Engaging Culture

A Response To An Actress Who Wants To Be Famous

Recently, Dr. Larry Poland, founder of Mastermedia International received a letter from a very sincere sixteen-year old who obviously is serious about her Christian faith and said she aspires to use her singing talent for God.  In her letter she wanted Larry’s advice about coming to Hollywood to become a “famous Christian singer.”  After about a week of praying over his response, Dr. Poland wrote the young girl we’ll call “Lucy” the following letter – and it’s a letter you should consider sharing with others with the same goal:

Dear Lucy,

Thanks for your letter sharing your dream of becoming a “famous Christian singer.” My friend, what I am going to say in this letter may seem discouraging to you, but you have to understand that I have worked in Hollywood since 1980 and have seen literally hundreds of bright, committed young men and women aspire to a dream like yours. Frankly, your letter frightened me . . . for three reasons:

First, fewer than two percent of the hundreds of thousands of performers who aspire to make it in the entertainment business ever achieve a level at which they can even make a living, much less be a big success.

Second, the entertainment industry has a way of destroying one’s faith.  Take Miley Cyrus as an example. She was on fire for Jesus, had her personal testimony for Christ on the home page of her website, and now is into sex, drugs, and rock and roll.  In my opinion, her life is in shambles, and her family is broken because of the Hanna Montana show (according to her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus). Miley’s experience is typical. I have a hard time thinking of more than a handful who have experienced great success and kept their commitment to Jesus intact.

Third, the word “famous” scares me the most.  You used it twice. Lucy, we don’t come to serve Jesus on the condition that He makes us rich, famous, or successful. We come to serve Him with all our hearts, even if we never become rich, famous, or successful. He made it clear that unless we give up all we aspire to, we cannot be His disciple. Please get over the idea that you cannot serve Him unless you get famous. You will probably serve Him better if you do not.

Become the best singer you can become, get the best training, and use your gifts everywhere and anywhere you can for His glory.  If he chooses to give you wealth, fame, or success, it will be because He knows you can handle it without it destroying your relationship with Him. Your relationship with Jesus is the most important thing to Him and should be to you as well.

May God guide you into the path of success . . . as He defines it.

God’s best,
Larry W. Poland, Ph.D.
Chairman and CEO
Mastermedia International

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  1. Great article. I work for a television program and every now and then we put people on camera. The number one “red flag” to me is when someone lobbies to be on camera… if they lobby for it, they are disqualified from appearing on it. That simple. It shows where someone’s heart is.

  2. I’m sure this letter wasn’t easy for this girl to read, but it’s truth and I hope she can learn to see that and grow from it. Music was my first passion. Although I wasn’t after “fame”, I did want to make a living at it. I saw some of my friends get contracts, move to Tennessee (the Christian music capitol at the time), had to make compromises and were ultimately unhappy. I didn’t want to go down that path. I made the decision that I could better serve God in other ways. That decision was made on January 1, 1995 and by 2000 I stopped playing even as a hobby. God ended up using me in ways I never imagined – and had nothing to do with music – when I gave up what was most precious to me… and as a huge bonus I was married to the most wonderful Christian woman by November of 1995. Before that I was married to the idea of “making it” in the music business. 🙂

  3. Because he prayed over the letter I believe the response is probably correct for her but I don’t think it applies to everyone.

    My faith was dead until I started to pursue something greater than me that gives you no choice but to lean on God or you cannot go forward.

    However, the Christ bashing in the Hollywood arena is extraordinarily heavy and you must be incredibly reliant on God and ready for battle every minute (which is easily tiring!) So you have to grow!

    If he calls you, you go.

    The key to this letter are his last words
    “May God guide you into the path of success . . . as He defines it.”

    My life was lacking staying in the safe zone, I just have to wonder and hope she listens to God before any others advice for her.

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