On hiatus from playing ever-furious, always-funny Susie Greene on the HBO
comedy series Curb Your Enthusiasm, comic Susie Essman was visiting her
mother one weekend when the phone rang. It was series creator and star Larry
David. "Listen, I have a sinus infection," he said without preamble. "What
should I do?"
"So I recommended nasal irrigation and getting a Neti pot, and he said 'OK,
thanks, bye,' and hung up," Essman recalls.
By Sarah Mahoney
How to quit nitpicking
It's not even noon on a Sunday, and I've been biting my tongue all morning.
When my husband sat down to Web surf two hours ago, I resisted the urge to
remind him that he had promised to clean the basement. I held my tongue again
when our 13-year-old trashed the kitchen while creating his "it's due
tomorrow!" science project. And I even managed to stifle myself when my
teenage daughter left a plate in the sink instead of reaching 18 inches...
As the daughter of a doctor -- her oncologist father passed away in 2001 --
as well as a self-described hypochondriac, Essman is used to being consulted by
friends and colleagues about their medical problems. Now, she's sharing her
insights on everything from menopause to raising teens in her new book, What
Would Susie Say: Bull**** Wisdom About Love, Life and Comedy, due out this
Susie Essman on Anger Management
Married for the first time in 2008 to commercial real estate broker Jim
Harder, Essman became a newlywed, a new mom (to Harder's four kids, now in
their late teens and early 20s), and a menopausal woman all at the same time.
"It's a wild ride," she says of menopause. For hot flashes, "I tried apple
cider vinegar -- two tablespoons in water," she says. "And they went away. I
don't know if it was because of that or not, but I kind of err on the side of
things I know aren't going to interfere with my biology. Apple cider vinegar --
how bad can it be?"
Essman cites her Curb role as a reliable stress reducer -- the new
season kicked off Sept. 20 and will feature a five-episode run reuniting the
four leading actors from Seinfeld. "On days when we are shooting scenes where I
have to really scream and yell at Larry, which is a lot of the time, I go back
to the hotel room in L.A. after shooting, and I'm so relaxed," Essman says.
"I've been screaming and yelling and angry all day, and nobody got hurt and
I got paid. It's healthy. A lot of women tell me Susie Greene has given them
permission to express their anger, and that's really gratifying to me. This
whole ladylike thing is just destroying us internally."