Monday, October 31, 2011
Monday, October 24, 2011
Writing on the Wall: How many plays have you been apart of before Love Wins?
Danielle Reed: I have been in plays since I was in high school, mostly church and school productions. I’ve always played supporting roles in these plays. I was Mary in A Portrait of Christ, and my favorite role, Mary Annette and Dusty in Cowboy Bob’s Wrangling Rodeo Hour.
WOTW: Who do you play?
DR: I play Jennifer Bankston, wife of Mitchell and mother to Esther.
WOTW: How would you describe Jennifer?
DR: Jennifer is a complex character who goes through a range of emotion, but I think when it comes right down to it, she’s just searching. Searching for something to make her complete. She has this tremendous love and devotion for her daughter, but at the same time I think she knows there is something missing. I think the same is true for the way she feels about Mitch. I have no doubt she loves him, but part of the reason she runs to Harrison is that she feels something about their relationship isn’t what it should be. Something is missing.
WOTW: Were there any hurdles in playing her?
DR: This was by far the hardest role I have ever played. I think what made it so hard was the range of emotion Jennifer goes through. At the beginning, we see this fun-loving kind of personality, but then as events unfold, she acts betrayed then guilty then empty. It was very difficult to change emotions so quickly and portray those emotions in a believable way.
WOTW: What makes Jennifer tick? What do you think she wants out of life?
DR: As I said before I think she’s searching for that one thing that will make her complete, but she doesn’t know exactly what it is. She wants people to believe she has it all together. I think that’s what motivates her to do what she does. She is involved in all kind of organizations, goes to Esther’s PTA meetings, and fabricates the story about Mitch and Audrey; all so that others believe she has it all together. I believe what she truly wants out of life is to find that key to true joy, and I believe she finds that through accepting Jesus as her Savior. The evidence of that is in the way she responds to everything that happens after that moment in the play. She takes full responsibility for the pain she has caused, but even through her pain she still has this peace that we don’t see earlier on.
WOTW: Did you learn anything from Jennifer?
DR: I have renewed appreciation and love for my husband. After seeing the hurt her choices caused her family, it makes me realize how precious my husband is and how important it is to be honest and open with him. I do not want to find myself in a situation where I am the cause of hurt like that. I also believe her story is one more example of God’s amazing grace, and it was awesome to be reminded of that through Jennifer’s story.
WOTW: How did you get along with the rest of the cast?
DR: This cast was amazing! The talent of the actors and actresses in this play just blew me away. I loved every minute of working with them. We laughed together (even at times when we shouldn’t have), we felt frustration together, and we felt successes together. Even when I was tired after working all day, I always looked forward to going to play practice because I knew I would get to be with my friends.
WOTW: What’s it like working in an ensemble?
DR: Honestly, at first I thought this was going to be the most complicated thing to rehearse because there were so many people, but now I wouldn’t change my experience with these people at all. Being in an ensemble, we all worked together as a team. What helped was us all having the same focus and vision. From the beginning, we all knew God was going to do something amazing with this play and we could all sense that. From there it was just a matter of getting all the kinks worked out. And we did. Being in an ensemble to me just meant I had that many more people supporting me as I struggled through a difficult scene or finally got the right emotion for the moment. And it was great being that support for others, too. It was a really awesome thing to hear us all cheer for someone when they nailed a scene or see us all struggle as one of the cast members worked through a difficult scene. And, we are all better actors and better friends because of it!
WOTW: Do you have a favorite scene?
DR: As hard as it was for me to act in, I love the last scene. Seeing the change God can do in two people is just amazing! And the girl in me loves that the story has a hint of a happy ending. I also thought Esther’s song was so beautiful. Hannah did an amazing job of capturing Esther’s heart. It brought me to tears every night we performed.
WOTW: What do you hope Love Wins will accomplish?
DR: My hope is that Love Wins will reach the hearts of those who truly need to hear its message. Love Wins sends a powerful message about the reality of divorce and the lives that are affected by it. I truly hope we can share this play with people, not just at Meadowview, but across our area and beyond that need to hear how God can change the outcome through His Love. Even if we never perform it again, my prayer is that one life will change as a result of seeing God’s amazing love.
Thanks so much Danielle!!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
Monday, October 17, 2011
Wednesday, October 12, 2011
Hannah Killian: I have been in a couple of minor church plays before Love Wins. They were mostly small parts in children’s Christmas plays, or the occasional silent “Mary” in the adult plays.
WOTW: Who do you play?
HK: I play the role of a teenage girl Esther.
WOTW: How would you describe Esther?
HK: Esther is a typical teenager going through a whirlwind of emotions. She is a pretty defensive character who struggles with finding out how God is playing a role in her life.
WOTW: What was your favorite part about, Love Wins?
