lot over the years!
BellaDOG: You also have a soft spot for rescuing dogs?
Susie Abromeit: Yes! One time at like one in the morning, I was driving home from a job, and all of a sudden this dog was sitting in the middle of the street, and I yelled, “Oh my God!” So I opened the door and the dog comes running in, sits on my lap, and I was like, “Okay… I guess you’re coming home with me!” I ended up taking care of him while we hung posters.