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> Christianity And Hollywood..., How far is too far?
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kelaorqu 
Posted: 17-Mar-2004, 11:39 PM
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Hey Everyone!
I have a sister who is majoring in drama and is currently doing the play MacBeth. The only difference is that the director has modified it and made it gang style. My sister, who is a strong Christian, is casted as a prostitute (one of the 'witches') and is struggling with it.

So here's the question... Can a Christian rationalize being an actor/actrice and playing characters that do not give glory to God? I realise that as an actor you are playing someone.. and are not actually them, but the Christian community, or any community for that matter, has a hard time separating the two.

As Christians, we are called to be pure and holy. Are we able to act role which involve sex, swearing, provocative actions, etc.?

I also struggled with this last year somewhat when I was cast in the role of a "Nazi" type character that I myself hated. It was a real stretch for me because I am not like that at all! I love acting, and i know my sister does too. Is it necessary to give it up because we are Christians?


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Elspeth 
Posted: 18-Mar-2004, 10:45 AM
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That is a tough one and one that highlights the struggle of living in the world but not being of the world.

Everyone has make these decisions on their own. It is between them and God. That may sound like a cop out, but that is the only way. If God doesn't want us to do things, He will tell us so, if we ask. I find the asking the hardest part because I'm afraid I might get an answer I don't want to hear. rolleyes.gif

But, that is where faith comes in. To believe God will provide what is best in the long term, even if it seems hard now.

I remember when I was in high school (many moons ago) I was in a small select choir. The director wanted to do the old song 'Makin Whoopie'. One of the girls believed the lyrics to not be what a Christian would sing. She gave up her spot on the choir over it. I always admired her stregnth of conviction.


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DesertRose 
Posted: 19-Mar-2004, 08:34 AM
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Keloraqu! One of my very best friends is an aspiring actress in Hollywood. It is very hard for her to get roles as she has very definite guidelines as to how far she is willing to go in a role. ..................so consequently she doesn't get that many parts. Right now she is doing a play in her church, which is great, but she really wants to do major film work ! It is a very very difficult place for these actors to be in. I just really feel for them. You're between a rock and a hard place. sad.gif


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Elspeth 
Posted: 19-Mar-2004, 09:18 AM
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I think all Christian artists come up against this.

I write and I know there are times I struggle with how graphic to get in language and actions. I have to make characters realistic to the way people really behave, but I don't want to do anything that is 'glorifying' what goes against God. But to paint the good, you have to paint the evil.

That might be something to consider. In the Lord of the Rings someone had to play Sauron, for if there wasn't the evil, there would have been no way for the good to shine through.

I look at being a Christian and an artist this way, I ask myself who is my audience. Am I trying to reach out to only those who already know God? There certianly is a need for that. To nurture Christian souls. But I feel the messages in my works to be more for the general populous. So, I have to speak the language of who I am trying to reach. If I have to use a questionable word or two to create a character I will do it, if in the message in its entirety is one of God.

Look at the big picture, look what the overall message of the production is. If it is one of value then give your part in it some consideration and then let your God given conscious be your guide. It is a tough one. But I think deep down you will know which parts you are comfortable with.

Peace be with you
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kelaorqu 
Posted: 19-Mar-2004, 06:17 PM
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thanks for your replies and thoughts guys! I guess that when it comes down to it, every Christian is going to come in conflict with the world wherever he or she goes. In business it's ethics, in medicine it's the value of human life etc. Arts, however, seems to get the most critisms from other Christians.

It's almost impossible to write "Christian" current day novels or play current-day roles because moral ethics don't exist in our current society and swearing is such a part of culture that it almost doesn't seem realistic if it is not there. It's a sad reflection... I wonder if it makes it right though? I hate it when I read Christian literature or watch plays full of swearing because these Christians are just trying to make this huge statement that they're "modern" Christians that can be comfortable with swearing. This is coming out wrong, but I hope you get the message smile.gif

But in any case it's not an easy issue. I came pretty much to the same conclusion as you, Elspeth, when I had to represent nazism last year. I figured that there will always be evil, and someone needs to represent it. In the end it was a really good experiance and I'm glad I did it.



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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 20-Mar-2004, 04:26 PM
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QUOTE (kelaorqu @ Mar 17 2004, 11:39 PM)
I have a sister who is majoring in drama and is currently doing the play MacBeth. The only difference is that the director has modified it and made it gang style. My sister, who is a strong Christian, is casted as a prostitute (one of the 'witches') and is struggling with it.

So here's the question... Can a Christian rationalize being an actor/actress and playing characters that do not give glory to God? I realise that as an actor you are playing someone.. and are not actually them, but the Christian community, or any community for that matter, has a hard time separating the two.

Here's what I think, to address your original question:
Every person is created by God, no matter what their eventual behavior or actions. In the real world, even witches or prostitutes are loved by God although what they chose to do distances them from Him. In their stories dramatised in a play or movie, we can see the effects of their choices: for a prostitute, how the lack of self-respect can lead to her eventual destruction due to veneral disease, for example.


The character you play might not give any glory to God, but they might give an example of what happens to a human being when they choose to rebel against God and His teachings.

Siobhan


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The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king..."
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Shamalama 
Posted: 23-Mar-2004, 01:56 PM
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I graduated college with a degree in Theatre (major in Acting, minor in Directing). It was around my graduation that I started to feel a pull back to church. I then had to come to terms with the exact situation you're describing.

For me it was to forget all about acting. I knew that my home was with my wife and family, and my church. How could I do that while doing the things required of today's actors? How could I spend 3 months of filming and kissing this gorgeous actress, and then return to my waiting wife? How could I swear and kill, even if only "make believe" and then teach Sunday School?

I picked up my hobby, computers, and turned into my career. I've never looked back.



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Siobhan Blues 
Posted: 26-Mar-2004, 03:00 PM
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Well I sure admire your decision! You're really taking a stand there. You know more about the kind of temptations in the acting business than I do... if you didn't feel strongly that you should pursue it, then it was wise to get out.

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