HK: My favorite part of Love Wins was the overall transformation of the characters. You see every emotion imaginable throughout the play. As each character develops you see a different side of them, their true colors show. This transformation was my favorite thing to experience.
WOTW: What motivates Esther?
HK: To me, Esther is motivated by her curiosity. She is trying to find reasoning behind the circumstances that are occurring. She is angry at the situation and seeks God with her curious heart to find the answers.
WOTW: Did you learn anything from Esther?
HK: Esther was a very easy and very difficult character to play. Through learning the lines, and getting into the character and emotions, Esther began to rub off on me. I began to see her transform even through the horrible situation. Esther turned to God and let Him take control. That is one thing that I personally struggle with, letting God have control. Esther showed me that even thru what we believe to be the worst of times, God will never leave us and He will always have control.
WOTW: How did you get along with the rest of the cast?
HK: We got along great! We had so much fun working together. Since I’m new at the church, it was fun for me to get to know everyone better. We had several good laughs and I wouldn’t trade that time for anything.
WOTW: What’s it like working in an ensemble?
HK: It was a very enjoyable experience. The cast are all very talented actors and actresses. We used each others strengths and weeknesses to better ourselves. It was really nice to be able to play off of each casts emotions to build the scene up.
WOTW: Did you write the song, Always?
HK: I did write the lyrics and music for the song Always. I had the majority of the song written within a weeks time, and tweaked it for 3 more weeks or so. I so appreciate the opportunity my youth pastor, Jason, gave me when he asked me to write a song for Love Wins. At first it was a huge challenge for me, but God brought me the words and He ultimately deserves the praise for this song. I hope this song was and will continue to be a ministry to people.
WOTW: Have you ever written a song for a play or another event before?
HK: No, this was the first song I have ever written for something like this. I write songs mostly for fun; on my own time, and about whatever I want. It was quite an experience to have a timeframe and also a story behind the song. It was a different kind of writing and I enjoyed it thoroughly.
WOTW: The outpouring for your song as been fantastic, how have you handled it?
HK: I has been amazing how much everyone has commented on the song. I had no idea that people would like it. I was very very scared that it would get a negative response, and for the longest time I wanted to rewrite the whole thing. I didn’t let anyone hear the song before the play except for cast members. I wanted the song to be a complete surprise to my family and friends and that made me even more anxious. But, I am so grateful for everyone’s support and positive feedback. It has meant the world to me, and is encouraging me to continue with writing more songs.
WOTW: Are you writing any new songs now?
HK: I am working on a few new songs. I have slacked off on my writing lately, but I am inspired and looking forward to some time to begin writing again. I have a couple songs completely written as of now, and several unfinished. I hope to have at least four more songs completed by the end of the year.
WOTW: How would you encourage someone to go see, Love Wins?
HK: I want to encourage EVERYONE to see Love Wins. No matter what you are going through or whatever your situation, each and every person can take something away for this play. Whether you are struggling with separation from your spouse, a previous divorce, as a teenager who doesn’t understand God, or someone who is merely doubting God’s love, this play will bring you closer to God. Love Wins will take you on an emotional ride that you may think is your life. I have had several of my friends and family see the play more than once, because of how it ministered to them the first time. I believe Love Wins is a must see. It can provide healing and comfort for those in need.
Fantastic interview! Huge thanks to Hannah Killian for taking the time to talk to us. We can't wait to see what you do next!!
Join us for another Love Wins cast interview in a few days!
Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Monday, October 3, 2011
I was about 30 yards away when Momma-Dog and her baby saw me and started running toward me like I was Santa on Christmas morning. They knew I had food. I was just carrying a bag. I have no idea how they knew. It wasn't a dog food bag. It was a generically unmarked bag with dry dog food in it. I've seen this before. It means only one thing...Kati has already gotten to them. I have no idea how she does it. I'm not sure if she texts them, sneaks out while I'm asleep, or clicks a little Morse Code with a flashlight. It's quite remarkable if you think about it. I will say I was a little surprised when they both were wearing "I heart Kati" t-shirts.
I'm trying to maintain a positive outlook here, so I led the dogs back around the church to the gym doors (where I fed them before). The whole time we were walking over there Momma-Dog and her baby were jumping up and down wanting the food in the bag. They were sniffing, licking their lips, and I think I heard Momma-Dog ask, "How's Kati?" but I'm not sure. I look back and I saw Jr. Bam Margera and his two buddies perfecting their Ollies. We get over to the gym doors and I pour out the food. They are all over it! Eating like crazy. They were so excited, they got some dirt on their "I heart Kati" shirts, but I had a Tide-to-go pen so no worries.
The perfect time to make a getaway is while they eat. I jog around the church and make it back to the main parking lot and our little skaters have moseyed on up the parking lot.
"Hey what's going on guys?"
"Aren't you skateboarding?"
confused yet still quiet, "Um....................yeah?"
