CFDb Interviews Stacey Bradshaw ~ Actress
Listen to the Full Unedited 14 minute interview with Stacey Bradshaw
CFDb was delighted to speak with actress Stacey Bradshaw. Don’t forget to pay close attention to her tips for those wanting to get involved in the Christian Film Industry towards the end. Following are the highlights from this interview:
=> First of all, can you tell us a little bit about yourself and your role within the Christian Film Industry.
I am 28 years old, despite the fact that I look 17 or 18. I still live at home with my family. I’m the oldest child and I have two younger brothers. We were all home schooled which was a huge blessing for us. I have more hobbies than I have time for! I really enjoy photography, writing, playing the piano, singing, reading classic literature, sewing, and dancing (ballroom dancing, swing dancing, and stuff like that).
I got bit by the acting bug at a fairly young age, but we didn’t have any drama groups near us, so I didn’t get to act in a real play until I was 16. My mom drove me 4 hours round trip every day for a week so I could be in a musical production of Beauty and the Beast with a home school drama group. I don’t know how she did it, because just thinking about it at my age NOW makes me exhausted! My mom (and my dad) have always been incredibly supportive, and I am so grateful for that.
Anyway, I acted in a few more theater productions during high school and I majored in Theater in college. I went to Bryan College, a small Christian school in Dayton, TN. I actually stayed an extra year after graduation to take some film classes, like editing, screenwriting, etc. I was very interested in film, both from an acting perspective and a filmmaking perspective.
In 2010, after finishing at Bryan, I attended the Advent Film Group workshop, which I highly recommend, and that’s what really kicked off my film career. I was invited to work as crew on pickup shooting for Hero and principal photography for Alone Yet Not Alone later that year. I helped with Props for those two movies. The next year, I was Wardrobe Supervisor for another Advent film, The Screenwriters, which was set in the 1940’s.
I enjoyed being involved in making films, but my primary interest was still in acting. I was sending out video auditions for Christian films that I was hearing about, but didn’t get cast in anything until 2012, when I was cast as the lead in The Wednesday Morning Breakfast Club and then in Touched by Grace (which co-starred Ben Davies from Courageous). I went from being an extra to two leading roles back-to-back. That’s incredible! That’s GOD.
I love to tell that story and encourage aspiring actors – God will open the right doors! Sometimes you do have to work your way up for a long time to get to the bigger roles, but God is capable of putting you there whenever He wants you there, so dream big and go for it! God is in control. There is no limit on what He can do.
What has been your favorite role thus far and why?
That’s a really tough question to answer! Most of my roles have been very unique, and there were elements I enjoyed about each one. I’ve played a teenager, I’ve played a 30-something mom, I’ve been homeless twice, I’ve been blind, I’ve gotten to ride a horse (WHILE blind, no less), I’ve died twice (getting shot was the most fun!). I’ve portrayed characters in different time periods… I feel like this is a really lame answer, but I want to say they’ve all been my favorite.
From all the movies you’ve acted in, which one do you think is the best film as an outreach tool for non-Christians? Please explain.
Most of the films I’ve worked on have intentionally had a redemptive message, but off hand, I would say Touched by Grace. Touched by Grace is an anti-bullying film with a great message about God’s love and forgiveness, and offers the hope that people can change. No one is beyond God’s love and offer of redemption. I really hope it will get into the hands of a lot of non-believers and people who need to turn their lives around.
Are there any other upcoming faith projects you are involved with that can tell us about?
I don’t currently have any projects in pre-production that I’ve been cast in, but there are several films I’ve acted in that will be released later this year or sometime next year. Keep an eye out for Blind Faith, Love Keeper, 77 Chances, Polycarp, My House, and Wanted. And nobody is going to remember all that, so basically, go “like” my FB fan page and I’ll post updates as they come!
What advice can you give Christians that are interested in an acting career?
Like any job in the film industry, you have to be really passionate about what you’re doing, because it is hard, hard work. As an actor, you are making yourself really vulnerable, and you’re going to face a lot of rejection. There might be times when you’re busy with acting jobs, and that’s awesome, but there will also be dry spells when you feel like no one is EVER going to cast you again.
It’s a roller coaster. You learn really fast that you have to be super flexible. And it’s not as glamorous as it might seem. It’s fun, it’s rewarding, but it’s not an easy road to travel. If I could give a quick bullet list, here are some words of advice I would share:
-Realize it’s probably not going to pay your bills, so have a flexible job on the side.
-Know what your standards are before you go into it, so you’re less likely to compromise.
-Be prepared for a lot of rejection, but don’t take it personally. A lot of times you may not just have the look they want.
-Trust God every step of the way. He will open the right doors.
-Make sure your heart is in the right place to serve God with your talents instead of seeking fame/glory.
If God is calling you to be an actor, then don’t let fear or insecurity or doubt hold you back! Don’t put limits around yourself or around God! Keep yourself grounded in your faith, and give it everything you’ve got!
And if you do want to start acting, then I suggest taking a look at the blog that I started as a resource for actors. I share lessons I’ve learned from my personal experiences, as well as helpful articles I’ve found. I also post some casting calls on there as well, for films that I feel confident promoting. The address for my blog is acting4christ.blogspot.com.
=> Please let us know how people can learn more about you and your work?
Here are the best places to find out more about Stacey:
What a joy it was to talk to Stacey. If you’ve never checked out her Acting blog, it’s time to do that now.
We recommend listening to the full unedited podcast on YouTube.
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