Today we’d like to introduce you to Suzanne Stroup.
Suzanne, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
When I was six years old, I really wanted to go to soccer camp. My parents saw that I was a super uncoordinated child, so instead, they put me in theatre camp. I then went on to act all the way through school, majored in theatre (and journalism) and then have been a professional actor ever since.
Professional actors can’t survive on just being an actor, so like everyone else, I have approximately 100 side hustles. I found out about party princessing and worked with a company for years before my partner Heather Roy, and I decided to start our own.
Second Star Events brings me so much joy every single day. I get to employ my friends, who are all also professional actors, and bring magic to children while teaching about strong female leadership and grace.
Starting my own company also made me realize that I can do that in pretty much every aspect of my life – last summer I worked with SkyPunch ATL to self-produce a show called Completeness that I love. As long as you’re willing to put in the work, you can really make magic happen in your life.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Absolutely not. Being an actor, in general, is difficult, you learn quickly how to deal with rejection and grow a thick skin. I constantly feel like I’m not good enough or talented enough, but you also learn how to compartmentalize that. It’s also tough when a big part of my job is being “pretty” – if I get a zit or have a bad hair day, it’s really easy to make those experiences less magical because I’m feeling less magical.
There are a lot of companies that do what Second Star Events does, and for the most part, no one is ever fighting for clients – there are plenty of tiny princesses out there! It’s hard because there are always people that want to see you fail, and that’s especially true in the entertainment industry because we do have to be so cut throat. But I try every day to make sure that I do everything out of kindness and love, and have definitely become a better person because of it.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Second Star Events – what should we know?
Like I said before, there are a lot of companies that do what Second Star Events does. But what we do is a little more specialized, because we do want to instill a sense that being a princess or a queen isn’t about wearing a pretty dress – it’s about leading a country, being brave and honest, and helping people.
Our mission statement is Sing. Dream. Lead. And I do try to make that known at every event we do. If we give princess lessons, it’s about standing your ground, being a compassionate leader and being honest – not so much about learning to wave or waltz.
We also have partnerships with other princess companies in town so that we can do huge events with lots of characters and we have partnerships with theaters and do shows as often as possible. Our next show is in February at the Aurora Theatre, and we can’t wait to meet everyone!
We also do volunteer events with Children’s’ Healthcare of Atlanta, and that is the most rewarding part of the job – brightening the day of kids who really need a little magic.
Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Compassion. I realized a few years ago that I tend towards being a negative person. I now make a conscious effort to do everything out of kindness and to make other people happy. Of course, it doesn’t always work, and of course, like everyone else, I have bad days where I’m less kind than others.
I’ve been burned by employers before, so I try very hard to make sure that I treat my employees with the utmost respect. I try to be as collaborative as possible, and love having an entertainment think tank at my fingertips at all times! The best idea is the one that wins in my world, and being around such brilliant performers every day is such wonderful inspiration.
- One hour, one character – $185
- Website: www.secondstaratlanta.com
- Phone: 770-841-1776
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: www.instagram.com/secondstarevents
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/secondstaratl
Casey Gardner Photography, Keenan Rogers Photography, Audra Jones Photography, Haylee Anne Photo