I walked up and introduced myself and shook their hands. They opened up a little and told me their names, but still looked guilty for something (got to love those teenagers). I turned to leave and left them with the salutation I leave almost every teenager I'm around, "Great talking to you guys. Be careful and don't break anything." I was probably five steps away when one of them said:
"Hey, them your dogs? (yes we live in the South)
"No, I'm just feeding them....you'll understand when you get married."
"Oh, but they're not yours?"
"No sir." Then without my control my lovely bride's thought process sprang forth from my mouth. "Have you been mean to those dogs?"
"Are you lying to me? Because I can tell if you're lying. It's part of my job. Plus I can find out who your parents are and call them. Do you want me to do that?" (Thank you Kati. I just gave these 6th graders a ShakeDown like Ice-T on Law and Order.)
"No, we promise! We were petting them earlier and gave them something to drink. They were thirsty!"
Sighing "...........Did you give them Mountain Dew?"
"It's all we had!"
By this time I knew Momma-Dog and her baby were almost finished eating so I had to run. I sprinted away and got to the house safe and sound. I went into my office in my house (there is a window that faces the church). I opened the blinds and the Three Amigos were skating around and Momma-Dog and her baby were running around them. They all went to the road and Skated over the hill toward the sunset together. Hand in paw scratching their fleas as they went (I'm not telling you who had the fleas).
I spoke to one of the Skaters at church last night and he is keeping both dogs and is feeding them well. Mamma-Dog and her baby have a home and food (at least for now). Once again, Kati is Happy. The dogs are happy. Little Christian Slater is happy. And I am happy that God's sense of humor didn't give us two more dogs.
God Bless us everyone.
Well, here I am. I seem to have the same thoughts that most people have when they start up their blog..."I'm starting up a blog?" My goal is update this weekly.
My wife loves animals...let me repeat that. My wife adooores animals, especially dogs. That's called foreshadowing...it will help you out later on in the story. We live near the church where I work. Actually we live across the parking lot from the church. It keeps things interesting. Well for some reason this Sunday, every dog in a 40 mile radius decided they wanted a little more information on Church membership. Maybe a cat forgave them for trying to eat it. Perhaps hitting that mid-life crisis of 6 has forced them to reflect on their choices. Whatever the reason, the dogs have been let out (tasteless pun, I know).
There were dogs jumping. Dogs barking. Dogs sniffing. Dogs playing, but no dogs fighting (sorry Mr. Vick). They were here all day! Our music minister handed them a hymnal, but alas, they prefer that contempary worship with the projection screens. Parents rushed out to avoid the dogs, while children rushed out to pet the dogs.
While the rest of the south was blasted with snow, we unfortunately were missed. *grumble-grumble* But being overlooked by snow does not mean we are left out of the single digit temperatures. We get the benefit of snow-like weather minus the snow and day off work. We thought all of the dogs went home to escape the cold weather. Well that would be a very wrong assumption. A momma-dog and her baby stayed behind to brave the cold outside of the church. They made their way into the courtyard to avoid the cold wind. They apparently were abandoned and left to fend on their own.
Now my wife (remember the foreshadowing?) saw them in the church parking lot on her way home. She circled the parking lot looking at them. I saw her as I fed our two cats (because only one would be lonely). The garage door raised, she pulled in her car, and...."Dear, did you see..."
"Yes dear I saw the dogs. No we can't keep them."
She paused, a little surprised that I saw her investigation. "Well can we feed them?"
"Yeah, that's fine."
So, off we go feeding Momma-Dog and her baby. We found them behind the church before visitation started. We tossed a couple of bowls of food on the ground and they ate it up like crazy! Kati was happy, they were happy, and I was happy to help out a couple of God's creatures.
As we walked back home my wife's desire to keep these two additions was pouring from her face. My response was a constant "No." Kati wanted to look for them last night so they wouldn't be cold. She has class tonight and I told her I would feed them if I saw them. My hope is that they will be gone. God of course has a grand sense of humor. They both came running as soon as I got back to the office. Kati wants to take them to the vet to get them checked out to make sure they are healthy and safe. I of course do not want anymore dogs, at least not two outside dogs.
I have to end this story because I must keep my word to Kati and go feed these two dogs. But I don't want anymore dogs. I really don't. Did I mention my wife loves animals. She adooooores animals, especially dogs....boy, I'm in trouble.
Going through Jr. High and High School I had four guys I would consider my best friends. We were always out running around together. We spent hours upon hours playing basketball at my house and a few of the local parks. We practiced plays and drills like crazy. We had zero aspirations of playing college ball but a "sweet victory" over some local punks at City Park was enough to satisfy our egos. We played until the sun went down and the game usually continued for a few hours after that (as long as dad allowed me to turn on the flood lights).
