Don’t Be Apwaid to Take a Wisk!

Photo courtesy of cooldesign/

As some of you know, I do a little acting. Nothing big. I don’t have stars in my eyes and certainly don’t entertain visions of a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But I do love acting. I love the opportunity to be somebody else, doing and saying and choosing things I might never do, say, or choose as Vonda. It’s simply another fun, creative way to enjoy life using the passions He placed in me.

Well, last week I had my first experience with video auditions. There’s a great film in the works in Asheville, one I’d love to be a part of. I submitted my resume and headshots and was thrilled to get an invitation to audition. But since I was going to be out of town on the appointed day, I was given the option of submitting a video audition. Something I’d never done before.

I’m blessed to be part of a community of actors who help and support one another, many of whom have already experienced video auditions and have the technical skills to pull it off. Two of them volunteered to help me.

I arrived confident of my choices about the characters I was auditioning for, confident of my ability to do a good job. But my confidence was soon deflated as my experienced friends critiqued my performance. I wasn’t invested enough in the character…I needed to dig deeper into the feelings she was experiencing…The scene was too slow, sucking the energy out of the character.

One of my friends said, “You’re playing too safe. Make strong choices. Commit to and believe your line that says, ‘Don’t be afraid to take a risk.’” The truth was, for a moment, I just wanted to walk away.

But I knew acting required me to take a risk.

So I did. With the camera off, we replayed the scene over and over, and each time they both encouraged me to go deeper, to feel the heart of the character and express it at a more realistic level.

And soon I was in the groove. I was fully invested in the scene, feeling each word as if it were my own. We were ready to turn on the camera.

My character took over. The camera rolled and I, Vonda, disappeared as “Mitzi” moved and spoke and challenged her young friend at the bakery counter.

“Proceeding with caution,” I/Mitzi said, nodding approval. “Very wise.” My heart pounded in my chest. I was there, feeling her emotion, dispensing her advice, thinking nothing of Vonda or who she was. I was Mitzi!

The moment I’d been building to was here…my signature line, to be spoken with wisdom and confidence and a touch of spice. It was the best taping yet—I was on right on target!

The sage in me leaned in, winked across the counter, and announced, “Don’t be apwaid to take a wisk.”

Bwwaaaaaahhhhhaaaaa!!!!!! Don’t be apwaid to take a wisk? Did I really say that?

Did that unexpected, unplanned, and undesired, second rate Elmer Fudd impersonation really come from MY mouth?

The next second my actress friend and I fell to the floor as our giggle boxes flipped end-over-end in laughter. (You girls know–the kind that will mean cleaning the mascara from your cheeks and completely redoing your make-up.)

Our poor video guy did the usual guy thing and laughed for a few minutes, then watched with a kind, wholly-male smile. Every time my friend and I thought we were getting it under control, we’d look at each other or one of us would repeat the line and it would all start over. For at least five minutes, maybe ten.

But you know what? That night I took a risk, invested everything I had in the moment, only to have it turn around and bite me in the funny bone. And although we tried several more times, I never quite got back to that deep groove level.

But at least I overcame the fear and took the risk.

I wonder if Noah and Moses and Joshua and Esther were ever afraid of taking a risk. What if they had been confident in their own ability, only to realize they didn’t measure up? What if they’d fought against God’s instruction to invest in their roles with all they had? What if they had refused to dig deep, down to the emotions and giftings God had placed in them for such a time as this?

The truth is, without their willingness to overcome fear and take a risk, history would have been a different story; this world would have been a different place.

You know what, dear friend? God has such a role for each of us. It may not mean He’ll separate a sea so we can lead others through it on dry land, but it could mean that friends, family, and acquaintances could come to know Him through our leading. Would we be willing to invest in that role, digging deep into all it would mean and require of us?

Would we be willing to make strong choices, overcome our fears, and take a risk?

If not, perhaps we’re not really committed to the role, but impersonating a second rate copy instead…meaning God will have to give the part to someone else.

