HONOLULU (KHON) – Susan Soon He Stanton wants you to know she’s a writer, not an actor.

But it did feel good to get “dolled up” for the Emmys.

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“It’s very unusual to get to do this as a writer. I definitely had people to help me with my hair and my makeup. Then it was kind of like, not armor… it’s a little bit of like, you can be a persona. It’s the closest I’ve come to acting,” said Stanton.

The Punahou graduate of 1999, who wore a dress by Nardos and jewelry by Hawaii designer Bliss Lau to the 2022 Emmys, nabbed a golden statuette for best drama series writing for HBO’s hit drama, ‘Succession.’

“I definitely hoped we would win, but I didn’t think we would just because we were lucky enough to win last year. And I don’t know until then we heard it. It was really surreal,” said Stanton.

Originally from Aiea, Stanton obtained a bachelor’s degree from New York University Tisch School of the Arts. She went on to receive a full fellowship in dramatic writing from the David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University.

“Writing (has) given me wings and allowed me to see so much more of the world. I just love storytelling,” said Stanton.

Stanton now resides in Brooklyn.

“When I would come back to Hawaii to see my family, I would do a stopover in LA. I would just take industry meetings,” said Stanton.

She continued, “It’s the water bottle circuit where you just meet with as many people as you can and try to form connections in the hopes that you would eventually get some kind of break. Eventually, it paid off. During one of those meetings, I made some connections. That was how I got submitted for Succession.”

Stanton has been a writer for the HBO drama series since season one, and said they’re currently in the middle of filming season four of the hit show.

When asked to dispense advice to fellow writers hoping to achieve success, Stanton said, “I think it’s important to think about what your goals are and not to think about it in terms of success. I feel like it’s about trying to create work that’s meaningful to you and meaningful to others.”

“I had a lot of survival jobs. I worked in restaurants. I also really enjoyed teaching. I taught playwriting at universities and high schools. So it was kind of a combination of working really hard and writing a lot.”

Stanton continued, “That sacrifice, and then having the survival job. So it’s almost like when you finally have the opportunity, then you’re ready for it.”

But no matter where she is in her career, the Hawaii girl said “there’s nothing quite like getting back home.”

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“When I’m driving – not in Hawaii – and nobody does a ‘shaka’ or a wave when you merge into the lane? It’s just not the same.”