Thursday, February 14, 2008

To gig or not to gig...

Regarding my previous post, I've written 2 of 5 pages this week. I thought I'd knock it out on my day off Monday, but it didn't work out so well. I still have a few days to find the time to finish. I'm speaking at VCC for the next two weekends. Add in midweek and a few other teaching gigs this week and my brain is getting a little tired.

My agent here landed me a nice little gig as the spokesperson for Time Warner. It would mean regional tv spots, etc. I'm not sure that I'm going to do it though. It's straight to camera stuff and I wonder if some folks wouldn't be able to see me as acting vs. somehow endorsing a company. This is stuff I didn't have to worry about as much in LA, but several thousand people in Cincinnati are starting to recognize me as "The Vineyard guy" and I wonder if seeing me sell cable service would be confusing. I think this is going to be a lifelong struggle. If I was an accountant who became a pastor I could do people's taxes in my spare time and nobody would care or notice. Acting is such a very strange career, and it would seem especially strange as a second career for a church leader. Dropping out of the scene completely would feel like losing touch with the one thing that connects me to the local culture and economy. There are lots of things less visible that I'll get to do though, so I'm thinking I'll pass on this one. The worst part is telling your agent who works hard for you that you don't want to do a gig - that's how they pay the bills, so it sucks to say no to them.

It's been a long time since I've written about this stuff here...funny how a blog shows clearly the things a person is into at different stages of life.

7 comments:

jennifer king said...

i admire your decision. i'm a free-lancing orchestral musician, so i can appreciate the need to stay viable in a highly specialized field. it IS hard to say no to a gig, but i think you made the right decision.

. said...

I must say it is strange/cool to have a pastor who is an actor. I wonder sometimes when you teach "is he just acting?" Nothing you can do about what I think, or people's perceptions. Though I imagine as a pastor you do have to consider people's perceptions. I think you are as good a teaching pastor as you are because you have acting training/experience. You are able to make what you teach come alive and I for one enjoy it and learn better because of it.
Pesonally I would have gotten a kick out of seeing my pastor on TV..."Hey look it's MY pastor!" I'd brag to all my friends whose pastors do not act. :-)

LTorres said...

If there is a church in town that would be cool with a teaching pastor doing commercials it’d be ours. I think you’ve been a great addition to an excellent staff. Thanks for being here.

Sandy Maudlin said...

I remember what you said several months ago about teaching vs acting. When you're in front of church, you said you're the real thing, no acting, totally who you are. And you said it's just the opposite for acting, of course.

So few people are the 'real' thing ever. That some can be - because they know their source - is one of the things that helps make VCC pretty great. Whatever choices you make, your willingness to keep the 'real' you visible when it matters is awesome.
Thanks. For all you are.

Thomas said...

Imagine you were offered a reoccurring role on LOST; you would be gone from VCC in the blink of an eye, (I would go too) with the gracious blessing of VCC. Imagine you were making a living as an actor; you would not be compelled to be a church leader. It’s a simple fact of life for all working people (accountants, staffers, clerks), you go to where your bread is buttered and nothing is wrong with that. Act if you want to act, preach if you want to preach, write if you want to write. A lot of actors do odd jobs between gigs, yours just happens to be preaching. Go for it all!

Susan said...

I think that seeing you on TV would be a great conversation starter with friends. How many people could end up at the Vineyard becuase they wanted to see if this actor was really a preacher? I think you should go for it!

C. Randall Waters said...

Joe, I think it would be awesome for you to continue to pursue your acting passion. I believe that if anyone could handle this in a way that would not be controversial it would be you. Being on TV to promote a product would also work as a way to promote the VCC mission. Having another way to connect to a pastor could help bring so many new faces into the church.
Today you spoke about the E word and how basically all we are to do is invite friends to be in a room with Christ. How awesome would it be to have a way to bring that up. "Oh you like that time warner guy... well come see him live this sunday at my church." I don't see a problem with it.
I think as long as you are upfront and honest about who you are and what your mission is God will bless this and use it as a tool for many.