Sunday, May 22, 2016

Welcome to My Tent

I estimate that I've heard over 2,000 sermons in my life. This one is among the very best. It's going to transform my devotional life...

Pastor Linda Warren preaches on Exodus 33:7-11. Opening and prayer by Pastor Jim Warren.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

From the largest Off-Broadway to the smallest Broadway theatre

I had a 16 year Broadway run!

On October 17, 1999, I quit my office lease at The Lamb's Theatre, the largest Off-Broadway house at the time, and crossed Times Square (from 130 W 44th to 240 W 44th) to sublet the office of John Forbes at the Helen Hayes Theatre, the smallest Broadway house.

During the three months I was performing in Singapore in Judah Ben Hur, John returned, and I was then able to do an office share with a former stage manager for Les Misérables, who later moved out.

In May of 2012 The Helen Hayes celebrated its centennial. I know what week it was because after the ceremony I was able to tell Mandy Patinkin that one of our pastors used him in a sermon illustration that Sunday! You can hear it here. There's an illusion to his work in The Princess Bride, but Pastor Warren revisits Patinkin's story throughout. The third reference is the most powerful.

I'm sad to leave this very special place behind, but we've creatively redesigned our space so that now Joyce and I are both officing at home. There's great delight in spending our days together. :-)

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Fellowship and Worship God's Way

I got to open and close this morning's service at Westchester ChapelPastor Jim Warren preaches on Exodus 32 with illustrations from Acts 7:51-53 and John 15:1-11, and cartoon illustrations pictured here. Pastor Rachel Taylor prays and shares announcements.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

I play a lead in Providence, which you can bring to your area.

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

One film now, another on the way

Our poster was miraculously in the main
lobby of AMC Empire. It could have gone
anywhere in the labyrinth of 25 screens.
I played the adult male lead role of Mitchell Little in the modern silent film, Providence, which had a limited nationwide theatrical release through AMC Independent and opened Valentine's Weekend. I tried to stay on top of the reviews at the bottom of www.RichDrama.com/Providence.

One of the venues in February was the historical AMC Empire Theatre on Times SquareClick here to see how that was an answer to an eight-year prayer.

Providence is now beginning to roll out across the land, and you can schedule a screening in your area.

It will be available on DVD and digital download starting May 24, but you can pre-order now.

I helped create a promotional video at
the Christian Worldview Film Festival.
I was cast as the lead in the short film "A Matter of Perspective," which will be filmed in beautiful Southern Oregon, where I was born and raised. I'll get to stay on our family farm while we're filming! 

This is such an answer to prayer, since that was the area where I was inspired to act by seeing plays produced by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, taking part in workshops with their actors, and performing at our high school and with our church's youth group. 

That church, Medford Friends Church, is hosting Providence while I'm in the area, on June 24 at 6:30pm. 

My connection to the filmmakers of "A Matter of Perspective" is miraculous! We met at the Family Camp for the Southern Oregon chapter of Joni and Friends. To see how that came about visit www.RichDrama.com/Joni. Then we found out that the director, Mike Hill, was a student of Larry Smith, who has been a good friend of my father since they were in the third grade! Larry gave me my only photography lesson just before I went to Hong Kong in 1987. Then he helped me set up the slides that I showed to the many families and organizations that made the trip possible.

I'm really looking forward to seeing what the Lord does through this short film! 

We're lining up a number of people and resources to make "A Matter of Perspective" happen. Visit AMatterOfPerspective.us and wherever you live please visit our IndieGoGo site and pray about helping. 

If you live in Southern Oregon and didn't get an email with specific requests, please send me a note through the form at the bottom of this page. 


