Being A Christian In The Acting Game - Pt 2

I hope posting the email excerpts between myself and Bethany and Dee, in Part 1, can help a few other Christian actors and actresses realize that they are not alone. I know there are many Christian film and acting groups in LA. One, I believe, meets at the Hollywood Presbyterian Church. And another meets through the Beverly Hills Episcopalian Church, I think. You can also find out more about Christian filmmakers by going to Ted Baer's Movieguide Website, or also, The Media Wise Family Website; and you can even volunteer to go and work at the Movieguide Awards every year (considered The Christian Oscars) where you will meet many other like minded people like you!

You will find that if you run into any Christian filmmakers or producers or actors, you really are a part of a special club, and doors will open to you, in a sincere and genuine way. Many of the Christian filmmakers out there don’t flaunt their faith, but you will find many kindhearted messages in all of their work; and even if their message in their work, the overt message, isn’t a Christian one, you may be sure when you read their scripts that they have a redemptive value.

What I always say is this: as an actor or actress, you may yourself have to play sinful or crass people, as part of a bigger message that the TV show or Film is trying to make. Just because you yourself don’t do drugs, or engage in premarital sex, or condone stripping or stealing or any other bad practices, doesn’t mean that you might not be called upon to play a “bad boy or girl” in a production -- someone who does drugs or wears skimpy clothes. This is not the same thing as condoning sexism for sexism’s sake. I don’t believe in the sexualization of young women. That’s offensive.

But most often, in the context of a story line for a TV show or Film, these “bad guy” parts are used as a way to tell a redemptive story about change and growth in the character’s life. Choosing not to play this part, because you are a Christian, would be like saying you can’t play the role of Lady M because she inspires her husband to kill someone.

Keep this in mind when reading a script. Do the actions actually help to tell a bigger story that you and your heart can believe in? Will your part show a juxtaposition between good and evil? If so, then take it! Remember: even the Bible had villains. Through the evil in the world, we will come to understand forgiveness and redemption. It’s the eternal hero’s quest, sinning, asking for forgiveness, surrendering to God’s will, and then, being reborn. And it’s a story/plot line not only in the Bible, but also in every good script!

Take charge of your career, and do what feels right to YOU! And don’t give up! Your heart and your gut will always keep you safe, happy, and in control of all that you do. And if you’ve got a strong faith, don’t ever let it slip. It will keep you and uplift you forever as you continue changing the Hollywood film industry from within!

God Bless!

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About Kirsten Tretbar

Kirsten Tretbar is an acting teacher, filmmaker, and former actress. She received her MFA in Acting from USC in Los Angeles, where she acted professionally for many years.

Los Angeles + Kansas City