My client Gretchen Wyler went on to be the founder and the inspiration behind the annual Genesis Awards, a glittering Hollywood-style event which honors the news and entertainment media for raising public awareness of animal protection issues. She devoted 40-years to protecting animals and her cause gained ground during that time thanks to her achievements and advocacy in the media, in law-making and in raising public consciousness.
For me there were many more press conferences, events and public relations campaigns ahead. Most of these were successful, unlike my first attempt at the Lacy Street Shelter. One of the talents I discovered I had was the art of celebrity wrangling. No one taught me how to do this. Like most things in my life, I learned by making the magic happen. If I wasn’t working the red carpet, I was assigned to crews from shows such as Entertainment Tonight combing the crowd to spot celebrities for interviews.
During the premiere party for Kiss of the Spider Woman, the 1985 indie hit starring Sonya Braga, Entertainment Tonight asked me to find Kevin Bacon and bring him back to their make-shift set inside the party. I made my way through the crowd and spotting him standing with a group of friends at the bar. I walked right up to the group, shouting his name while grabbing his hand.
While I was pulling him through the noisy crowd, he asked, “Who are you?”
“I’m Susan Hartzler,” I answered feeling like I was just as much a somebody as he was.