Being a Christian Actor (Faith)

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    Dear all,

    Went to an event run by Artisan Initiatives last night...basically it's a big prayer/worship type event where loads of people from the arts, media and fashion industries meet up and share experiences and talk about the Christian faith...aswell as getting free tea and donuts!! Got me thinking about my faith and how it affects how I manage my career. Just thought I'd open up a discussion...maybe meet other Christians on this site or just get the topic out there. Meaning of life stuff...always fun on a cold, grey tuesday! Faith (and religion - although I hate using the word) can have such a profound effect on our lives and is obviously a hot topic in our industry at the moment (riots in Birmingham - religious hate laws etc...)Should we have the freedom in this industry to say and do anything? Does being a Christian affect the choices you make...limit the jobs that you do?

    Any thoughts?

    Ben

    • 24th Mar 2006
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    Hi Ben,

    I am so so so supposed to have left the house 10 mins ago, so im just gonna quickly say that Im so pleased that someone has raised this topic. I wish i could stay and talk but i'll pick up the link later.

    However, i agree that faith is a very very hot topic in the industry and, as ever, standing up for one's faith is as controversial. Not only do you face the constant decisions and challenges in everyday life, but also in an industry where sometimes, even the mention of the word God sends people into fits of rage!! Interested to hear that there are groups like the one you talk about that can provide support. Maybe i'll send u a private reply to find out more (fellow Christian in need of lots of support!!)

    But take care..im outta here but will def log on later to find out more.

    Aimi xxx

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Sheri Copeland

    Actor

    I'm gonna stand up and be counted!

    No time to post properly, maybe we should all talk another time or by personal message?

    I have had only one instance where I had to make a very difficult decision in my career that had a direct link to my Christian faith, but it was a harsh one and I do think it had repercussions that seem to be negative but it was not a choice that I could ignore.

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Iona MacInnes

    Actor

    Hi all, When I noticed this topic I thought , good call, cant believe it hasnt been discussed before. I can so relate to me as a christian (but not a converted christian-there IS a difference) and this topic. I am a church goer, every sunday and I am part of the free church of Scotland. Where I am from (The Isle-of-Lewis) religion and church have a large say in what happens on the Island for example there are no shops open or public transport or childrens parks open on the Sabbath. Now, I know that if I agreed to be part of something on T.v particularly that had lots of swearing, sex, or whatever that doesnt follow the word of God then there would be a lot of people taliking about me and my mother would be very humiliated, also I would find it hard to show my face in church (i think). Im going for an audition tomorrow and the character uses swears, probably takes the Lords name in Vain afew times, and basically its about girls having an ann summers party, im in two minds as to go and if i do go I am not telling any of my friends back home incase it gets into the local paper. Great topic, i think its so important to pray and thank God for giving us the work that we love aswell. Cheers guys, Iona

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    Read this and nearly wept! Being both an Actor and a Christian can be very, very difficult. It has a huge impact on your career and indeed your life but can also be such a positive thing in a business where sex sells and morals are often lost. As Sally Phillips (Smack the Pony, Bridget Jones Diary) said 'In life for most people coming out as being gay is the most difficult thing...... in this business its being Christian'

    I was fortunate that in my year at Drama School were 4 other Christian girls and since leaving college i have been lucky enough to become involved in a number of fabulous groups of Christian artists.

    I am C of E, from a practically non practising family although i do practise myself. I am involved with a group called ACTS and also The Catholic Stage Guild (You dont need to be Catholic- i am not and i am on the commitee!)

    ACTS is a practical group, mostly made up of Actors, Directors and Theatre Designers. Most members are in their 20's and 30's but some are older. We do social stuff, all go out for a beer, to the theatre, quiz nights etc but provide a data base for other actors to meet people and network with those that share their faith. It works well as it isnt Super Heavy religous and is really laid back. ACTS put on productions and tours and also have a network for casting etc.

    The Catholic Stage Guild is a slightly older groups, that get together and socialise about 6 times a year. This is fab as you get to meet really established actors and they can teach you so, so, much. Also they offer you tons of help and advice.

    If any of you chaps want to meet up or maybe come to an ACTS event, just email. Having friends in the industry that share your faith can be so valuable. I have been so grateful for it, particularly as i am not that good at going to church and am not part of a parish community.

    Faye x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    I just spent 10mins typing a response and it timed out and lost all my words to you guys..... how annoying!

    Anyway, typing quickly now so it doesnt happen again.

    I am standing up too.... being counted and wanted to let you lot about a couple of fab groups that have been invaluable to me.

    I am C of E, from a non practising family and was lucky enough ( or blessed, i think) to be in a year with 4 Christian girls at Drama school.

    Being a Christian in this business can be hard, it really does influence your choices but its also the best armour in the world.

    I am not particularly good at getting to church and am not part of a parish, but part of 2 fab groups that allow young christians in the Arts to get together socially. they are not pryaer meetings, just nights in the pub, theatre visits, quiz nights and meals but are a fantastic, informal way of meeting other people. They also lead to castings, networking etc.

    Email me if you would like to know more!

    Faye x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Angelo Marcos

    Actor

    As a Christian, I haven't had too much trouble where my career is concerned - either with acting or stand up.