We shared many conversations during those basketball games and even more when they were over. We talked about girls, school, jobs, families, other people, church, our mistakes, our hopes, and girls. I can honestly say I probably had the biggest laughs of my teenage years during those times. We made fun of each other. We laughed about girls we had dated. We were shocked at our similar teenage parental struggles and we pretty much figured out life and all of it's problems (if only I had transcripts of those conversations!).
Of course there were times when we got mad at each other (some because of basketball related "fouls" or a losing streak). We did what most teenage guys did...we didn't talk about it and hung out with the other guys in our group until we forgot what we were mad about. We all shared a similar sense of humor but different enough that we could catch each other off guard.
Humor is really the point of this post. I was going through a desk at my parent's house and found a birthday card that one of my above compatriots purchased me. I'm not sure which birthday it was but I know it was 15-17 years range. I'm not sure why I kept it but I think, somewhere deep in my subconscious, I knew someday there would be an outlet to share this with the world.
Without further adu:
Here is the front...
And the inside...
In case you are at all curious, "YF" stands for "Your Friend." We were already using texting shorthand before it was mainstream popular. Another reason we were so cool.
Now, I've blacked out the name for security purposes. He could be a United States Senator now, but I'm not telling.
Our Pastor started a series on "Love." His focus for the series is probably the most famous chapter on the topic of love in the Bible (at least the most popular) I Corinthians Chapter 13. As he preached my mind kept drifting to this chapter.
I've read this many, many times. It's a special chapter to me as well as every other Christian in the world. When I proposed to my wife I had a Bible inscribed with her new married name and this chapter highlighted inside. We have a line by line breakdown of the overly used and "ran-into-the-ground" word "Love."
Here is the most widely read excerpt of I Corinthians 13.4-8a
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trust, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails."
How often Christians say we love but are too afraid to lay our actions against this chapter like a piece of tracing paper. We know instead of a beautiful picture we would be left with incongruous lines and unidentifiable shapes that no more construct a picture than throwing sticks on the ground.
As I read this over and over I continued to think how this is not me. I am so flawed. So I rewrote these verses to reflect my imperfections and need for a Savior who loves like this. I am so unqualified.
"I have zero patience. My kindness has limits. Unfortunately I am envious when I wish I wasn't. I boast. My pride makes more decisions than it should. My rudeness is married to every ounce of my selfishness. Fits of anger leap from my personality with ease. The list of mistakes others have caused me shine in my memory like a spotlight. I don't enjoy wrong-doing but often I am afraid of truth. I can't protect as much as I want. I have trust issues. Too many times I hope for the best but expect the worst. Sometimes I don't even finish what I start.
I usually fail...thank God love doesn't know how."
1. I love my wife more than anyone else.
2. I have over 3,00 Comic Books and growing.
3. Deathly afraid of lice.
4. I'm already thinking about my response to your possible statement you will make to what I'm telling you right now.
5. Enjoy watching people.
6. Cooked supper for Miss America in 1998.
7. Writing and illustrating are my passions.
8. Teenagers make me laugh.
9. I can be bribed with bread.
10. Jesus Christ is all I need.
I'm sitting in my office yesterday working on our summer schedule. As I'm working I hear an unfamiliar beeping from my cell phone. I look over and see that I'm receiving an "unavailable" call. Apparently "unavailable" calls or so special they kick out my normal "Meant To Live" ring-tone. But I digress...
The following is my transcribed interpretation of the phone call that ensued:
Creepy Man: Yes, could I speak with Jim Carter?
(note: I was surprised to discover former president Jimmy Carter was still alive...and has a Verizon plan.)
Me: I'm sorry, you have the wrong number.
Surprised Creepy Man: *long pause*......*exhales breath very slowly*...Are you sure?
Me: (Little taken aback by the question) Um...yes. You have the wrong number.
Creepier Breathing Man: *short pause*....This is the number I called.
Me: Um...yes, that's why I answered.
Frustrated Creepy Man: This is his number.
Me: Well, he must have changed it, because this is my number.
Logical Thinking Creepy Man: Ok, well I called 555-1234.
Me: That's my number.
Matter-of-Fact Creepy Man: No, that's Jim's number.
(note: I am now starting to doubt why I answered instead of Jim.)
Me: I don't know Jim, but I do know this is my number now.
Creepy Sighing Man: *siiiiigh* *pause*
(note: I'm afraid to hang up. For some reason I believe that he will find me.)
Skeptical Creepy Man: ....Alright (sarcastically) I guess I was wrong.
(note: At this point I wonder if I was adopted and my biological father had finally tracked me down. I waited for a "How's your mother?" or a "Good Gracious! It's like I'm listening to my own voice." Also I feel the need to apologize to this man...and I don't know why. All I did was answer my phone.
Somewhat Defeated Creepy Man: *slow exhale* Fine.
Have-The-Last-Laugh Creepy Man: I guess I'll call back later.