Engaging Culture

Lead With Your Talent – Not With Your Faith

Whenever I’m interviewed in magazines or on radio, the interviewer eventually gets around to the question: “What advice would you give a young Christian for coming to Hollywood?” Well if you’ve ever wondered about that question, here’s my advice:

Don’t lead with your faith, lead with your talent.

Too many Christian filmmakers – even with the best intentions – come to LA and the first thing out of their mouths is their spiritual motivation. Lines like:  God told me to come. I’m here to take Hollywood for Christ. God gave me this movie idea. 

Guess what? It may be true, but nobody cares.  Hollywood producers, production companies, and studios don’t exist to make your spiritual calling come true. They’re not here to help you discover your divinely appointed purpose.  They’re here to make a profit.

Lead with your testimony, and you’ll be laughed out of the building. But lead with your talent – and if that talent is good – it will get people’s attention.

The entertainment and media industry is looking for great actors, directors, producers, writers, and more. Studios are looking for talented creative people with ideas and projects that can get people into a theater or in front of a TV.

If you accomplish that, they’ll likely listen to whatever you have to say.

Get into position by using your gifts and talents – and then the door will open for you to share your faith and accomplish your calling.

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  1. Phil, exactly right. be the best and make yourself stand out -that is what will get attention. Your faith will keep you grounded, and the right time will come to speak up. thank you

  2. Years ago I was blessed with a private back lot tour in Burbank. I was toying with the idea of seeing if I could find a job in the industry. During the tour I asked a backlot employee what does one have to do to get a job in the industry? He replied, “You need to develop something the industry needs…in affect, creating your own door into the system.” Then he added with a smirk, “Or be a relative of someone in the industry.”

    So you are correct Phil. You cannot wander around LA looking for a job because you feel called. You need to have tangible, above the ordinary, talents or expertise that the industry needs. If you are called, you will have doors open to learn and prove you can deliver a tangible product the industry needs. Or…if you are a relative, you can get in making a lot of quality workers very nervous. LOL Not the way I would want to be received.

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