Don’t be apwaid to take a wisk. 🙂

(PS: I just found out yesterday I did get one of the other parts! Yay!)

(Photo courtesy of cooldesign/


The Winner of Phoebe Leggett’s Book, My Time to Grieve, is…

Friends, you’re not going to believe it, but Phoebe Leggett has graciously offered to give away not one, but THREE copies of her book! Hoo-wee! Thank you, Phoebe!

Today’s three winners are Tammy Whitehurst, Marilyn Nutter, and Catherine Young. Congratulations, dear friends! Just contact me with your mailing addresses and your books will be on the way.

And for those who didn’t receive a free gift, you can visit Phoebe’s website to order your own copies.

Thank you, dear Phoebe, for your kindness to us and to those who will benefit from your words. I pray God blesses you and your ministry to our grieving brothers and sisters around the world.


And thank you, dear friends, for joining me week after week here at the Christian Writer’s Den. You bless me with your presence and your words. Without you, this Den would be a lonely place. 🙂

Blessings on all your projects!



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  • Celeste Vaughan

    I love it! I think my favorite part about acting would be laughing at all the bloopers! 😉

    • I love bloopers and love laughing at my own. 🙂

  • Beth

    Had such a great time taking a wisk. You are so talented and gracious and a giving actor!

    • Thank YOU for your excellent coaching. It was a fun night, that’s for sure! And readers, if you’re reading this comment…Beth is my actress friend in the story. 🙂

  • kimberly long

    Awesome. Congwatuwations!! I knew you would get it even before you said so! : )

    • I’m glad you knew, Kimberly, because I sure didn’t! Thanks. 🙂

  • Haha, I love that line. I think this should be your 2012 motto!

    And congratulations on getting a role! Or should I say ‘rongratulations on cetting a cole’?

    • Yes, I must admit, this is becoming a frequent mantra. So remember, Don’t be apwaid to take a wisk!

  • Cindy Patterson

    I’m so excited for you and can’t wait to see it:)! Thanks for sharing your wisdom and allowing us to share in your joy and laughter!

  • Oh girl…I was rolling in the floor with you on this one. And in the end, inhaled every piece of sage wisdom 🙂 Love it. Love you. And thrilled you got a part!

    • Glad you enjoyed it, Jo Ann. Thanks for celebrating with me!

  • Catherine Young

    Your words are encouraging. Friday, March 23 — I told my dissertation adviser, it was no or never — I am finishing this paper! The next day — my ministry partner and best friend died — talk about a focus killer. It’s been hard work on the paper, given my real confusion of the next step. But with my counselor reminding me of my own words, that God will open a door that is in front of me with the completion of my degree — I need to keep moving forward, despite the circumstances (storms) going on around me.
    That’s the message I read from your words and I need to hear them repeated for a while to reming me that God has a plan for my life, one to prosper and not harm me (Jer. 29:11). Thanks Vonda for the gentle, loving nudge.

    • Sweet Cathy, I’m thankful God allowed a funny story to minister truth to you today. You have been taking risks for Christ ever since I’ve known you. We both know He something great in store for you.

      I hate that you’re suffering with this deep loss. I pray His comfort and peace as you begin to work through the grief of losing such a dear friend, and I pray Phoebe’s book will be a great help to you .

  • Janellewoodyard

    Congwats on getting the part. 🙂 That’s awesome!

  • Tracy Crump

    Somehow I knew this experience was going to turn out funny. You make me laugh, Vonda!

  • Bitsy Rawlings

    I am adopting this as my new life motto… especially going into my first speaking event in May…. LOL!!!!

    Congrats on the role!

    • Yep, it’s definitely taken on a life of its own with several of my friends!

  • Cathy Baker

    Congrats on your new role, Vonda! Great post…

  • Senter, Marie

    Ray to goo,,,,,,er,,,,,,way to go! Once upon a trime, I saw a sister/daughter share about being a
    care taker/giver and the heart beat strong between the screams of laughter….thank you friend for sharing your God given acting/communicating talent. And ray to goo! Marie Senter

    • You’re so funny, Marie! Glad you enjoyed it. 🙂

  • Great story, Vonda 🙂 And congratulations! So excited for you. Keep us posted on the progress of the film!

