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As some of you know, I do a little acting. Nothing big. I donāt have stars in my eyes and certainly donāt 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. Itās 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. Thereās a great film in the works in Asheville, one Iād 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 Iād never done before.
Iām 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 wasnāt invested enough in the characterā¦I needed to dig deeper into the feelings she was experiencingā¦The scene was too slow, sucking the energy out of the character.
One of my friends said, āYouāre playing too safe. Make strong choices. Commit to and believe your line that says, āDonāt be afraid to take a risk.āā 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 āMitziā moved and spoke and challenged her young friend at the bakery counter.
āProceeding with caution,ā I/Mitzi said, nodding approval. āVery wise.ā 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 Iād been building to was hereā¦my signature line, to be spoken with wisdom and confidence and a touch of spice. It was the best taping yetāI was on right on target!
The sage in me leaned in, winked across the counter, and announced, āDonāt be apwaid to take a wisk.ā
Bwwaaaaaahhhhhaaaaa!!!!!! Donāt 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, weād 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 didnāt measure up? What if theyād fought against Godās 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 Heāll 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 weāre not really committed to the role, but impersonating a second rate copy instead…meaning God will have to give the part to someone else.
Donāt 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/FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
The Winner of Phoebe Leggettās Book, My Time to Grieve, isā¦
Friends, youāre 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!
Todayās 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 Writerās 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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