Tag: hollywood

Off-Camera with Austin Peck and Terri Conn Peck

Terri Conn Peck is an Emmy-nominated actress, QVC producer, and host. Catch Terri in Rich Christiano’s latest film, Play the Flute, in theaters this fall. Austin Peck is an established actor with over 1,500 hours of network television to his credit (Days of Our Lives, As the World Turns, One Life to Live), as well as a writer and producer. 

DAN: How did the two of you meet and were you both Christians when you met?

AUSTIN: We originally met at a charity function in New York.

 TERRI: Austin was a believer. I had grown up in the Episcopal Church, but it was meeting Austin and being introduced to the Spirit-filled church that took my spiritual journey straight to a relationship with the one true God. I had questions . . . LOTS of questions. It was Austin who answered those questions in a way I could understand and apply to what was going on in my life.

DAN: Why acting? What drew you to this career path?

AUSTIN: I grew up in L.A., my mother was an actress, and my stepfather a talent agent.  I wasn’t exactly sure what my future held. I didn’t focus much on school and thought I was just going to enter into the military. But one day I was approached on the street by talent agents and asked if I’d be into acting/modeling. I was like, “Duh, yeah, ok . . . ” I just thought as an actor I can be anything. I can be in the military, be a pilot, be a lawyer, be anything.

TERRI: I grew up as an only child and military brat, so I was alone a lot. I had a very active imagination and loved writing and acting out my own stories—usually playing all the roles! I had a burning desire to make an audience feel and think and maybe even change, in the same way films and television did that for me.

DAN: Jesus said, “You are the light of the world,” calling Christians to be present in every community and industry. What role do you think actors in general, and specifically you as believers, play in the broader culture?

AUSTIN: I think actors can play a very powerful role. What actors do can touch the heart, reveal humanity, and shine light on truth. Actors’ sensibilities can be used for good and evil. Good in the sense of showing and revealing truth to help people move toward the light. Encouraging people to seek righteousness rather than darkness. Unfortunately, in today’s world we get the latter the majority of the time.

DAN: As you mentioned, Terri, you both have had roles in daytime serials (“soaps”). The storylines are often filled with conniving, cheating, scheming, etc. As Christian believers, how do you approach a role or scene where your character’s values are contrary to your own?

TERRI: Soaps, and even sit-coms, used to be morality plays. The bad guy got caught in the end and good prevailed. The audience learned something about “what not to do” by watching what can happen when you let evil take over. It seems, though, that it isn’t the case anymore.  Evil is explained away and often glorified, and I cannot participate in that.

DAN: I appreciate you both so much. How can the Mastermedia community pray for you and your family?

AUSTIN: That I would be who God wants me to be.

TERRI: Thank you, Dan, for providing this ministry to all of us!  We are so honored and grateful to be a small part of it! I would like to ask for protection for Austin, me, and our family. My manager, Michael Van Dyke, said that to go into the enemy’s territory with the intention of glorifying God is putting a big target on yourself for the enemy. We must be in constant prayer for the Lord’s protection. So I ask for prayers of protection for the Peck family and for all of us who are boldly declaring Jesus in Hollywood.

The #hashtag effect

by Dan Rupple

Over the past few awards seasons, the “voice” that overshadowed “And the winner is . . .” was the collective voice of an industry crying out about harassment, offenses, or injustices. You may or may not agree with the ideologies behind one or two of these voices, but it’s hard to deny the pain in the hearts they come from.

Heartbreaking accounts of sexual leveraging or the infamous “casting couch” have long been emanating from the private sanctum of the media industry. Throughout the decades, with an increase seen in the 90’s, numerous individual voices made public allegations of abuse. But why did these previous voices stay individualized? How, suddenly, do today’s voices get amplified? Why are they only now sparking the media industry and cultural change?

All too often, fear of exposure or shame will lead a person to believe the deadly lie that they are alone in their struggles, that no one else cares, that they  are stuck in their affliction with no possible relief or rescue in sight.

Then they hear a voice. A singular, courageous voice standing up, saying, “This is my experience . . . .” And the hearer cries, “That’s my experience too! I am not alone in this battle, this struggle; I am not alone in this journey!”

And a discovery is made. By standing in solidarity with others who have been hurt as they have, a solitary voice can become a collective voice. And with the assistance of a #hashtag, this “voice of the voiceless” can spread throughout varied social media platforms, increasing in volume. When that occurs, what began as a “still, small voice” can suddenly spark a movement . . . a movement for cultural change, as “private pain made public” gives the world a sense of the magnitude of the problem!

This is what we are seeing within the media industry. The collective voices of innumerable victims are being heard, and the media world is responding. It has been termed “empowerment through empathy” with a proactive focus on determining the best ways to hold perpetrators responsible and to stop the cycle.

I can’t help but think of Zacchaeus in the Gospel of Luke (Chapter 9). Zacchaeus was a wealthy tax collector in Jericho, despised and vilified by the Jewish community. Shunned by society, he suffered alone. Until one day when a huge crowd gathers to see Jesus. Zacchaeus, a man short in stature, climbs high up into a sycamore tree to get a glimpse of this man of peace. Zacchaeus’ life is changed, because not only did he see Jesus, but far more important . . . Jesus saw him!

Zacchaeus realized he wasn’t alone. Someone saw him. Someone acknowledged his pain, his isolation, and his loneliness. And then Jesus did the incomprehensible—He asked to come into Zacchaeus’ home and dine with him.

If social media had been around when Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount, He might have used #IAMwithU. The Beatitudes were a voice to the merciful, the peacemakers, the persecuted, the poor in spirit, the mournful. Jesus was, and still is, telling people the liberating truth that they aren’t alone in their hurt . . . an all-loving God sees us in our pain and walks with us on our journey to healing.

In this unprecedented time of upheaval and despair in the entertainment industry, may God use these digital megaphones and our relational connections to further Mastermedia’s “voice of faith” and spread His dynamic life-changing love, grace, and truth to those who are lonely and isolated.

Billy Graham’s Hollywood Star

He wasn’t a star, but a simple preacher of the Gospel . . . yet on October 15, 1989, the city of Hollywood honored Billy Graham with the 1,900th star on its legendary Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Mr. Graham was awarded the star for his work as a minister of the Gospel using radio, television and film. His star has a small, old-time microphone symbol, signifying his work in radio beginning in the early 1950s.

Johnny Grant, honorary mayor of Hollywood and chairman of the Walk of Fame Committee, remarked in Billy Graham: God’s Ambassador, “I doubt there is anyone in Hollywood who has been seen, heard, or enjoyed by more people than Billy Graham.”

With characteristic grace and humility, Mr. Graham shifted the attention to Jesus Christ as he accepted the honor . . .

“My primary desire today in having my name inscribed upon this Walk of Fame is that God would receive the glory,” he said. “I hope someday somebody will come and say, ‘Who is Billy Graham? What did he stand for?’ Perhaps a child will ask his parents or grandparents, and they will tell him that he was not a celebrity, not a star, but a simple preacher of the Gospel. And that they might explain the Gospel to him, and that many might find Christ in that.” 

www.billygraham.org; Billy Graham Trivia