Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves; so be shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves.
Matthew 10:16 (NASB)
I never really grasped this verse for its full meaning. As a religion major, I always thought that I'd be on the inside coaching others to do the work of Christ. I had it all planned to where I would empower others and be that coach. Life has a funny twist to it, leaving me to turn a hobby (writing/performing stand-up) into something that could be profitable. I've learned the real value about this verse and how it's played into my life as of right now. The purpose of this particular article is to encourage those that feel led and called into the entertainment industry as a performer. It could never really hurt anyone to learn from another brother or sister that is in the arena that you could see yourself in and learn everything from them. This article will examine the thought process of being a sheep in the wolf-atmosphere that is the entertainment industry, and how to be shred and yet innocent.
The entertainment industry is definitely a community. Each cog works for the betterment of the others. This is the underlying goal of each part; the actor, comedian, dancer, etc. to the casting director and executive producer. However, there are promoters and other people who do exploit. Here is how to spot these kinds of individuals:
- The Sales Pitch: In my experience thus far, if it sounds like everything that you want to hear be very cautious. This raises a red flag partly because they could be looking for their bottom line.
- Professionalism: As a performer, I operate on a call time. A show is at 8:00PM, I get there by the earliest at 7:30PM. If the person you're working with doesn't have that kind of discipline, begin to raise your guards.
- Their Fruit: We all know about this. What I mean here is should they always blow everything up, raise that flag.
- Attitude: This goes along with the fruit they bear. Should they cut you for any reason, and you know you did your best then begin to look around. Most cities will have other promoters to work with.
- Time: This is for my comedian brothers and sisters. Should you know you're nobody is a featured act yet everybody gets 7 minutes of stage time, run and run away fast.
Being that I've shown how to spot a wolf, here's how to spot a Christian or someone ethical to work with: Should they understand, have great professionalism and the show not run past time (by two hours) then these are people to keep around since they'll help you succeed on your path to becoming an entertainer.
Remember these steps as well:
- It is okay to say no: Especially if you're a comedian. Not every room is worth the time or patience.
- Be affable: Never ever show it physically that you're disgusted. Complain and whine about it with another person.
- Be friendly: It's not casting pearls to the swine. Everybody deserves respect and it's our job as Christians to exemplify that.
- Pay Attention: Some promoters do show favoritism. It's great to get along with everybody, and also a great safety measure to always pay attention to your surroundings.
- Hand It Up: When you have a bad performance (or for us comedians: bad set/bombing) it's great to hand it up to God and let it go.
It's a hard life out there no matter what walk of life. So always keep these verses in the back of your brain and live them out:
Luke 10:3: “Go, behold I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves.”
Matt. 24:25: “Behold, I have told you in advance.
Rom. 16:19: For the report of your obedience has reached to all; therefore I am rejoicing over you, but I want you to be wise in what is good and innocent* in what is evil.
Keep this in mind. Brothers and Sisters who go see our brethren who perform, pray for them constantly. We are a body of firm believers and should stand in solidarity. Peace.