Sunday, May 01, 2016

Oriented Up (Fellowship and Abraham, Part 3)

This morning our church, Westchester Chapel, closed out a three part series-within-a-series on Abraham, so I posted a sketch on the Abraham story I helped developed through sociodrama by at the Grace Brethren Church of Winona Lake, Indiana, in 2014:



Here's today's service...
Pastor Rachel Taylor preaches her last sermon (on Genesis 22) before her ordination Saturday. Pastor Linda Warren opens with a report on how much the Lord has been fulfilling His promises He gave when we went through our last sermon series, Moving into the Holy Spirit's Gifts. Pastor Jim Warren leads worship and reads Psalm 141:1-2. Announcement and prayer over Pastor Rachel's upcoming ordination by Pastor Randy Solomon.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

Photo courtesy of NicolettiPhoto.com.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Called a Friend of God (Fellowship & Abraham, Part 2)

Due to an unfortunate recording error I got to summarize the end of a sermon on my favorite passage in the Old Testament, Genesis 15, a passage on which I have a short 1-man play, "The Covenant Keeper." Pastor Jim Warren preaches most of the sermon with supporting illustrations from Isaiah 6:1-7, Hebrews 11:5-8, and James 2:23. He gave me permission to summarize the end of the sermon. Pastor Linda Warren prays and shares announcements.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.

As promised, we do have information on our upcoming District Assembly and Pastor Rachel Taylor's ordination on our site. You can find it on www.WestchesterChapel.org/DistrictAssembly.

Here's an official music video of Your Great Name, one of the songs we sang this morning:



If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Friday, April 22, 2016

The Screenwriters at Patrick Henry College

I had a great time at the screening of The Screenwriters at the alma mater of our director, Peter Forbes, and screenwriter, Elizabeth Stinnette. I was honored to join them and producer David Cook in a Q/A after the show, and we all had a blast at the afterparty. I had to leave early though. The screening just "happened" to have been scheduled the night before I performed and taught in a nearby school.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Good Good Father (Fellowship and Abraham, Part 1)

I closed this morning's service with a story from my recent trip to Seattle. Here's my post about the Divine appointments between Beijing and Phoenix, Oregon: What Are the Chances?

Pastor Rachel Taylor preaches on Genesis 12:1-9, with an illustration from Hebrews 11:8. The service opened with Angie Atoth sharing about Pastor Randy Solomon's trip to Columbia during which they built a home for three orphans. Pastor Linda Warren prayed over the sermon and shared the announcements.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.



If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

One Day

I've been cast in One Day, a short film written and directed by Gwendelynn Martindale, who will be a student at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp, where I'll be teaching and coaching this summer. I'll also be the acting coach on "One Day."

I'm looking forward to working with Gwendelynn in both capacities, and I have a lot of friends I'll get to work with again: Juli Tapken, who plays my character's love interest in Providence has been cast. It will be my sixth collaboration with both Tim Kaiser (www.RichDrama.com/TimKaiser) and Stacey Bradshaw (www.RichDrama.com/StaceyBradshaw).

Ashley and Ethan Ledden will be doing the visual effects, which is particularly exciting since they worked on Beyond the Mask, which had the most visual effects of any Christian film. I first worked with them on Alone Yet Not Alone, and then again on Indescribable. They'll be supported by Jonick Petry, who I worked with in London for The Dragon and the Raven.

Rick Holets is doing the score. We share two credits (Princess Cut and Firefly), but he's worked on several films made by friends.

The fact that Nathan Ashton is doing the sound on this project is actually an answer to our prayer that we'll be in another film screened at the Christian Worldview Film Festival. We haven't missed a year!

It's impolite to ask a woman her age, but I don't think Gwendelynn is in her twenties yet. For her to pull together this heavy-hitting team is just miraculous! Then again, we're serving the Miracle Maker!

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Friday, April 15, 2016

All in a day's work



Had a fabulous time performing a monologue from Hamlet, my 1-man piece based on Les Misérables, and sociodramas based on parallels the students observed. We talked a terrorist into dismantling his bomb, empowered someone to talk his friends through a rough situation, and helped someone avoid drugs. Not bad for a day's work, eh?
Find out more about sociodrama at www.RichDrama.com/Workshops.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Friday, April 08, 2016

Rather to Be Chosen, NYC

We had a great time at the advance screening of Rather to Be Chosen. Cast and crew came to NYC from Detroit, Providence, Long Island, and the after party went longer than the film!

