Theatre instructor’s book seeks to unite actors
By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
For many Christians in the entertainment business, pursuing their passion sometimes can feel as though they must choose between their faith and their career. It is an issue that Grand Canyon University College of Fine Arts and Production instructor and director Michael Kary hopes he can solve through the second publication of his book.
Kary, who previously had self-published his textbook, “Acting in Faith: A Christian’s Guide to the Acting World,” to teach COFAP students that they can still be proud Christians while also excelling in the acting profession, recently allowed Kendall Hunt Publishing to publish his text and distribute it to other Christian institutions.
“Having a book and an acting curriculum in place that actually teaches the opposite of that is super encouraging for the students,” Kary said. “They need to know that they bring everything with them (into their career), and not only can you stand being a Christian while being an actor, but you can thrive in both. They actually feed into each other. That philosophy has helped students and parents who are nervous about their kids going into this profession.”
It was a book and idea that Kary kept going back to over the eight years he spent writing it before its first publication in 2016, and one he says he “cannot take credit for.”
When he first started writing what he intended to just be journals back in 2008, Kary found himself in what he called “a fight with God.” He was struggling with both his work life and his finances and saw no end in sight when he finally decided to listen to what he felt God was telling him to do.
“I felt like I had a really clear answer that God had been taking care of me and my family, but I wasn’t listening to Him,” Kary said. “He said, ‘I gave you all these thoughts, I gave you all these stories, all these ideas and you’ve done nothing with them. So I’m going to keep you here, I’m going to feed your family like I have been feeding your family and take care of you but until you start listening to Me, you’re going to be stuck here.’
“So I said, ‘Fine, I will write what you tell me to write,’ and that lunch, I just opened up a Word document and I’m like, ‘OK, what do you want me to write about?’, and in the half an hour of lunch I had the first two chapters done.”
Along with the publication of his book, Kary will be working to create a video series that will show how the exercises are done.
As for writing, Kary’s focus has been on screenplays and stage plays and will have several readings next month of some of his work.
Kary believes that differences between the entertainment industry and Christianity have led to both sides holding misunderstood views about each other. He hopes his book will help clear up some of the misconceptions that exist.
“What I hope that the book does is show Christians that actors are good people and to show actors that aren’t Christian that Christians are good people,” Kary said.
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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