by Katrina Cook
Have you ever felt like you were the only Christian working in the entertainment field?
Have you ever been on a film set, surrounded by atheists & agnostics and asking God “Why am I here? This just doesn’t seem right.”
Then you sit down for crew lunch and the person sitting across from you, that you just met, pours their heart out to you, right there, in the midst of the crowd. THEN God shows you … “This is why you are here.” The pain that God has brought you through in your life is now something that causes you to relate with the person you only just met. You are able to share your story, in an unconventional setting; to someone who may never step foot inside a church. THIS is your Mission Field.
I began my company, KatzKasting, in 2001. My entire career as a Casting Director has been built upon personal relationships and referrals. Up until a few years ago, all of my work had been on mainstream productions. I was knocking, but God had not opened the door to Christian films yet.
While visiting with Erica Lane & Kyle Saylors, the topic of Gideon came up. I was very interested and they connected me with Lori Marett, who invited me to come facilitate a few workshops for Actors.
What an eye-opening experience for me! I had always felt so alone in the movie business, when it comes to my faith. I would do my job, and share my story with those God put in my path and prompted me to talk to. But other than that, I did not know any other Christians who were actively working in the movie biz.
That first week literally changed my life. Over the 3 years that I have been a part of Gideon, I have met so many new friends. People who are sincere and genuine in their Christian walk. One of the most unique things I have found with this festival is the community meals. Three times a day you all come together to dine in a central location at large round tables perfect for socializing and developing relationships. Sitting with different people each meal allows you to meet Actors, Writers, Filmmakers, Musicians, Singers as well as film students and those who are just starting down the path. After the film showings, many times the Filmmakers and actors are there to do Q&A’s. In between films you have time for networking and socializing while grabbing popcorn or brownies. Late night talks lead to not much sleep, but no regrets.
In all the Film Festivals that I have attended, the friendships gained from the Gideon far exceed any other. With face book & social media, you are able to maintain those friendships quite easily and many times see each other again at various other events throughout the year. After all, once you attend Gideon, you become a part of the Gideon Family and no matter where you cross paths, the memories of Gideon create a bond.
As I mentioned previously, I had always felt alone as a Christian in the movie biz, until I came to Gideon. Then my eyes were opened to see that there were many others out there, just like me, following God’s calling with a passion in the Entertainment Industry. This is when things begin shifting in my life and my career. God began opening doors to work on Christian films, and a year ago in January God laid it upon my heart to start a Prayer & Support Group for those who are Christians working in the Industry within Texas. I was unsure if this would be “popular” in Dallas, as I only knew maybe a handful of believers, but I decided to publicize it through my business, and the response was overwhelming. We now have an active local chapter of Christian Believers who are working in the Industry who come together to pray, share, support and mentor in Dallas, TX. It’s been a most rewarding thing for me and it fuels our passion as individuals and as a group.
I have had several projects come out of Gideon, whether directly or indirectly. I have been able to cast 2 features “Season of Miracles” out of Nashville with Dave Moody and “Adrenaline” out of NC with Del Baron, along with a handful of music videos, short films, and invitations to host actor workshops. Thank you to all who have hired me, referred me, connected me, and prayed for me.
Many Christians are called to work on mainstream projects, so that we can be the light in the darkness. Coming to Gideon helps keep your focus and refuel your passion and purpose. Regardless of where God calls you to go, we are Missionaries and the movie business is our mission field. Be encouraged and know that you are not alone.