    • Hi Cheryl. I’m excited about the film, too. Will try to remember to let you know when I know more.

  • I’m so proud of you, Vonda, and happy for you!!! Girl, I love how you live and laugh and share yourself with us!!

    • Isn’t it fun to laugh at ourselves and then share it with our friends? 🙂

  • Marilynturkwriter

    Thank you for starting my day with a laugh! In fact, I’m still laughing over your spilled tea episode!
    Seriously, sometimes it seems that just looking at my email is taking a risk. It reminds me of the risks I’ve taken to send out my work as I wait for responses. It’s scary, but how else will you “land the part” unless you take the risk? Congratulations on getting a part in the film!

    • Great point, Marilyn–how can we “land the part” if we don’t take a risk and send it out?

  • Marciagaddis

    I am putting this above my computer. “Don’t be apwaid to take a wisk!”
    And I will smile and dive in.
    Vonda, one of your best, I think.

    • Hahahahaha! I’m glad I can encourage you at your computer with my profound wisdom. 🙂 Glad you enjoyed it, Marcia. Even now, I’ll be hard at work, not even thinking about it, and suddenly it’ll pop into my head…and I’ll start laughing. 🙂

  • Hi Vonda,

    Boy, can I relate to messing up on something when I thought I knew it. I love your experience of taking a risk and going deep. I can see the laughter too.

    I hope to someday be involved in more drama. So far I’ve done a little, but I dream of doing more.

    Thanks for the reminder and congrats on getting a part.

    • Hey Tiffany, maybe we’ll be able to do something together with drama at church sometime.

      • I’m going to pray for God to connect us. 🙂 PS I missed the cut out date for the conference scholarship, but maybe God will make a way another way.

        • Great! Your church or mine? 🙂

          I do hope you’re able to make it to the Christian Communicators Conference. It’s an amazing experience to come together as women who love the Lord and want to share His mercy, grace, and love!

  • Kimberli

    Thanks for sharing that, and congratulations on winning the role!

  • Dianaleaghmatthews

    Vonda, Thank you for the wonderful reminder! Congratulation on the role.

    • Thanks for your kind words, Diana! It was a fun experience. 🙂

  • Cynthia Lovely

    Love this! I’ll be thinking of that line all day…
    Thanks for sharing the story and congrats on getting a part!

    • Yes, my friends and I have adopted it as our new mantra. 🙂

  • Busygirlann

    Wow Vonda, it’s great that you got a role in the movie. Can’t wait to hear more about it!

  • Lkparks

    That brought tears to my eyes, dear Vonda. I needed to hear that this morning! Bless you and miss you!
    Linda Parks

    • I’m hoping it was tears of laughter! 🙂 I miss you, too.

  • Julie Garmon

    Ohhhh, how I loved this!!! Being one who is prone to shying away from taking wisks, it made me laugh at myself–seeing myself in you! And huge congrats on getting a role!!! xoxo xoxo

    • Funny Julie, I wouldn’t expect you to be shy about taking risks. And I’m glad you could see yourself in me. I hope I’m not in there alone! 🙂

  • I always look forward to coming into the Den, and I love that you don’t take yourself too seriously. That’s refreshing in a Christian speaker.
    BTW – Congwats on the new wole!! 😉

    • Hahahaha, Susan! You’re a woman after my own heart!

  • marcia moston

    Love the new paraphrased version of fear not! And congrats on your role.

    • What a great concept, Marcia! I didn’t think to word it that way. Thanks!

  • Vonda, you bless me! In so many ways, you inspire, encourage, and humor me to do what you suggest here–not to be afraid to take a risk! That’s exactly what I’ll be doing this morning–taking a risk. I’ll let you know next month how it goes. Can’t wait to see you in the movies!

    • Oo-oo-oo, you’ve got my curiosity up! Can’t wait to hear!