|Goofing around on the Oregon Coast after performing at The Newmark Theatre.|
Last October I performed at The Newmark Theatre in downtown Portland, Oregon. While there I reconnected with a family I'd met in a restaurant a year or more before, the Olstads. As they wheeled their son past our table I noticed a sticker on his wheelchair: "Joni & Friends." I have a number of connections to Joni Eareckson Tada, so we struck up a conversation. When we were kids our mom read from her autobiography, telling how she became a quadriplegic in a diving accident, and how she's gone on to be a painter, international speaker, writer (3M copies of her autobiography in print), and singer. In fact Joni sang the Oscar-nominated song for Alone Yet Not Alone in which I play a land speculator. Her husband pressed her diaphragm so she could hit the high notes. She personally called our friend, Art Sanborn, who became a quadriplegic in a boogie boarding accident. His story and how he now jogs and does 150 pushups every day is told in his amazing autobiography, Walking Miracle. And one of our friends, a physical therapist, has traveled with Joni & Friends to Peru, Cuba and Poland to help fit the disabled with wheelchairs that have been donated. Turns out the Olstads worked with our friend on at least one of those trips! I'm sure we had many eavesdroppers in that restaurant as we talked excitedly about how the Creator of limbs could work so mightily through those who couldn't use them.
At The Newmark I reconnected with the Olstads, and they invited me to perform at a Joni & Friends event on the Oregon Coast. In fact that event will take place at Twin Rocks Friends Camp, where I served on summer staff when I was in college. The evening at The Newmark was a fundraiser for Twin Rocks.
I was pleased to hear that Joni & Friends keeps a lean budget, making sure that most donations go straight to the disabled who benefit from their assistance. The downside is that they can only cover my airfare. I've agreed to do the booking, especially in light of a friend who broke his neck just a couple of months ago while play wrestling. This twenty-something is now facing life as a quadriplegic, but we're trusting the Lord can either bring glory through his healing, as He did through Art Sanborn, or through the disability, as He's done through Joni.
If you're in the Pacific Northwest I'd love to add to my itinerary! I'll be performing for Joni & Friends on August 11 & 18. I have free dates between those performances and after the 18th.
If you're in the Cincinati area, the director of Polycarp has invited me to attend the premiere on February 20, so I would love to set up a booking in that area for the 21st and/or 22nd.
Send decision makers in your church or college (wherever you may be) to www.RichDrama.com.
Here's the newly released trailer for Polycarp, which leads with me in the role of a slave trader:
I could use your help on one more front: I submitted for the role of a lifetime in a major motion picture, and they're basing their casting on each actor's standing on IMDb. If you visited www.IMDb.me/RichSwingle after our Christmas eCard was posted I thank you! There was a great surge in my standing, but now it's dropped considerably, and the submissions deadline has just arrived. Now is the time they'll be sorting through the candidates. If you have a second, click here. If you have a minute, while you're on the page find the Facebook Like button. If you have five minutes, click on each of the films in which I've performed and Like them.
Watch for Princess Cut in theaters Valentine's Day. I play a suave realtor. And in April you can have a hand in bringing Beyond the Mask to a theater in your community. I play Dr. Bonneville in that one.
I pray the New Year is off to a great start for each of you. Hope to see you out there somewhere... especially if you're in the Northwest or near Cincinnati.
in Christ alone,
Twenty-four days left for the early bird special at the Rocky Mountain Christian Filmmakers Camp. And sign-up for Engage Rio.