Here's the report I sent out to New Yorkers on our list. If you you're in the NYC area and the report isn't in your inbox, you can sign up for future updates at www.RichDrama.com/UpdatesNYC. I hope you will because we're planning an advance screening of The Screenwriters, in which I play Hollywood Director Forrest "Woodsy" Woods.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Smile

I wrote the following article for Graceworks' April 2016 Big Bold News:

Don't we often struggle to find just the right words to say when we're trying to communicate with someone? But, real communication goes so far beyond saying the "right words."

In 2008, I was performing in Beijing during the Olympics. While I was there, I got to hear Madeline Manning Mims speak. Madeline, who broke the world record in the 800 meters in 1968, told the following powerful story.

During the 1968 Games, Madeline was racing against a woman from an Eastern Bloc nation. When Madeline broke the ribbon, she looked around to see where the woman placed in the race. She was nowhere to be found. Madeline discovered the woman had been warned that she and her family would face great penalties if she didn't return with a gold medal, so the woman had peeled off the track before reaching the finish line and ran to the highest point of the stadium. She was going to throw herself off the stadium wall. Thankfully, someone found her and brought her back down.

The next day as Madeline was heading to the U.S. team bus, she passed by the woman. She felt a strong desire to connect with her, so she told her teammates she'd catch the next bus. As Madeline returned to the woman, it dawned on her that she didn't know a single word in the woman's language, and it was very unlikely that the woman knew any English. So, Madeline just walked up to the woman and smiled.

Later, Madeline read that the woman had been institutionalized, not speaking a word for years. After she was released, Madeline was able to visit her. The woman ran up to Madeline and gave her a big hug. The woman told Madeline that her road to recovery had begun when she broke her silence and said, "Madeline came back."

So, the next time you find yourself searching for that perfect word, remember the power of the non-verbal. Lives can be changed with a smile.

You can read the full Big Bold News here.

Since 2001 I've been a Freedom Finder for Graceworks, helping people become more comfortable as presenters through workshops and project specific coaching.

Find out more about our work at www.GraceworksInc.com.

Sunday, April 03, 2016

Fellowship and Noah, Part 1

This morning at Westchester Chapel Pastor Jim Warren preached on Genesis 6 and 7. Unfortunately there was a recording error. Thankfully Joyce took detailed notes and below you can hear her authorized summary of the sermon using some of her own illustrations. Pastor Linda Warren opens the service, inviting people to offer their thanks to the Lord, and that opens the recording. Rich Swingle thanks the congregation for praying for him while he presented at the Christian Worldview Film Festival and Guild. He shares reflections on an article by Richard Munn and closes with a review of God's Not Dead 2 and an invitation to an advance screening of Rather to Be Chosen in NYC.



This service is available for download free on iTunes, where you can also subscribe to our podcast. Search for "Westchester Chapel" on the iTunes Store.



The Beginners Bible video of Noah is now available on DVD in which I give Noah's son Shem and a nay saying villager.

If you want to more about starting a relationship with Jesus Christ visit www.WestchesterChapel.org/Salvation.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Introduction to Beyond the Chariots at The Christian Worldview Film Festival

I was thrilled to present the awards for Best Animated film at The Christian Worldview Film Festival, with another animated friend, John Fornof, who introduced my performance of Beyond the Chariots the night before:

John directed me in The Dragon and the Raven and taught with me at The Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.

You can see photos of my performance of Beyond the Chariots by clicking here.

Photo by Evergreen Media Productions 
Video by Stacey Bradshaw.

I play a lead in Providence, which could be heading to a city near you. Sign up at www.RichDrama.com/Updates to get the announcement.

Registration is now open for the 2016 Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp.