Life’s path winds, twists, and circles along my spiritual journey. Many times over the course of four decades I’ve stopped moving, remained stuck in quicksand, or shook with fear.
The belief that I must keep moving forward provided inspiration and energy when fatigue or frustration set in. How do I take that first step? I let my artistic spirit be my guide. An integral connection between art and spirituality leads me through – giving me a much-needed push, a rope on which to pull me out, or a comforting embrace for courage. Art heals, inspires, and, motivates – of this I have no doubt.
Such was the case recently when I stepped outside of my comfort zone and participated as a background actor in the film COFFEE WITH GOD. For my first foray into background acting, the spirit artist within couldn’t have chosen better than the cast and crew of this inspiring film.
Twenty years ago I decided to take the path unknown by registering for an acting class in college. I relished the two-year experience, my spirit fulfilled and engaged. I could have kept walking down that spotlit path had I heeded the advice and support from my acting professor. “Have you considered pursuing this as a career?” Instead of taking the road I only briefly traveled, I choose a safer path though the words of my mentor haunt me all these years later.
Music, writing, film/TV/theatre are not simply hobbies for me. They are key elements of my spiritual identity. I am an artistic spirit and after twenty years of writing about the dedicated artists in front of and behind the scenes I circled back to acting. I followed my instinct and made outreach when I learned background actors were needed for a local film shoot. “Do it,” my spirit pleaded. “We need this.” I listened and opened a door that I’d closed many years prior.
On a recent Saturday, I was both energized and moved on the set of COFFEE WITH GOD. Actor, writer, director Nick Lanciano (Lanciano Productions) created an environment that was professional, laid back, and fun. He helped us feel at ease – making us laugh and our participation appreciated. Producer Jeni Miller is a brilliant ray of sunshine. Her utter joy and excitement was infectious during the shoot. She took the time to mingle with the roughly fifteen background actors, her enthusiasm and love of the medium evident.
Nick, Jeni, and the crew made the set experience a delightful one which allowed me to relax and be present in the moment. New friendships were formed among the background talent as we talked about our day jobs, our acting experience, and about cooking without a microwave. I felt at peace while my artistic spirit thrived. I sat in awe, intrigued by the filming process – shot by shot, camera angle by camera angle, take by take. The time, dedication, and love of craft that goes into creating one scene relit the spark of belief that immersed in an artistic environment is my home.
After saying my thanks and goodbyes for now, I returned to my car a swell of pride and fierce desire to share my excitement brimming. I’ve been a passionate supporter of the film, TV, and theatre industries since childhood with an understanding and appreciation that artists in front of and behind the camera work hard in ways we don’t always recognize.
When I watch the COFFEE WITH GOD trailer I am not only excited to see this moving work of art, but am honored to have been a part. The message of the film and where I am on my artistic spirit journey blended on that beautiful Saturday afternoon, and I look forward to the net step along my entertainment path.