Susan Layton is an actor and an ASL performer. You can find her on almost any social media platform as “HiyaSusieQ”.
Although Susan has been performing most of her life, she has just begun the adventure of filming her performances. Check out her videos! Subscribe to Susan’s YouTube page and connect with her on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and follow her journey!
As an ASL performer, Susan combines two of her greatest loves, American Sign Language and acting, to convey breathtaking musical performances. She has been recognized for her amazing gift of bringing music to life with captivating emotions, superb story-telling abilities and stunning musicality. Her audiences have included Deaf and hearing, some who sign and others who don’t know sign language.
The journey Susan takes you on requires no understanding of ASL, for this journey will clearly play out before your eyes. Hold on to your heartstrings and let the journey begin, for this is ASL Performing as you have never seen or felt before!
“Touching!! Inspiring!! Incredibly Amazing” … To read more audience comments, click here!
LEARNING AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE (ASL)
At the age of three, Susan began learning sign language. It was love at first sight! Her aunt was a Special Education teacher and knew a good bunch of signs. So, two eager learners, Susan and her sister, were at her side, learning every sign they could! Learning from books, and anywhere else, Susan was soaking up sign language. Her grandmother was a manager for an Senior residency. There were two Deaf ladies who lived there and asked that Susan come over as often as time would permit! Exposure to “real language” and deaf culture began! At age 8, her family moved near a woman who was teaching Signing Exact English (SEE) in her home. Susan signed up for her classes and was a faithful attendee! The first week of class the teacher taught “The Pledge of Allegiance” and sent the class home with a printed version of it. By the time Susan arrived home, five-minutes away, Susan had it memorized in its entirety. There was also a young girl in her church congregation who was deaf. Her family used SEE too. Susan began “interpreting” for her that very week.
Years passed, and Susan’s vocabulary and fluency flourished. In middle school, at the age of 12, Susan applied to the community college for the sole purpose of taking the ASL, Deaf culture and interpreting courses that were offered. She was accepted. Through her excitement and eagerness to learn and really convert from SEE to ASL, her teachers found a new class pet. 🙂 Susan loved the language, the culture, and the people.
After high school graduation, Susan attended the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque studying ASL Interpreting. After a few short semesters and a lot of homesickness, Susan returned home. She began working as an ASL Interpreter in the school district and for various community assignments.
Susan served an ASL mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. This was an amazing time in her life. The Deaf communities were so welcoming to Susan. During this time of service, her love for the Deaf people and their incredibly rich culture grew and grew! This special year and a half will always live to be one of the greatest times of her life!
Returning home from her mission brought many more years of happiness in the Deaf world. She continues to provide interpreting services today. Interpreting theatrical performances are, of course, her most favorite!
A dancing hippopotamus was the first role Susan had as an actor. She was 4. Then a year later, she landed the lead girl in “Willy Whiskers”, a community musical play. She played that role over the next couple of years. Her family moved and acting opportunities were scarce. She took every opportunity to dress up on school dress-up days and participate in school talent shows, most of which she won. The most memorable talent show was during her senior year of high school. Imagine, if you will, Pippi Longstocking (her most beloved character) and the song, “I’m Too Sexy”. SUSAN BROUGHT DOWN THE HOUSE! Pippi was the class act! This night of mostly beautiful ballads … and then Susan… was a night to remember!
Susan is also a trained voice-over actor. Her training began in Phoenix with the dynamic and very sought after voice talent and coach, Lady Lou. Voice acting has been an exciting addition to Susan’s workflow!
What she loves best: ASL Performing, teleprompt, voice-over, film, on-stage, and still photos.
Here is what many seasoned actors have said about Susan:
Lou Hunt, veteran voiceover artist: “Move over, guys, Susan is here!”
John Darin, veteran actor and voiceover artist: “You, my friend, are a force to be reckon with!”
Renee Casati, veteran actress and voiceover artist: “You have a gift! You are so in tune with your characters, it’s crazy amazing!” “Every performance is so incredibly raw!” “The range of emotions you have is unbelievable!”
MORE ABOUT SUSAN
Susan loves to exercise. She loves gardening and playing games with her family. Susan is married to Ryan and they have four beautiful children! “Life is good!”