    I did see a very interesting casting call for quite a deep 'meaning of life' type job. I went to the audition and found it was this existentialist 'anti-God' type of part though and so I didn't stick around. Other than that I, fortunately, haven't found too many problems where my faith and career are concerned.

    I do agree that it is maybe slightly tougher though. Its hard enough getting acting work in the first place, without turning down possible opportunities for other reasons!

    I think its slightly tougher where stand up is concerned to be honest. I've often found myself being the 'clean guy' on stage, which loses a lot of points where most drunk, rowdy audiences are concerned!!

    Glad someone brought this topic up though, and its nice to see there are some Christians left in this industry!

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    So all of a sudden my email appears and i have written the same thing twice.... strange. Sorry! x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Angelo Marcos

    Actor

    Just re-read your posts Faye and I really like the way you said being a Christian is the best armour in the world. I think its important to remember that, and not just where acting and performing are concerned either.

    (Oh, and don't pretend you accidentally posted the same thing twice! You just wanted to take up more space on the page to get more exposure didn't you?!! Haha!)

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    That is my cunning plan..... i will shortly change my headshots on my profile so that all my possible looks are covered...... and drop randomly into conversation that i am up for a part at the Globe and just finished a voice over for Crufts.... Employ Me Someone! x x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Iona MacInnes

    Actor

    Can I ask what everyones thoughts are on performing on a Sunday? It will be interesting to see. Iona

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Mark Joseph

    Actor

    Surely being Christian is gonna hinder less than any other religion.

    With Christianity being the biggest religion on earth, admitting you are from any other faith will have more impact on a career.

    I have actor-friends who have reservation about showing traits of Islam and Judaism, in case they encounter rejudice within the industry. If they said they were C of E, nobody would raise an eyebrow.

    Mark.

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    Um... i am happy to do it. As far as i am concerned God knows i have to make a living and as long as i devote another time in the week for Church, that is ok. Plus i would generally think i could fit Church in at some point during the day.

    I am slightly funnier about Christmas and Easter. I would always try to take those off as holiday.

    Just as a random fact to throw in... i read that Jane Horracks, who is a Methodist, never, ever works Good Friday.

    f x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    Interesting point Mark, have to say though i find people are much more respectful of other faiths than Christianity.This might be as Christians so rarely say anything when offended or uncomfortable about stuff. The term Bible Bashing is so frequently used but words like this cause out cry when mentioned about other faiths.

    I think people dont always know how Christianity will impact and very often expect it wont at all. But generally if you are clear and are willing to explain stuff and talk it over, people in this business will take on board your choices in life x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    I can see where you are coming from, and I am not suggesting that one faith has more to deal with than the other in terms of daily discrimination, but i have to say that in this day and age, maybe it's just in this country, u r more likely to see a play or tv show attacking or sending up Christianity than any other faith. It seems to be more acceptable. Im not saying that people do not have a right to express their own views, just that if u have a look at what is out there, i think u'll find a lot of it attacks Christianity.

    Again, in saying this i am not negating what performers of other faiths experience.

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    hey all,

    Great to hear everyone's opinions. I think that being a Christian artist is all about doing your utmost and best in everything you do...but for God's glory and not your own. We've been given these amazing gifts and in order to repay what God has given we need to work hard and long for him. I realise this thread may annoy some people or upset them and I'm sorry if it does, but please feel free to add thoughts or opinions on this. As far as parts are concerned - God knows you and whats your gifts are...if you're using them in a way that he doesn't approve I think he lets you know...or at least you get a feeling. Like nudity ---- for the sake of it...NO but if you're playing someone who is being tortured...etc...possibly yes...or swearing in a role....so what...you are playing a part and I think God knows that...swearing when the director says cut...not so right I think.

    I think it's about being God's servant around people in the industry and being a shining light...might be getting a bit deep here...but anyone feel free to send me a private email to discuss things further...

    Ben

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    Toatally agree amie,

    Christianity seems to be the one faith that always gets attacked...maybe because it's the only one that says that there is only one TRUTH and you can accept that or not but it's still there.

    I do think that Christianity gives an amazing armour and reassurance that when you're not in work you don't have to worry because God has things planned for you...I guess it's just about listening to what he thinks is right for your life/career and choosing whether or not to take that advice on board.

    Ben

    x

    • 1st Jun 2006
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    Working on a sunday----

    Very difficult one. I recently filmed a student film on a sunday...missed church etc...It's like the whole sex before marriage thing...and the idea that oh, I'm sure God will understand...very very tricky...again, I think it comes to down to the personal relationship with God and how God wants you to lead your life.

    I think that if working on a sunday impedes your relationship with God then you shouldn't...but if you have other channels of Christian fellowship and prayer and worship then it's ok.

    Difficult one...still not sure what I feel on that and what God feels!

    Ben

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Iona MacInnes

    Actor

    Yeah, and guys, remember the 10th commandment, it will help you, it tells us to be content with your position in life and it forbids us to be fretful over our own want for success or envious at the good success of others. thought it might be appropriate for our profession. Iona

    • 1st Jun 2006
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  • Iona MacInnes

    Actor

    As I said I am not a 'converted' christian but I like reading about the Bible and I thought Id just add that wee comment above as a wee reminder to you and myself. I wish I wes seeking the Lord more than I am, knocking at his door more, but I am not because of the temptations in my way, its hard guys.

    • 1st Jun 2006
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